Words and photography by Tamara Abdul Hadi
This article is part of the “My Hair My Hair” issue 

The People’s Salon (or Salon Al Sha’ab) is a photography series celebrating self-care and hairstyles at barber shops in Lebanon and Palestine. 

I began this series in 2016 while on a trip to Ramallah. Along the way, my friend introduced me to Tamer Shehadeh, a barber, and then-resident of Qalandia camp near the Ramallah-Jerusalem checkpoint.  Tamer’s artistry and the pride he took in his work, and the self-care practices that take place within the barbershop walls, were the inspiration for this project.

I continued photographing barbershops in Ramallah, Gaza, and Beirut over the next two years. I watched how regular conversations and gatherings of Palestinian, Lebanese, and Syrian men coming in for their weekly beard trims, face masks, and haircuts nurtured a sense of community. 

Here, I focus on three barbershops.

Beirut: Abdel Atheem is a hair artist. He practices his art at his barbershop “Salon El Raqi” which roughly translates to “Elegant Salon” in the Naba’a neighbourhood of Beirut, Lebanon. Abdel Atheem is from Raqqa in Syria and is displaced in Beirut. His specialties include a beard trim and black dye combination.

Ramallah: Tamer Shehadeh wants to bring Palestinian hairdressing worldwide. Shehadeh owns “Salon Tamer” which began as a small shop in the Qalandia refugee camp in Ramallah and has grown into a much larger shop on a main street in the city. Tamer specializes in facial treatments, gold face masks, and waxes.

Gaza: Mohamad Bakir is a hairdresser in the city of Gaza. He inherited his barbershop “Salon Rimal” from his father and grooms most of the football players of the city. Bakir released his book “Historical Encyclopedia of Hairdressing in Gaza” in 2016.

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