All massage therapist Abdul Salam Salim wanted was a simple no-frills haircut at a hair salon in Admiralty near his home, only to be told by the barber to leave the place due to a language barrier.
The 33-year-old recounted his unpleasant experience in a Facebook post on Wednesday (Aug 3), saying that “This is the first time that I felt like I’m a foreigner in my own country.”
Abdul explained in his post that he told the barber at QC House in English that he wanted a simple haircut but was allegedly refused by the barber, a Chinese national who “die die keep telling me to speak Chinese with him [sic]”.
“He kept saying something about hua yu [Mandarin], and his body language was quite aggressive,” Abdul told AsiaOne.
“When I entered the shop, he didn’t look very happy. He kept gesturing ‘no’ and kept asking me to leave.”
Abdul said in his post that he tried to communicate with the barber in simple English, telling him to “just cut [his hair] short”, even going to the extent of showing him reference photos.
Despite his attempts to get his point across, he was still asked to leave the shop, much to his chagrin.
Undeterred, Abdul stood his ground and said he eventually got the barber to trim his mane, albeit with the latter doing so with a “black face”.
“Everyone deserves to be treated equally in this country, and I will not let any foreigner bully the locals, that’s why I chose to be firm with him,” Abdul told AsiaOne, when asked why he still insisted on getting his haircut there despite the behaviour of the barber.
Abdul said he paid $10 for his haircut which he described as “okay” as he’s not fussy.
At the time of writing, Abdul’s post has received over 170 comments on Facebook from netizens, some of whom claimed that they also had similar experiences with the same barber.
One netizen also suggested that the man try approaching the female hairdresser in the shop instead, as she was “friendlier”.
On the other hand, there were also several others who felt that Abdul should have saved himself from the trouble and gone to another barber instead.
“There’s so many alternatives… why [must you] insist to get your hair cut there?” asked one netizen.
AsiaOne has reached out to QC House for further comment.
A check by AsiaOne reveals that QC House also has several negative reviews from former customers on Google, who complained about one of the barber’s lack of customer service and hairdressing skill.
It is unknown if the barber they were referring to was the same person Abdul encountered.
One customer wrote that he was supposedly told by a barber there to “find an Indonesian barber” for his haircut, and ended up walking away with “hair still on [his] head”.
However, there was a netizen who left a five-star review posting that it’s a good salon to go to for a quick haircut.
In 2020, beauty salon Bellecare came under fire for telling a maid that they would not serve her as “no domestic workers [were] allowed”.
This was despite the fact that the maid’s employers had informed the them in advance that they had purchased the package for their helper.
However, the owner of Bellecare later told AsiaOne then that they had a longstanding practice to only provide services to domestic helpers if they have consent letters from their employers.
The practice came about after the beauty salon had past incidents where domestic helpers would share their spa packages with their boyfriends.
“We try not to deal with helpers like this. Our practice has been going on for a while, some employers appreciate us looking out for them,” the owner explained.
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