The sharp, steel barber sheers lay unattended on the tabletop. Bottles of hair cream arranged neatly besides it. Several plastic combs bunched loosely in a container.
Medium sized- posters of men sporting short hair cuts were pasted symmetrically on the walls, decorating the barber shop. There were even new ones of famous Bollywood heartthrobs.
The red, stainless steel Takara barber chairs purchased in 1966 are still in good condition. The chairs were first purchased by its founder, the late P.A. Thangayah whom was a highly respected figure and ex-chairman of the Indian Barber Association.
Situated along busy Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (previously known as Foch Avenue) in Kuala Lumpur, this quaint barber shop is hard to miss. With its bright red signage, the Stylo Hair Dressing Saloon was first established in 1940.
From the outside, the shutters of the shop look modern especially with its new paint job. This is one of the few barber shops in the area which is still thriving, and has seen a great many changes throughout the years.
Situated in one of the busiest streets in the city, it is a delight to sit in the air-conditioned shop chatting amicably to the two workers manning the barber shop.
Having seen its fair share of changes; the shop has undergone several facelifts. This is especially due to the road resurfacing job carried out. This resulted in the road in front of the shop having a higher elevation over the years.
Some changes were done, making it easier for customers to still visit the shop. This includes changing the direction of the door to open inwardly, as well as to build mosaic-tiled steps leading to the shop.
The shop is just a few minutes’ stroll from the Pasar Seni light rapid transit (Putra LRT) station. From the shop, one can view the busy street in front of Central Market.
If you happen to be up early enough, you can catch the magnificent sight of city-dwellers rushing for a spot of breakfast in one of the rice and noodle shops, situated across the barber shop.
Directly in front of the shop, too, traders can be seen wheeling in their supplies of onions, dried chillies and even gunny sacks of rice to the grocers’ shops trading here.
The pre-Malaya barber shop has seen its fair share of history, and is well worth a picture-taking moment for a memorable outing to the city. For those interested in taking a hair-cut at the same time, do note that it caters to men only.
Contact the Malaysia Tourist Centre (MaTIC) at 109 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:+603-9235 4848 / 9235 4900 or the Tourism Infoline : 1-300-88-5776
Alternatively, check out the EarthGuide at www.earthguide.com.my. They have a useful map of Kuala Lumpur city especially suitable for walks!
To get to Chinatown (Petaling Street), board the Putra LRT train and stop at the Central Market (Pasar Seni) station. It is only roughly a 10 minutes’ walk to the barber shop. It is situated at the crossroads near the lrt station.