48 Singaporean Seconds: A barber's love-hate relationship with school discipline

Mr Juffri Hanan, a Malay barber who owns a shop at Rivervale Plaza in Sengkang, goes to various secondary schools to cut students’ hair on the request of their discipline masters. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Mr Juffri Hanan, a Malay barber who owns a shop at Rivervale Plaza in Sengkang, goes to various secondary schools to cut students’ hair on the request of their discipline masters. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Singapore celebrates its 48th birthday on Aug 9, and to tie in with this, The Straits Times Picture Desk has put together 48 Singaporean Seconds, an audio-visual tribute to Singaporeans who have made this little red dot their home.

In the 23rd instalment in our series, we talk to barber Juffri Hanan.

Juffri Hanan, 49, barber

Barber Juffri Hanan, 49, is familiar with schools.

In fact, he regularly appears in schools after morning assemblies. His task? To trim the wayward hair of sullen-looking students.

He has a love-hate relationship with them.

Some students hate the sight of him, not to mention the sound of his razor.

Others, however, like to be get caught for having long hair as he's highly skilled and charges low rates for his haircuts - $5 per student during school visits.

There's always plenty of drama when students get caught, he says. Some cry. Others try to persuade him not to cut their hair. A few will throw fits.

The father of three, who co-owns Barber Point at Rivervale Plaza in Sengkang, says he sometimes has to counsel the kids.

While he believes schools must maintain disciplinary standards when it comes to hairstyles, he points out that times have also changed.

"It's 2013 now, not 1964. Give students a little freedom when it comes to their hairstyles, as long as they listen to their teachers," he says.

"If they've got style, they'll also enjoy going to school, you know?"

- Photos and videos by The Straits Times Picture Desk