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Indonesian barbers are making house calls

Gisela Swaragita
Gisela Swaragita

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, April 21, 2020  /  09:04 am
Indonesian barbers are making house calls

Many people have chosen to stay at home and postpone their beauty treatments until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock/Didecs)

Going out to get a haircut is a dangerous and discouraged event these days as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on.

Many people have chosen to stay at home to protect themselves from the highly contagious virus and have postponed their beauty regimens until the end of the pandemic. Some are getting haircuts from family members, while others haven’t bothered to get a trim as they won’t be seeing many people these days anyway.

Odi Mardiansyah, 30, in quarantine with his pregnant wife in Prambanan, Yogyakarta, shared a video of himself trimming his wife’s hair.

“My wife is eight months pregnant, and she is not comfortable if her hair is too long. We are afraid of going to the hairdresser, especially because of her condition. So she has her husband to cut her hair,” he said.

Meanwhile Dimas Ramadhana, 29, an employee in quarantine in Kemanggisan, West Jakarta, braves his fear once a month to get a shave from his trusted barber.

“Maybe I’m just an adrenaline junkie,” he told The Jakarta Post on Sunday with a laugh. “My heart did beat faster when the barber approached me to put on the apron and started cutting my hair.”

Gabrielle Alicia, 22, a student in quarantine with her family in Bogor, West Java, has her favorite barber come to her house.

“He came to my house, and all six of us got a haircut,” she said.

The barber, Deddy Suharno, is willing to come to a customer's home as long as the location is within the Bogor area.

“I used to work at Christopher salon [at Lippo Mall, Bogor]. Prior to the pandemic, I could give 15-20 people haircuts [daily],” Deddy told the Post. 

However, since March 24, Deddy has been out of work. The mall and the salon have closed indefinitely. With a wife and three children to feed plus parents at home in Ngawi, East Java, to support, Deddy has started to give door-to-door haircuts.

He charges Rp 150,000 (US$9.68) for a haircut. 

“I can cut hair for men, women and children of all ages,” he said. “I also take coloring, smoothing, cream bath and hair spa requests.”

To protect himself and his patrons, he always wears a mask and washes his hands before and after touching clients’ hair.

Deddy can be reached on WhatsApp at +62 816-1747-0588.

Read also: Tips from parents on helping children study at home during COVID-19 outbreak

Another barber who has started making house calls is Iman, who lives in Tendean, South Jakarta.

“I have been cutting hair since 2015 at my parents’ barbershop in Depok,” he said. Prior to the pandemic, he worked at a barbershop in Kemang, South Jakarta, and cut at least six people’s hair per day.

When the pandemic got worse and businesses began to close, he lost his job. He started an independent in-home barber service.

His price is Rp 50,000 per person in Jakarta and Rp 75,000 per person in Depok, Bogor and South Tangerang.

Iman’s expertise is limited to cutting men and children’s hair. “But if the customer is a woman and she wants a masculine haircut, I can do that, too,” he said.

To protect himself, he always wears cloth masks and sterilizes his tools.

“I also always use hand sanitizer and wear disposable rubber gloves,” he said.

Kindfolks Barbershop, a newly opened barbershop in Pamulang, South Tangerang, has also switched gears to door-to-door service to cater to the needs of people in Greater Jakarta area who want to look good while in quarantine – and also to keep the business’s barbers employed.

“We just opened our business in March. We have two contract barbers and three freelance barbers,” Aga, the owner of Kindfolks, told the Post. “Now we have this initiative to give door-to-door service so we do not have to fire our newly recruited barbers.”

Kindfolk barbers will cut hair at customers’ homes for Rp 150,000 for an adult man and Rp 160,000 for children. However, they will give discounts if customers order for more than one person.

“[We do it] so our customers can still be presentable during conference calls from home and still look good for their loved ones,” Aga said.

For those who want to look sharp in the Yogyakarta area, Visible Barbershop in Terban also offers door-to-door service.

“Our price is Rp 35,000 per person. For door-to-door service, there's an additional fee of Rp 10,000 per 3 kilometers of distance from our place. We offer services such as consultation, haircuts and hair tonic [applications],” Rian Fiddinul, owner of Visible Barbershop, told the Post. 

“We always sterilize our tools and spray disinfectant on our shaving equipment before and after use. Our barbers are obliged to wear masks and gloves. They have to wash their hands or use hand sanitizers before and after seeing customers. After doing the job, they should immediately come back here, take a shower and change their clothes,” Rian said.

Through the service, which started on March 22, Visible Barbershop can shave 2 to 4 people per day. They specialize in cutting men and children’s hair, as well as women who want a traditionally masculine hairstyle. 

“We hope this pandemic will be over soon, so we can operate normally,” Rian said. (kes)

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