As the mercury soars, haircuts and air-con servicing are in hot demand

The temperature hit 36.8 deg C in Admiralty on April 1, 2022, just 0.2 deg C shy of the all-time high recorded in Singapore. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - For barber Taufiq Yusof, the co-founder of Bodeiga Barbershop in Boat Quay, the recent spate of higher temperatures has meant more requests for shorter haircuts.

The heat has also been driving more people to public swimming pools and more regular servicing of their air-conditioning systems.

On April 1, it hit 36.8 deg C in Admiralty, just 0.2 deg C shy of the all-time high recorded in Tengah on April 17, 1983.

There was little respite in May, with the National Environment Agency's Meteorological Service Singapore earlier predicting daily maximum temperatures of between 34 deg C and 35 deg C.

Due to high humidity and low wind speeds in urban Singapore, the hot weather is expected to last.

But that has been good news for some businesses.

Hair salons and barbershops said customers have been opting for shorter hair cuts.

Mr Taufiq, 29, said there was a 20 per cent increase in customers in April and May, compared with previous months.

He said: "Almost every conversation with clients would start off with the weather and half of them would say it feels cooler after getting their hair cut."

Be Salon director Sham Adam, 38, said 30 per cent of the hair salon's female customers in the past two months chose hairstyles like the short bob.

Ms Teh Sue-Fen, 42, went to Kimage's Tampines branch to have her hair cut from mid-back length to shoulder length.

The housewife said: "Long hair is very uncomfortable in the heat, especially when I sweat and my hair gets damp."

Bodeiga Barbershop co-owner Taufiq Yusof serving a customer in his shop in Boat Quay on May 27, 2022. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Public swimming pools are also getting more crowded.

ActiveSG, which manages sporting activities, said there was a 26 per cent increase in traffic at swimming pools between May 1 and 23 this year compared with the same period in 2019.

It added that the high temperatures and easing of Covid-19 measures brought in the crowds recently.

Foreign domestic workers enjoying time in the pool at Clementi Swimming Complex on May 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

There was an average attendance of 23,000 people on each of the first three weekends in May.

The highest daily recorded number to date was 32,000 on Sunday (May 22), a Sport Singapore spokesman said.

Air-con retailers and service providers said they have received more queries about air-cons.

Home appliance brand Europace's product marketing manager Benson To said demand for most cooling products such as air-cons and fans increased by around 50 per cent in April.

Air-con servicing companies - Wira Aircon Services, iAircon Singapore and Mr Cool Aircon Services - have also seen an increase in demand for their services.

Cleaning, installation and repair services have been highly requested among customers of Wira Aircon Services. ST PHOTO: KOLETTE LIM

Mr Rafiuddin Ismail, 38, managing director of Wira Aircon Services, said: "For the past three weeks, urgent requests for servicing within a day have increased by 40 per cent, with most requiring an overhaul of the air-conditioning unit."

Requests for air-con repair and installation services have also increased, and the company has to perform larger-scale jobs such as changing the pipes and condensers of units almost daily, added Mr Rafiuddin.

Food and beverage outlets have also been busier lately due to the hot weather.

Creatr., a cafe in Stirling Road, specialises in local-inspired dishes but has seen 20 per cent more ice cream being sold, said owner Leon Lim, 33.

Mr Nor Zaihan, being fed an ice cream by his wife Syaza Adawiyah, at Three's A Crowd, an ice cream cafe. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Aircraft technician Nor Zaihan, 45, was at Three's A Crowd cafe in Tampines, which serves ice cream and waffles. He said he consumes cold drinks or ice cream at least once a day.

He added: "Nothing beats cold desserts in this sweltering heat."

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