But since the Taliban came to power in mid-August, Afghans have little money to spare and fear punishment for cutting short or fashionable hair.
“Before, people came and asked for a different hairstyle, but now it’s not like that anymore,” said Shah, 24, at her barbershop, with mirrors covering every wall.
“Now they are heartbroken,” he added as quoted from France24, Wednesday (22/9/2021).
During the Taliban’s first reign from 1996 to 2001, the hardline group banned flamboyant hairstyles and forced men to grow beards.
After they were overthrown, a clean shave was often seen as a sign of modernity, including in the relatively cosmopolitan western city of Herat.
“Now people come here and they just ask for a simple cut,” said Shah.
“They also don’t shave their beards, so that’s a problem now,” he continued.
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