These days, it feels like the number of barber shops in Brick Lane is beginning to outnumber the curry houses. Perhaps this is as a result of, if you will excuse the pun, the growth of beards. Half way down the street there is a new shop, Jack the Clipper, whenever I pass, there is rarely an empty chair. Then there's a newish walk-in on the corner of Fashion Street where the scissor wielders look like heavies and sport huge tattoos.
Everywhere one looks, you'll see the hirsute. The current fashion for facial hair goes something like this. Well covered chin and cheeks, preferably with a slight ginger tinge, fairly sleek and not too luxuriant at the sides with decent growth on top. For maximum effect, worn with skinny black jeans, black T-shirt and long pointed shoes. All combined with a special kind of demeanour that says “I’m hip even if there are hundreds more just like me". I think they are called hamsters but I'm not sure about that, confirmation required.
Elsewhere, there is a traditional Bangladeshi barber shop also near Fashion Street, where I suspect that the prices are a fraction of those in places frequented by the hamsters.
Now to the point. I've been inspired by the late, great New York photographer, Saul Leiter and trying to capture splashes of red, views from under awnings, views through the windows of cars and vans. It's hopeless of course trying to reach Saul's levels of creativity but I am going to persevere. I tried to snap the Bangladeshi barber in action through the shop window, but he waggled his fingers indicating no! I waved back, smiled and moved on. The next occasion, I looked through the window, smiled and gave him the thumbs up sign - and moved on. On the third occasion, he had a client in the chair, pointed at me with my camera, the client turned towards me, gave me a friendly stare and 'click'!