Beyond the scissors, combs and razor, Mohamed Hanafy, a barber in the Egyptian capital Cairo, uses fire in the line of his work.
He learnt the technique after seeing a Youtube video of a Pakistani barber who uses fire to straighten and style hair.
He disclosed that the use of fire gives a more quality and lasting impact that the normal procedure which involves the use of creams.
The first time I thought of using this technique, I was worried of course, because I hadn't used it before, and it was difficult as well for me to convince the customers.
“The difference between normal straightening and straightening with fire is that straightening with fire straightens the hair more and makes it last longer
“It could last for a month or a month and a half. It also preserves the colour of the hair, prevents split ends and helps get rid of dandruff,” Mohamed said.
After seeing the video of the Pakistani barber, Hanafy was determined to learn the technique but not without some reservations.
“The first time I thought of using this technique, I was worried of course, because I hadn’t used it before, and it was difficult as well for me to convince the customers. How can I tell them that I’ll set their hair on fire and convince them that it wouldn’t harm their hair?” he said.
But after having mastered the art and gained customer confidence, he has become the toast of mostly young people who visit Hanafy’s barbershop in the Shubra al-Khema to to as it were “catch fire”.
“When I watched him [Mohamed Hanafy] on television, and saw that a lot of my friends have gone to him and said it was successful, I wanted to try it too,” one customer said.
Hanafy says the fire technique works better on thick hair, because it can stand the heat better.