Walk into Pakistan's diverse barbershops through these stunning images

Published: July 20, 2016

KARACHI: Barbershops, like chai dhabas, American diners and English pubs, are cornerstones of society – making for an incredible social study.

The photo feature, titled 50,150,1500, examines the intimate environments of three barbers shops in Karachi, which charge rupees Rs50 , Rs150 and Rs1,500 for a haircut, providing a glimpse at the cultural and economic diversity present in Pakistan.

First impressions

From a makeshift barbershop located behind the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS), in Clifton Block 2, to a high-end styling salon, barbershops can be found brimming with customers.

The waiting game

Whether on wooden stools, metal chairs or comfortable leather couches, customers have to wait their turn.

At a glance

Work in progress 

Hair today, gone tomorrow

For adults, getting a haircut is ordinary routine and at times a chore. For kids, on the other hand, a trip to the barbershop is as dreadful as a visit to the dentist.

The relationship

As the prices rise in fancier barbershops, conversations decrease. In makeshift barbershops, conversations are rich with punch lines and personal advice. But at high-end salons, conversations are short-lived, to the point and only when necessary.

Tools of the trade

A scissor is to a barber what a paintbrush is to an artist. Like any other professional, barbers are careful about organising their equipment once the job is done.

Money matters

Where some barbershops may require customers to pay in cash, high-end salons facilitate credit-card users as well.

Reflective moments

Say cheese 

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Reader Comments (6)

  • mk
    Jul 20, 2016 - 5:30PM

    Great. Not just random clicks, they were meaningfulRecommend

  • ibs
    Jul 20, 2016 - 10:49PM

    This was a really nicely done piece!Recommend

  • Ali S
    Jul 20, 2016 - 11:35PM

    I always find something incredibly relaxing about a shave/khat with a straight razor. And seriously who pays Rs 1500 for a haircut? My neighborhood salon here in Gulistan e Johar has an AC and only charges Rs 80 for a haircut and 50 for a khat/shave.Recommend

  • Azee
    Jul 21, 2016 - 2:11AM

    Great work!Recommend

  • Ali Raj
    Jul 22, 2016 - 3:11PM

    This is brilliant!Recommend

  • Hassan Ali
    Jul 23, 2016 - 11:19AM

    Very well written piece. It felt meaningful and live. Can not see the authors name but please carry on with your work. Recommend

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