Francis Lim, 62, is one of Singapore’s last roadside barbers. He’s skilled in hair cutting and wet shaving with over 40 years experience.
And at $5 a cut, he offers the best deal in town.
Just don’t be asking for no hair gel.
The service is a very dude-ish experience: you don’t make an appointment: you show up. If there is a queue, you sit on one of the old chairs lined along the five-footway.
There are no magazines to read while you wait. If you need entertainment you can watch the trucks go by.
Or if the queue is a bit long just go across the street to the coffee shop. Kopi that is. No latte – sorry.
The customers should also understand that the authenticity of the experience may include having your barber drag on a hand rolled ciggie while he’s cutting.
Francis grew up in a kampong outside Ipoh. After spending a year learning to cut hair, he moved to Singapore in the early 70s and worked in a number of saloons.
But 10 years ago he moved to this roadside spot in Balestier. He pays the building owner for electricity, otherwise the operation is rent free.
“Are you the last roadside barber?”
“There’s one other guy – a Malay guy at Jalan Sultan.”
His customers are mostly migrant workers and elderly men. He cuts about 10 heads a day. It’s a decent living.
This Saturday morning there was a couple of Bangladeshi workers waiting their turn. But when an old man showed up, Ah Meng age 85, they let him go first
“Respect for old men.”
Ah Hee Hair-Cut Specialist, can be found at the corner of Kim Keat Road and Lorong Limau, across from Tian Tian Eating House (map).
Open Mon-Saturday 11:30-6pm 9747-7197