The town barber who every local goes to and every local knows is quite an old fashioned ideal, but Ali’s Barber Shop at 258 Bethnal Green Road is just that.
With a predominantly Bangladeshi client base, Ali’s is run by four Pakistani brothers, Ali, Mohsin, Vicky and Shehz. Working from mid-afternoon until 10 or 11 at night, the awesome foursome snip, razor and sculpt. ‘Short back and sides’ is not heard too often in this barber shop; the Bengali boys opt for something more experimental, more stand out and i-Dentity-defining. Razoring geometric mazes, cross hatches, v-cuts and slogans in the boys’ heads, Ali and his brothers create the look of a culture.
Photographer Richard Nicholson set up camp in Ali’s basement and snapped the freshly snipped customers.