Iranian Barbershops closed by religious police: Can the unibrow be far behind?

Religious police have closed some 20 barbershops in Iran as a part of a crackdown on “bad hijab” or unIslamic clothing. On the forbidden list are makeup, tattoos, hairstyles with gel where the hair stands up, and plucking eyebrows for men.

Plucking eyebrows?

I saw a barber who knew how to do this in the north of Jordan. A friend of mine had a rather wolfish look–widow’s peak, eyebrows growing close together and a huge Arab mustache. I walked around with his sister while he went in for maintenance. The eyebrow plucking he was adamant must be done with a string. The string is held between the barbers two hands and dragged across the skin. As it is dragged across the skin the thread twists. The hairs get caught in the string and are plucked. After my friend emerged from the barber, I realized he had a unibrow and needed frequent attention to keep from looking Neanderthal.

The hair-plucking trick with the string is common and women do it too. One day I went with my Iraqi neighbor to find a beauty salon with reasonably priced haircuts. We ended up paying around four dollars each. I didn’t know what I wanted, so the stylist said “I will give you a Versace cut” and it was pretty good too. My friend knew in detail what she wanted layered and so forth and her haircut was more of a process. At the end, the stylist pointed out some courser facial hair on her temples, a new price was negotiated, and out came the string, deftly rolled across her forehead. I couldn’t see a difference but she was enormously satisfied with her appearance.

bert_and_ernie_and_duckie72.jpgAfter my friends’ experience with plucking hair, I started becoming more aware of the appearance of Arab men on the street. A surprising number of them look like they might have unibrows that are kept separated into distinct eyebrows only by a barber’s frequent attention.

I am picturing the new Iran, without barbered eyebrows. A chorus line of Iranian men comes on stage in the Monty Python tradition looking like they might be ready to burst into a chorus of Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! As they turn, you can see they each have a unibrow and look exactly like Bert as in Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.

Of course there is only one song that goes with Bert’s unibrow. The line of husky Iranian men bursts into a chorus of “Rubber ducky, you’re the one…”

4 Responses to “Iranian Barbershops closed by religious police: Can the unibrow be far behind?”

  1. Arsham Says:

    Okay, first of all> there is no “arab culture” in iran, sure; its an islamic influenced culture but it is NOT arabic.
    Anyways, further more to the point of discussion, dont you think people can pluck eyebrows themselves? Not EVERYONE there [west/central asia] have unibrows, and those who have; well if they would close those barber shops in Iran for example [which i seriously doubt they will, i mean, they closed a few but pleaaase]
    people can still do it themselves, its not hard you know. + You dont have to use strings lol there are LOTS of diffrent ways. Pff, pff, this article is just LAME

  2. Nijma Says:

    I was being sarcastic.

    I’m sure Iranian men don’t look at all like the men in Jordan.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    arab men are hot, and maybe 3% have unibrows. not everyone has unibrows.

    on the other hand, iraqi guys are theeeee hottest :]

  4. Ramin Says:

    I am so happy someone commented that Iranians “do not have Arabic Culture in their country”, it was very flattering for me as an Iranian, on the other side we are struggling a lot in order to suppress the Islamic Culture as well. Arabs should be grateful to Islam indeed, cause they turned their heads into the history, but Iranians went down after Beautiful IMPOSED Islam. Dont really want to discuss about Islam and its ugly face now but I should say that Iran has always been trying NOT to ACCEPT ISLAM by making some stories like Shi’ite. Even though Iran is suffering right now from an ugly Government, still Iranians are ahead in Science and generating THINK, we will hopefully get rid of Islam and Arabic Culture once for ever. about the beauty of Arabs and Iranians, no need to comment, though the real beauty is personality beauty where in that aspect also Arab men has proved it by their SWORD

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