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|A member of Facebook group ‘Cat toc tai nha’ does a haircut at his client's house in Long Bien Street, Ha Noi.-Photo courtesy of the group.|
Barber Tuan Linh, 25, in Hanoi, works from 8am until 11pm to serve the growing demand of clients. Linh asks for between VND150,000(US$6) to VND200,000 per cut depending on the distance to his clients.
Since April 1, Linh has combed in about VND3 million per day. Before the social distancing period, he could only earn about a third or a quarter of this amount.
Linh and other barbers find their clients online from a Facebook group ‘Cat toc tai nha’ (Have your hair cut at home) with more than 500 members.
Another barber, Calvin Tung, tells Viet Nam News: “It is not very convenient to do a haircut in clients’ homes, however in such a situation there is no other way.”
Tùng says: “I can still earn a living during the pandemic, so it is still better than many others. I don’t have anything to complain about.”
Though both Tung and Linh wear face masks, as do their clients, they cannot keep their distance.
Linh also said: “I have gloves, hand cleansing liquid and alcohol to clean the tools after each cut.”
The social distancing means all unessential shops are closed and people are banned from gathering in groups.
A barber in Ba Dinh says: “I cannot say no to my clients if they want me to come. If I lose them now, they won’t ever come back to my shop after the pandemic.”
However, she also says: “I will stop if I am told not to do it by the local authorities.”
Wanting to avoid the risk of bringing a stranger home, Nguyen Hoang Duong, who lives on Nam Dong Street, ordered hair clippers online to cut his own hair and the hair of his two sons.
The man says: “I’m not proud of the result compared to what can be done by the barber, but it is still okay in the pandemic. We can still have short hair and stay safe at home.”
Bui Thanh Huyen, who sells trimmers, scissors and other barber tools says more people are ordering the products during the pandemic. Huyen tells Viet Nam News she has sold nearly 100 trimmers in a month, which has never happened before.
Huyen says the pandemic will change the habit of having a cut in a hair salon. She thinks even after the pandemic more people will buy trimmers to cut their hair at home.
While home hair cut services and demand for clippers may grow, Nguyen Huy Hoang, CEO of 30 Shine, one of the biggest hair salon chains with more than 90 barbershops across the country, reported losing half a million customers due to COVID-19.