A street barber’s bottle of Brylcreem

Traditional street barbers in Singapore ran their businesses in makeshift spaces along the five-foot ways of shophouses or back alleys in Chinatown, Serangoon Road and Tanjong Pagar. The majority of them were clustered along a lane linking Jalan Sultan and North Bridge Road, which became known as the ‘barber row’. A visit to the traditional street barber entailed more than just a haircut. The barbers also provide other services like shaving, ear and tongue cleaning, nose hair trimming and even head and shoulder massages. The traditional street barber is a vanishing trade as it has been replaced by modern barber shops.