Radio Taiwan International
Date: 12 April, 2019
By: Paula Chao
These days, there are plenty of places to get your hair cut in Taiwan, from fancy salons to quick-and-easy NT$100 shops. With stiff competition and aging owners, old-school barber shops are being squeezed out of existence.
But not all of Taiwan’s old barbers are quite ready to pack their styling kits away.
Barber Lee Geng-dai came to Taiwan from China’s Fujian province many years ago. He started learning how to cut hair at just 13. He’s now 98, and even after a lifetime of cutting hair, he still has no plans to retire.
At a young age, Lee opened up a barber shop in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County. His wife later followed him into the hair-styling business.
In their family-owned shop, the couple still keeps some vintage tools such as scissors and hairdryers. These traditional barber shops offered more than just haircuts- for instance, they were places where customers could get their faces professionally washed. They were also essential parts of the community. [FULL STORY]