Iran closes barbers offering 'un-Islamic' cuts

TEHRAN, Aug 24, 2007 (AFP) - Iran has shut down barber's shops offering unconventional Western hair styles amid a police crackdown on dress deemed un-Islamic, reports said.

An Iranian man gets a trendy haircut in a barber shop in Tehran in April 2007 - Photo : Atta Kenare/AFP

"Over the past fifteen days, thirteen barber's shops that had not respected the union's directives have been closed down," police commander Mohammad Ali Najafi said.

He told the Etemad daily that the barbers' union had banned eyebrow-plucking for men as well as "deviant Western styles".

"Eleven women's beauty saloons were also shut down for not having a licence or for violations such as tattooing, which is banned by a health ministry directive," he added.

Tehran's barbers' union said in April 2007 that police had issued a directive forbidding its members from giving men offbeat hairstyles. The directive also banned the use of cosmetics in male salons.

Shoulder-length, spiky or heavily gelled styles for men have long angered Iran's religious conservatives.

Police also launched a renewed crackdown last month against women whose skimpy headscarves or figure-hugging clothing violate the dress code in force in Iran.

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