A Few Good Men
At the rate hipster barbershops are popping up all over the island, we wonder if normal hair salons are going out of business. A Few Good Men is the latest so-old-school-it’s-cool male grooming establishment on the block, run by the folks behind The Redundant Shop, which hawks too-cool-for-school lifestyle knick-knacks next door.
Unlike the other barbershops located in buzzier hipster haunts like Tiong Bahru and Ann Siang Hill, this chop shop holds court in quieter (though also rapidly-gentrifying, thanks to an increasing number of cafés) Everton Park, which still has that comforting, heartland vibe. Forget about going to see and be seen — the place has just one full-time barber at the moment (another one will soon be joining), so you’re likely to be the only hipster getting a haircut in the cosy space, which boasts classic barbershop chairs, walls decked with vintage artwork and reggae music emanating from a vintage radio set.
Slowly and calmly, resident barber Fa’at clips away, making small talk, letting time slip by. It is so relaxing, I don’t realise 45 minutes has already passed. Think of this as a brief respite from the hustle and bustle, and the opposite of those 10-minute, wham-bam-thank-you-man haircuts.
Their prices are friendly too — a haircut is $25 to $35 (compared to as much as $85 at some other hipster barbershops) and comes with a relaxing head massage; a traditional basic shave is $20. Imported hair grooming and shaving products such as pomade, moisturisers and razors are also sold here. Make an appointment, clear your schedule, and enjoy your haircut like a gentleman of leisure.
A Few Good Men is at #01-20A, Bk 5 Everton Park. Call 9085-8920 for appointments.
Imperial Night Beauty Secret Spa & Facial
Beauty sleep just took on a whole new meaning, thanks to Huang Ah Ma’s late-night facials.
It’s 8.30pm, and I’m lying in an ornate room that’s slowly filling up with smoke. There’s a smell of burning plants in the air, thanks to a tiny container of artemisia herbs perched precariously on my navel. A woman advances with a lit candle and deftly sticks the unlit end in my right ear.
No, this is not a scene out of a new-age version of Saw, but Huang Ah Ma’s new Imperial Night Beauty Secret Spa & Facial, designed to help stressed-out office folks unwind and sleep better. “Don’t worry, this is very safe,” coos the spa therapist. We wait for the candle to burn for a few more minutes so that my earwax will be sucked into the hollowed candle, cleaning my ear canals. Meanwhile, the herbs burn on. “This will help detox and clear your meridian points so your energy can flow properly,” she explains.
I’m too relaxed to be truly concerned about the flames and smoke, since this treatment kicked off with a back massage and the hot ‘Yao Yu’ foot soak favoured by the women of the Yao Tribe in Yunnan, who are known for their robust health.
There’s also a soothing face and neck massage using “musical balls” — cool steel orbs that produce a pleasant tinkling sound when rolled over the skin. It’s topped off with a facial cleansing, mask and enzyme peel. The 90-minute treatment is best done from 7pm (the spa is open till 3am), as it’s tailored to boost night time cell recovery. And yes, I did sleep like a baby that night.
Huang Ah Ma The Oriental Spa Chamber is at 50 Mosque Street. Tel: 6536-1661. Prices start at $188 a session. Go to www.huangahma.com.
Text by Yip Jieying