For all the crap given to young people — aka the millennials — about being aimless and not knowing what to do with our lives. It’s more often than not the myopic and narrow-minded that fail to recognise our aspirations and achievements.
The Golden Rule Barber Co. isn’t the product of some trend chasing hipsters; with three locations in Singapore, this looks to be a growing Singapore Barber (mini) empire, opened by GEN Y.
The Golden Rule Barber Co. is the culmination of more than a decade of hard work in the hair industry by founders Yanto, J and Ji Ji. For 34 year old Yanto, working in the hair industry was dream he had since he was a teenager.
Cutting hair for his band mates — during the era of mohawks and punk rock, he decided to pursue it like how Singaporeans do; with some good ol’ formal education.
Going to Toni & Guy Academy unfortunately, was too expensive. Undeterred Yanto, made the best of his situation and enrolled in an Institute of Technical Education (ITE) course.
Before opening The Golden Rule Barber Co. Yanto cut his teeth at salons, and arguably the grand daddy of the new wave of barbers — Hounds of the Baskervilles.
Fast forward to present day, we stand at entrance that leads up to the The Golden Rule Barber Co’s Studio concept shop, their largest shop.
Yes, there’s more than one shop; the first is a four seat old fashioned barber concept, the second is the studio we visited and the latest is a small two seat concept at the heart of town, in Centrepoint.
By appointment only, every customer is allocated an hour. Though extremely simple haircuts are usually completed in roughly 20 minutes. With the likes of Avenged Sevenfold and Korn filling the shop, I’d try stay as long as possible.
But with a decent amount of facial hair and a head full of curls, we got our model the works… without taking too much off the top. Only because he (the model) had just completed his last cycle of reservice. We weren’t about to take away his dream of growing his hair out.
As I watched Co-Founder Ji Ji work meticulously, the attention to detail that all barbers at The Golden Rule Co. demonstrated is a welcomed surprise. Especially to someone who’s used to the sometimes frustrating old school barbers and salons run by uncles and aunties.
Besides cutting, styling and colouring hair, the barbers chat with their customers, catching up with them with a sprinkle of friendly banter. Men after all, just want some time to be pampered and talk cock once in a while.
An issue all gents face when styling their hair in Singapore? The hot and humid climate. In this climate, pompadours and slick backs melt, frizz up and fall apart the minute you step out the door.
With that, The Golden Rule Barber Co. formulated a line of their own pomades specifically for our less than perfect climate, and different lifestyles.
While younger barber wannabes come have their eyes all aglow from the potential money that’s to be made cutting hair. Yanto knows the type of grit and determination it takes to make it in this industry— long hours and seven day work weeks aren’t uncommon, and only the truly passionate make it.
With veterans and friends like Ji Ji and J, along with the whole TGR team, the new generation of barbers in Singapore look gold.