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September 8, 2022

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Home » City specials » Hangzhou

Crossroads of haircuts and bamboo handicrafts

THE Tianfu Hair Salon in Wangjiang Subdistrict has had steady business over the years due to the skilled hair-cutting techniques of 57-year-old Lou Xiaozhong and his wife, Zhou Fengdi.

For more than 35 years, residents living in the neighborhood have been getting their hair cut by the couple.

Lately, this small barbershop has given haircuts to many old clients’ grandchildren, in part because of the bamboo handicrafts made by Lou.

In addition to cutting hair, Lou has been obsessed with bamboo crafts for years.

In his barbershop, designed handicrafts are on display, including a bamboo pavilion, dragonfly and hulling machine, which have captured the public’s attention.

“At first, I couldn’t understand why he spent so much time on what I thought were useless knickknacks. The barbershop was so busy that I needed his help,” Zhou said.

“Later, I found his skills had greatly improved and the handiworks attracted more customers. Then I understood.”

Lush bamboo forests cover their hometown in eastern Zhejiang Province and provide locals with raw material for crafts. Bamboo-woven knickknacks, daily necessities and utensils that display sophisticated knitting techniques and simple designs can be found throughout their village, where most residents are skilled in the art of bamboo.

Lou taught himself how to work with bamboo. At first, his works were rough with crude surfaces and lines. Later, he purchased polishing machines and carving tools to help him create smooth lines.

“Perseverance leads to success,” said Lou. “Cutting hair and making crafts are my biggest interests. Sometimes I give my handicrafts to customers for free as an incentive to keep them happy.”

The residential community where the barbershop is located is home to many seniors, so Lou has been offering free haircuts periodically for more than 10 years.

“He is the best craftsman among barbers, and the best barber among craftsmen,” said client Chen Dabo.


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