One day around three years ago my wife and I walked to La Tea Doh, our favourite coffee shop in Glasgow. While sitting outside the coffee shop I noticed a steady stream of men arriving and leaving Scissors Palace Barber Shop. I decided to find out why this barbers is so busy. I was greeted with a friendly smile by Mohamed Salmi the owner and soon after I was getting my hair cut amid a cacophony of laughter and friendly banter spoken in at least two different languages by men of all ages. I now visit Scissors Palace barbershop which is based in Pollokshields, Glasgow every three weeks. When you are as thin on top as I am it’s essential to keep what you have left as tidy as possible.
I asked Mohamed if he would mind contributing to our occasional Razor & Brush feature and he readily agreed…
Q: Tell me Mohamed, when did you get into barbering?
A: I have been barbering since age 17; this is my passion and job.
Q: How long have you been in business in Pollokshields?
A: 10 years
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m an Algerian, my business partner is Riyadh Nouri Said and he is from Iraq.
Q: How old are you?
A: I’m 45 years old, married and I have three children – two boys and a girl.
Q: I have watched you wet shaving customers with a Shavette type razor, is shaving popular in your salon?
A: Yes it’s very popular, especially for the weekends when men want to look their very best.
Q: Is it mostly full wet shaves your customers ask for or is it young guys with fancy beards wanting sharp beard lines?
A: The young guys mostly just want their beard lines defined while the older guys better appreciate a full wet shave.
Q: Do men request anything special other than a haircut or beard trim?
A: Proraso or Turkish spray cologne.
Q: Your barbershop seems to be very multi-cultural; I have heard a few different languages being spoken in the salon. Where do your customers come from?
A: We have many nationalities coming here but mainly it is Indians, Arabs, Pakistani, Scottish, Polish and few Chinese too.
Q: Do you have plans to expand the business?
A: Yes, but I’m waiting for a good opportunity in the right location.
Q: All over Glasgow there seems to be more and more barber shops opening up. Are you concerned about competition?
A: Yes I am. We work to maintain our customer base by giving our customers a good haircut at a fair price. We also know men can be impatient so we try not to keep anyone waiting too long. Most of all we are friendly and happy and I think these days people need to see a smiling face and be in a relaxed space for the time it takes to get a haircut. Men get to hear about us from their friends and family and being in a busy street we do benefit from passing trade so steadily the business is growing.
Q: What hours are you open?
A: 10.00am to 6.30pm, 7 days a week
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Watching TV or reading a book
Q: What is your top tip for good looking hair?
A: Come over to Scissors Palace and try us out!
Scissors Palace can be found at 144 Nithsdale Road, Glasgow, G41 5RB.