Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sri dewa barber shops


(these two pictures came from a match-box)


when i was younger and not so particular about style and look, i used to go to a chinese barber located along thomson road. initially, my mother would take me to the shop for my hair-cut. the barber never asked for your preference; there was only one style - his style. for adults, they received extra attention/services like shaving with a razor, which he would first 'sharpen' or 'smoothen' on a piece of leather. before he started shaving, he would apply lather freely with a brush.

the other service available to adults was the cleaning or clearing of ear-wax. this was carried out after the hair-cut proper. the barber would have a bright bulb placed very close to the ear that he was working on. i cannot recall the implements that he used to extract the stuff trapped in the ear canals. i think he might have used a metal ear-digger with a scoop at the end to remove the wax.

when i was older and able to make my own choice, i changed barber and went to a malay barber shop located a few shops away from the chinese barber. at the malay barber - sri dewa - it was a slightly different treatment. the barber would ask you, referring to some pictures on the wall of the shop, which style you would want you hair to be cut.

sri dewa grew to become very popular, attracting customers from outside its normal threshold area. after that, branches sprouted in other parts of singapore. when it was too crowded, i would visit the indian barber in a shop located across the road, on the same side as the novena. the indian barber provided a neck twist and a simple massage at the end of the hair-cut.

when the rows of shops were demolished, the sri dewa at thomson road shifted to balestier complex at the junction of balestier and thomson roads. i visited it a few times even though by then i was living at serangoon road.

when i moved to bukit panjang and visited a malay barber, i found out that he picked up his hair-cutting skill at the thomson road's sri dewa.

1 comment:

Lam Chun See said...

YG. You must know this Sri Dewa shop that I often went to. It was just across the road from Novena Church. In my school days in ACS Barker Road, we sometimes took the Tay Koh Yat 8a which passes Newton Road to Thomson Road. (When we were to lazy to walk to Newton Circus, or when we just wanted to gawk at the girls from Anderson and RGS). We would drop of here to change a bus. The bus stop was just in front of the Sri Dewa shop. I think next to it was a tailor.

What we enjoyed most was the hand held massager used to massage our back and shoulders after the hair cut.