The Mohammad Ghaderi salon in the western city of Herat is booming, with young people waiting in line for a shave or fancy haircut to match their favorite Bollywood or Hollywood actors.
“Afghanistan has entered a new world,” said Ghaderi, who has been a men’s hair stylist for nearly 10 years.
“Now there are more barbers, more young people like fashion… The government is not opposed to it like the Taliban.”
Although men in rural areas tend to adhere to Islamic style—shaven their upper lip and have a beard longer than a man’s fist—the urban bald head is the latest fashion parade.
But Ghaderi and his clients worry that if the Taliban returns, their individualism will end.
“We are worried that if the Taliban enter cities and bazaars, they may be the same as they were 20 years ago,” he said.
“Women will wear the burqa again, and young men will not be able to do what they want freely,” added Sanaullah Amin, a regular guest.
Author: Jay DESHMUKH / and AFP Afghanistan team