Fitted to the back of a truck, the tiny hair salon has enough space for two barbers and two customers at the same time.

Each day it parks up at a different location in the city, offering haircuts to passers-by without charging them.

HCM City,barbershop,barber truck,free haircuts

A barbershop on the back of a truck which offers haircuts on the street. It belongs to Bardy BarberShop, a barber chain in HCM City. 

The idea for the mobile barbershop came to Nguyen Thi Hang, the owner, as she was looking for a better way of helping low-income people look presentable.

“We have done charity haircuts before, but we did it on the street so it wasn’t very clean,” Hang said.

“I thought we should do it in a truck so we wouldn’t have to sweep the hair up off the street at the end of each day, because it takes ages.

“So I had this truck made to better serve people, and it’s also better for the environment.”

Customers can get a full makeover service from getting their hair cut and styled to having a wet shave, but it’s up to them how much they want to spend.

HCM City,barbershop,barber truck,free haircuts
Inside the truck there is enough space for two barbers and two customers.

 “We don’t charge people, we let them decide how much they want to pay,” Hang said. “People with low incomes don’t have to pay, and those who are better off can donate any amount of money they like.

“We put the money into a donation box, and when we hear about someone in a difficult situation that we can verify, we give the money to them.

“For example, I will give the money we earn in a week to a poor patient. And for those who are struggling even more and need more money, we will give them what we earn in two weeks or a month.”

For the past week this barber truck has been moving around HCM City, but its journey doesn’t stop there.

“Our objective is to get ‘10,000 smiles’, which means we will travel across the country to get 10,000 customers,” Hang added.

“When our journey comes to an end, after five months or a year, we will calculate the costs and see how much money we have left.

 

“If we still have money remaining, we will donate it to poor patients. If the patients need more money than we have, our company will make up the deficit.”

HCM City,barbershop,barber truck,free haircuts
A wet shave service is also on offer.

Although it is hard to locate and can only be contacted via a mobile number, the shop is getting all the attention it needs, mostly from gentlemen.

Vo Van Doan from District 12 said: “This shop is pretty cool and unusual. Passers-by who don’t really like walking into hair salons can get a haircut right here. It’s cool.”

Tran Thanh Liem, a motorbike taxi driver from Phu Nhuan District, said: “With my income, I can afford a haircut. Here I don’t really have to pay, but from the bottom of my heart I want to contribute something.

“The owners want to help people, and I also want to help in my own way. People who don't earn a lot need haircuts too. It’s a basic need.”

HCM City,barbershop,barber truck,free haircuts
A donation box is placed in a corner of the truck so customers can donate any amount of money they like. All proceeds from the charity will be used to cover medical expenses for poor patients across the country.

The shop has a website set up so people in difficult situations or those that know of such people can reach out and ask for help.

“We have a website and we have put our phone number up there,” said Nguyen Thanh Dien, the site’s admin. “People who need help can call us on that number, and I will come to meet them and provide support if needed.”

“I have received a message from a group that cooks food for poor people in Binh Thuan Province,” he added. “They asked us to go there.

“I will make arrangements so when our truck arrives there we will be able to meet them.

“I think this is a great job. I can help people with it, and that makes me happy”.   VNS

Bao Hoa

Mobile hairdressers see growth during pandemic

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Hair salons reopen, offer online bookings

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