Popular barber boosts income with top notch cuts
Fashionable Korean hairstyles are increasingly popular in Laos
Sitting on a chair at Mr Ngam's barber shop, a customer directs his index finger in the direction of a picture on the wall depicting a well known Korean artist and his popular head of hair.
Mr Ngam earns 3 million kip a month from his styling smarts.
The boom in Korean culture, food and entertainment of recent years is also extending to the locks of trendy youths across Asia and beyond, with Laos no exception.
Some 30 male customers including adults, young people and children gather each day to receive a haircut at Mr Ngam's shop in Nalek village, in the district of Saravan in the province of the same name.
Over 13 years of working as a barber, Mr Ngam's income has supported his three daughters' education.
He built his own concrete house and has a car to take and pick up his children from school.
To increase their daily income, Mr Ngam's wife also provides beauty salon services including shampooing and colouring.
Together their efforts have attracted more customers.
Mr Ngam and his wife are diligent in their efforts to increase their income each day.
The shop opens at 7am by which time customers are often in wait for a cut.
Their efforts earn an average of three million kip per month, which enables them to live above the poverty line, and the family's living standards are better than in the past.
He thanked the Party and government for helping Lao people to earn increasingly higher incomes.
He and his wife are proud to earn an honest living from their enterprise.
The most important thing is that he and his wife work closely together every day.
“Working together is the happiest thing that I and my wife and children have,” Mr Ngam said.
In coming years, Mr Ngam plans to enlarge his shop so he can serve more customers each day.
The shop is expected to install an air-conditioner in preparation for April and May when the temperature increases.
Full length mirrors ensure customers can see their hairstyle in progress while they are receiving a haircut.
The popularity of the shop has increased waiting times, so additional barbers will be recruited to speed up the process.
Sometimes customers are busy and do not have time to sit in a queue for hours and decide to go elsewhere.
Mr Ngam wants all his customers to get a haircut as soon as possible after they arrive.
To alleviate boredom, entertainment is offered in the form of a television and courtesy beverages.
“Importantly, all hairstyles must be cut according to the customer's order,” said Mr Ngam.
“I hope that we can continue to attract customers of all ages,” he added.
Those seeking to sport his handiwork can expect to pay 15,000 kip per adult, 10,000 kip for young people, and 7,000 kip for children.
Gents in need of a clean shave can also get a smooth face for just 5,000 kip.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 25, 2017 )