Fashion Police: Iran Bans Western Haircuts
Religious fundamentalists, traditionally the least cool-looking people in town, hate it when others don't look, dress and behave like they do. Case in Point: Iran. Religious leaders have forbidden barbers to give Western-style (whatever that means) haircuts, or to pluck the eyebrows of male clients. I wonder how many times the word "metrosexual" popped up during the mullah's discussions on this one.
Iranian police have warned barbers against offering Western-style hair cuts or plucking the eyebrows of their male customers, Iranian media said Sunday.
The report by a reformist daily, later confirmed by an Iranian news agency, appeared to be another sign of authorities cracking down on clothing and other fashion deemed to be against Islamic values.
"Western hairstyles ... have been banned," the newspaper Etemad said in a front-page headline.
It came a week after police launched a crackdown against the growing number of young women testing the limits of the law with shorter, brighter and skimpier clothing ahead of the summer months.
Under Iran's Islamic Sharia law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are obligated to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to disguise their figures.
Violators can receive lashes, fines and imprisonment.
The student news agency ISNA quoted a police statement as saying: "In an official order to barbershops, they have been warned to avoid using Western hair styles and doing men's eyebrows."
Iranian young men have in recent years started paying more attention to the way they look and dress, especially in affluent parts of the capital Tehran. Spiked up hair, by using gel, is known as the Khorusi (Rooster) style and some also use make-up.
Several hairdressers for men in Tehran offer cuts in the style of Hollywood movie stars and other Western celebrities. Clients can also have their eyebrows plucked.
The head of the barbers' union, Mohammad Eftekharifard, said police had instructed it to "exercise specific regulations in barbershops that work under its supervision."
Barbers who do not follow these rules might be closed down for a month and even lose their permits to operate, Etemad quoted him as saying.
In her groundbreaking graphic novel Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi tells how, as a kid, she got the religous police off her back by convincing them that her Michael Jackson button was really a depiction of Malcolm X. I wonder if now the dudes in Iran can get around the haircut ban by convincing the mullahs that the spikey styles originated in Japan... it's worth a try.