Changing young hairstyles hits barbers
NAKHON RATCHASIMA - Local barbers say the trend for young people to wear their hair longer is affecting business, and it's going to get worse now the Education Ministry has confirmed schools must be more lenient.
- Published: 10/01/2013 at 03:33 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Some barbers complained that business was down as much as 20%.
Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana confirmed on Wednesday that school regulations introduced in 1972 required male students to have only crew cuts with hair no longer than five centimetres, while female students' hair cannot cascade past their neckline. If their schools allow them to have longer hair, their hair must be tied back.
He said the regulations were later modified in 1975 to allow male students to have slightly longer hair.
"Many schools are still complying with the old rules and this is not right because the new dress codes permit students to have longer hair," Mr Pongthep said.
Female students can choose to have short or long hairstyles without their school's permission, he added.
Sophon Sawassingh, the owner of Saneh Korn barber shop in Nakhon Ratchasima who specialises in crewcuts, said his customers are now suddenly just older men who like their hair short.
He has been in the business for 28 years and has been popular with local parents, who send their children for regulation cuts.
Saneh Korn barbershop is affected by the Education Ministry's regulations which allow students to wear their hair longer. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
Mr Sophon said that as he saw it, lifting the hair style regulations has both good and bad sides. The crewcut helped distinguish students from children who did not go to school.
“It’s their identity,” the veteran barber told reporters.
He said it was clear that students now would not need haircuts as often as they used too.
“With the old regulation, students have to visit a barber at least twice a month,” he said. “Now these children, who are my regulars, come in only once a month. I’ve lost about 20% of my monthly income.”
While, there are worries that small barbers who mostly specialise in cropping students’ hair may go out of businesses, Mr Sophon said he was not worried about that.
“I turn on ‘hip’ music, I wear fashionable clothes, it helps attract the young people,” he said.
Pachara Arsachai, a Mathayom 3 (Grade 9) student at Boonya Wattana school in the province, said lifting the hair-code is a good thing. He said he doesn’t feel ashamed anymore.
He said he has a wide variety of clothes which can go with his new hairstyle. In the past he was often teased by other students when he got a haircut.
“Hairstyle restrictions don't help a student to learn better. it's up to the individual if he wants to study and work hard, it’s not about how they cut their hair,” the boy said.
Not all schools have been enforcing the Education Ministry regulation, which applies only to state-run schools.
About the author
- Writer: Prasit Tangprasert
- Position: Reporter