Young Pakistani men are speaking with their facial hair. What they actually mean is still a mystery to us.
Drifting above a deluxe barber’s chair in his little hair salon in Peshawar, a city in northern province of Pakistan called KPK, Muhammad Ijaz strokes a beard so intricately designed it verges on the preposterous. Hair swoops across his cheeks. A chinstrap of clean-shaven skin surrounds a thin goatee. “It’s never been done before,” brags the 24-year-old adult with a grin.
These so-called “French” beards (a term that might come out as a surprise for the Parisians) are emerging all over the urban centers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the mountainous border region, only recently evolved from almost a decade on the front line of Pakistan’s Taliban insurgency. Between 60% and 95% of male customers now come in for extravagant designs, according to a straw poll of the barbers that was taken in the Khyber supermarket, a popular shopping destination of the area. Barbers also drew illustrations using their fingers across the face, illustrating the “l”, the “j” and other in-vogue patterns that seem to be trending in the area.
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17 November, 2019