Senior residents in Ubi enjoy free haircuts
In the span of about 90 minutes, Ms Loh Mei Chien had already gone through the greying hair of some 10 seniors with a fine-tooth comb, trimming and styling as needed.
The 40-year-old hairstylist, along with nine others, gave senior residents in Ubi free haircuts.
This happens every third Friday of the month at Block 319A Ubi Avenue 1.
Although she lives in Woodlands, Ms Loh has been making the hour-long commute every month since October 2017, when the initiative was first introduced by Kembangan-Chai Chee grassroots organisations to offset the living costs of residents aged 60 and above.
“I’m more than happy to serve the community. When I see the elderly smile after receiving their haircuts, it makes me happy too,” said Ms Loh, who has more than 10 years of hairstyling experience.
Besides the free haircuts, the grassroots organisations there also conduct other activities to help residents with the cost of living, including a weekly food distribution drive and an after-school programme for pupils from low-income families.
On average, about 80 people turn up for each haircut session in Ubi, with many being repeat attendees, including Mr Francis Koh, who has shown up every month since 2017.
“If you go to a hair salon to cut your hair, it could cost about $10 to $15, which can be quite substantial for the elderly. It may also be some distance away from their homes, which can be inconvenient,” said the 67-year-old, who works part-time handling baggage at Changi Airport.
While he waits his turn to get his regular haircut – short and low-maintenance – he spends his time chatting with other senior residents.
“It’s a good initiative, since we get to mingle around and get to know one another,” he said.