Barbers Face a Hard Time as Afghans Shun Fashion Under Taliban

Published September 22nd, 2021 - 11:52 GMT

Since the Taliban swept to power in mid-August, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear of being punished for supporting short or fashionable haircuts.

During the Taliban's first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, the hardliners banned flamboyant hairstyles and insisted men grow beards.

After they were ousted, being clean-shaven was often considered a sign of modernity, including in the relatively cosmopolitan western city of Herat. Now, suddenly people like to make themselves look like the Taliban.

View as a slider
View as a list
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber waits for customers at his shop in Herat.

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber waits for customers at his shop in Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year-old Nader Shah (L) attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. Quiffs, mohawks, and crew cuts were hairstyles Shah was accustomed to styling for image-conscious young men in Afghanistan’s third-biggest city of Herat.

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year-old Nader Shah (L) attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. Quiffs, mohawks, and crew cuts were hairstyles Shah was accustomed to styling for image-conscious young men in Afghanistan’s third-biggest city of Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) / TO GO WITH 'AFGHANISTAN-BARBER-SOCIAL,' FOCUS BY JAMES EDGAR - TO GO WITH 'Afghanistan-barber-social,' FOCUS by James EDGAR

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year old Nader Shah attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat.

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year old Nader Shah attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber attends a customer at his shop in Herat.

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber attends a customer at his shop in Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)

Since the Taliban swept to power in mid-August, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear being punished for sporting short or fashionable cuts.

Since the Taliban swept to power in mid-August, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear being punished for sporting short or fashionable cuts. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) / TO GO WITH 'AFGHANISTAN-BARBER-SOCIAL,' FOCUS BY JAMES EDGAR - TO GO WITH 'Afghanistan-barber-social,' FOCUS by James EDGAR

A burqa-clad woman walks along a road in Herat on September 21, 2021.

A burqa-clad woman walks along a road in Herat on September 21, 2021. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)

CORRECTION / A burqa-clad woman walks past a stall selling secondhand items at a market in Kandahar on September 22, 2021.

CORRECTION / A burqa-clad woman walks past a stall selling secondhand items at a market in Kandahar on September 22, 2021. (Photo by JAVED TANVEER / AFP)

An Afghan man selling balloons rides in a car in Kabul on September 21, 2021.

An Afghan man selling balloons rides in a car in Kabul on September 21, 2021. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber waits for customers at his shop in Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year-old Nader Shah (L) attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. Quiffs, mohawks, and crew cuts were hairstyles Shah was accustomed to styling for image-conscious young men in Afghanistan’s third-biggest city of Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year old Nader Shah attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber attends a customer at his shop in Herat.
Since the Taliban swept to power in mid-August, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear being punished for sporting short or fashionable cuts.
A burqa-clad woman walks along a road in Herat on September 21, 2021.
CORRECTION / A burqa-clad woman walks past a stall selling secondhand items at a market in Kandahar on September 22, 2021.
An Afghan man selling balloons rides in a car in Kabul on September 21, 2021.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber waits for customers at his shop in Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber waits for customers at his shop in Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year-old Nader Shah (L) attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. Quiffs, mohawks, and crew cuts were hairstyles Shah was accustomed to styling for image-conscious young men in Afghanistan’s third-biggest city of Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year-old Nader Shah (L) attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. Quiffs, mohawks, and crew cuts were hairstyles Shah was accustomed to styling for image-conscious young men in Afghanistan’s third-biggest city of Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) / TO GO WITH 'AFGHANISTAN-BARBER-SOCIAL,' FOCUS BY JAMES EDGAR - TO GO WITH 'Afghanistan-barber-social,' FOCUS by James EDGAR
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year old Nader Shah attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, 24-year old Nader Shah attends a customer at his barbershop in Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber attends a customer at his shop in Herat.
In this picture taken on September 19, 2021, a barber attends a customer at his shop in Herat. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)
Since the Taliban swept to power in mid-August, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear being punished for sporting short or fashionable cuts.
Since the Taliban swept to power in mid-August, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear being punished for sporting short or fashionable cuts. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) / TO GO WITH 'AFGHANISTAN-BARBER-SOCIAL,' FOCUS BY JAMES EDGAR - TO GO WITH 'Afghanistan-barber-social,' FOCUS by James EDGAR
A burqa-clad woman walks along a road in Herat on September 21, 2021.
A burqa-clad woman walks along a road in Herat on September 21, 2021. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP)
CORRECTION / A burqa-clad woman walks past a stall selling secondhand items at a market in Kandahar on September 22, 2021.
CORRECTION / A burqa-clad woman walks past a stall selling secondhand items at a market in Kandahar on September 22, 2021. (Photo by JAVED TANVEER / AFP)
An Afghan man selling balloons rides in a car in Kabul on September 21, 2021.
An Afghan man selling balloons rides in a car in Kabul on September 21, 2021. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

You may also like

Subscribe

Sign up to our newsletter for exclusive updates and enhanced content