• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Eid rush: UK barbers charge £100 to beat the queue

Salons across the UK were set to be open overnight ahead of the Islamic festival which falls on Wednesday (28)

Salons across the UK were set to be open overnight ahead of the Islamic festival which falls at the end of June

By: Nadeem Badshah

EID has become such a hectic time for barbers that some are charging people £100 to beat the queue for a haircut, it has emerged.

Salons across the UK were set to be open overnight ahead of the Islamic festival which falls on Wednesday (28).

And, with thousands of people keen to get a trim for the big day or before the 10-day period when Muslims are forbidden from cutting their hair and nails, some barbers charge higher prices and have a fee to skip the long lines.

Islah Abdur-Rahman, a British Bangladeshi actor and director, recently highlighted the trend. He told the BBC: “Eid day, everyone wants to look their best.

“In mostly Muslim populated areas, the barber shops are always open – all night, all morning.

“Everyone wants to get their trim. You have to book in advance.

“If you want to jump that queue, its £100. £100 to jump the queue to get your Eid haircut and there is Eid prices.”

It comes as new figures show the industry is recovering from salons being closed for several months due to coronavirus restrictions in 2020 which led to many people cutting their own hair at home.

Based on the number of barbers opening and closing, there were 224 in the UK last year. This compares to 545 the year before and 800 in 2020, according to figures from The Local Data Company.

There were 1,115 barbers in the East Midlands in January, compared to 1,084 in January 2022, the figures also showed.

There was also an increase in the east of England, London, the north east, north west, Scotland, south east England, the West Midlands and the Yorkshire and Humber region. The only region which saw a decrease was Wales.

Ruhul Tarafder, a businessman who runs a merchandising firm in Kent, told Eastern Eye: “For the past five years, I have noticed barbers in Muslim-populated areas open very late.

“It doesn’t surprise me they charge more of a premium if they are open more late.

“Prices are increasing, it was £7-8, now it is around £15.

“It has become more professional as more men are interested in grooming and trimming their beard.

“Men are taking more pride as they are expected to look a certain way on social media apps like TikTok.”

Some celebrities such as Shahid Khan, the British Pakistani music producer known as Naughty Boy, highlighted the importance of mobile barbers coming to homes prior to Eid.

Kamran Uddin, a mosque volunteer, said seeing barber shops packed full of customers just before religious festivals like Eid has become a common occurrence in the inner city and cosmopolitan areas of the country.

He told Eastern Eye: “I know young people who would get a haircut every week just so they can look ‘fresh’ – so you can imagine for something like Eid they’d want to look as fresh as they can.

“The high volume of young men wanting their haircuts done the day before Eid also mean some barbers have to hire more staff or create a booking system because they cannot cope with the demand.

“Some men are also resorting to DIY haircuts by following YouTube tutorials, because they’ve left getting their trim really late.

“Others may also have a budding barber friend who is willing to do a quick fade-style haircut in their garage or shed as a favour.”

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