Grooming and hair have long been an integral part of various African cultures for centuries, often bearing significance related to status and beauty.
The art of barbering and hairdressing can often be seen as an intimate relationship between the client and beauty professional where the importance of aesthetics and identity are stressed through this transformative interaction between the two.
It is only fitting then, that with so much pride being attached to both the role of the barber or hairdresser and that of the individual being attended to that the name of Nigerian photographer Andrew Esiebo's exploration of West African barbershops be appropriately named Pride.
Traveling to various countries in West Africa such as Liberia, Mali and Senegal, Eseibo tries to understand the social importance of barbers, barbershops (which he calls “public intimate spaces”), and the clients and communities that they serve and are situated in, finding many similarities along the way.
"Barbers help people to gain an identity…The way they look, through their hairstyle, influences the way they feel about themselves, the way people see them and address them…barbershops are not only a place for cutting your hair but a space where people meet, where they come to relax and discuss issues; a space where relationships are built, business deals are sealed and where intimate subjects are often discussed." - Andrew Esiebo
(source via freegratuits)
A barber attends to a client in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso (then ‘Haute Volta’, a West African French colony).
Barber shaving a boys head and man with water-pipe, by Felix Bonfils. ca. 1870s.
Interior of Barber shop
Tchungamoyo market Beira, Mozambique
Ariadne Van Zandbergen
African barbershop in Paris
From the series ‘Black Paris’ (2006)
Street barber in Nairobi, Kenya (1988)
Photo by Dave Blume
Barbershops from photographer Simon Weller’s series: “South African Township Barbershops & Salons”
Old Town, Mombasa - Feb 2012