The art behind the cut

A FANCY CUT: A customer gets his hair "designed" by Mr Rengan, the creative barber.
MOHAWK OR MULLET: A hairstylist at Romeo Hair Studio says the mohawk or mullet hairstyle is the most popular style among teenagers. (Photo: Santoshkumar)

Started by the father-son duo of Mr Balasubramaniam, 65, and Mr Rengan, 38, Romeo Hair Studio has been called the fashion hub of the north for hairstyle design for the past three years by teenagers who patronise the place. But they don’t just provide the usual trimming services. Romeo Hair Studio is known for creating motifs on scalps that seem to be all the rage.

“I have been coming here for the past two years to get haircuts and sometimes try the designs that are available here” said Dilip,19, a Diploma in New Media student of Republic Polytechnic.

Instead of a usual shaver, the duo came up with the idea of slicing hair the traditional way, with a small sharp blade, to create the cornrow-lookalike hairdo or popular tribal motifs.

Satisfied customers can be seen exiting the shop after their stylish haircut while new customers stream in to have a go at these signature hair designs offered by Romeo Hair Studio.

Mr Rengan explained that he started the hair studio in 2009, just about the time when his father was looking for work but could not find any because of his age. For 10 years now, Mr Rengan has made it a point to shave unique patterns on his head to be outstanding.

“My interest in hair design made me think of opening a Hair studio with my father and we decided to go for it. I had my father’s full support and personal motivation we opened Romeo Hair Studio,” said Mr Rengan.

The starting of Romeo hair Studio in 2009 was not smooth sailing for Mr Rengan who faced fierce competition from another barber shop in the area which has been around longer. In order to boost the salon business, he had to think of new ideas and that was when he came up with the idea of designing patterns on the hair rather than the basic lines that most shops offer.

The new designs available in Romeo Hair Studio had sparked interest in many people around the area of Woodlands and customers started to storm in to the shop within the next few months and today customers come from different parts of Singapore to get specially crafted designs from stylists at the Romeo Hair Studio. With just one specialized hairstylist at the beginning, the studio now has a proud group of professionals in the different aspects of designs such as name writing, tribal designs, abstract art and many more.

Unfortunately, the building lease where Romeo Hair Studio is currently situated is up and will be demolished in 2016. However, Mr Rengan reassures that he is definitely opening another branch in the nearby area along with his second branch located opposite Republic Polytechnic.

“Romeo Hair Studio is not my work alone, the support from my father, the skills of the hairstylists and certainly, all the customers that helped with word-of-mouth recommendation increased our publicity and height that we have reached.”