‘I found myself in life': Armenian barber excels as a counsellor for his elderly compatriots

The following is a story by Chai-Khana.org and is republished by Global Voices under a partnership agreement. Text and video by Anzhela Frangyan and Inna Mkhitaryan.

The 15m2 room is only for men. Located in the suburbs of Yerevan, Tolik’s Soviet-style barber shop is a place for them to relax: to tell their stories, discuss their worries — and cut their hair. The barber shop has become a refuge for men, a place to escape from the new-age beauty salons that have become increasingly popular in the capital.

Tolik, 67, is a respected figure for his customers, many of whom have trusted him for more than 40 years with their hair and their thoughts.  In Armenia’s male-dominated society, this barber shop is one of the very few places where men can be open about their vulnerabilities — including worrying about their hair and their appearance — without being concerned about appearing weak.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Stay up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details. Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site