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Chinese Barber: Where Hair is Burned off with Hot Tongs

When it comes to creating stylish designs Chinese hairdresser Wang Weibu is quite literally hot stuff.

The traditional barber is one of the last still practicing the ancient art of Dahuojia hairdressing, which involves using a pair of red hot metal clamps to burn hair off rather than cut it.

If the hair is too long, the clamps are used like a pair of scissors to cut it to the desired length and then the expert slides the burning hot metal over the rest of the hair to create a perm which he claims lasts up to three months.

This traditional method of cutting hair was widespread in China until it went out of fashion in the 1980s. Now hardly anybody wants a haircut using the unusual method.

Mr Weibu, 73, said: 'It's not just a shortage of hairdressers offering the method, there are also not very many customers that are interested in it any more. It is mainly older people that come to my shop nowadays. And like me one day they won't be here any more either.'

For the moment, however, business is going well at his shop in Jinshi, Santai county in Sichuan province, southwest China.

He said: 'My customers agree with me that hair done in this way can keep the same shape for 3 months. It works well.'
The metal clamp is left in a wooden fire until it is red hot, then cooled slightly with water before it is used on the hair for the first time.
Clients then have their hair washed before the clamp is used a second time to shape it.

Mr Weibu said the only drawback is that some people don't like the smell of burning hair but most of his clients don't think it is an issue.
'My business is quite good.' He added.

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