MY LIFE AS… a gray hair plucker

Hello, sit down please! Oh, my name? My name is Hang. How old am I? I was born in 1987, so please don’t call me chi (older sister), it makes me sound so old! This is one of the first grey hair plucking shops in Hanoi. It’s been open for three years now. I’ve been working here for about a year after one of my friends introduced me to the job.

I was born in Hanoi, and I started looking for work after I graduated from high school. For a while, I worked part-time as a sales associate in a clothes shop. For that job, I needed to have a high school diploma and good sales skills. But this is the best job I’ve had by far. I live nearby, so it’s super convenient for me. And while I’m here, well, I’m just here. The work is really easy and suitable for girls.


I had to do a week of training before I could become an official staff member. A normal day starts at 9am and ends at 7pm, but the number of customers varies day by day. Most of our customers are office workers and are pretty evenly split between women and men. To work here, you have to be honest, self-disciplined, and there’s definitely no listening to your own music while working. In our store, we only play easy-listening music.


I get along well with my co-workers; we’re like brothers and sisters. And the owner is really friendly. He’s easygoing, and he lets us choose whether we want to work full-time or part-time. For Tet he even took all of us out to eat together.

One of my favorite things about working here is getting to know the regular customers. They talk a lot while I’m plucking their hair, you know, they share about their family and their lives and stuff. But my boss warned us beforehand, “Don’t get too close to the customers,” so we’re always careful to keep things professional. Actually, some customers really like me; they think of me as a daughter or granddaughter. In the old days, only little kids would pluck their parents’ or grandparents’ white hair right? So customers tend to see me in that light. Nobody ever looks down on me.


Personality in Every Strand

When I first started my salary was VND1.8 million a month, but after one year I’ll get VND2 million. I get a raise every year on the anniversary of the day they opened the shop, and then some bonuses for working extra days. It’s enough for me. I live with my family and don’t have to pay rent, so I’ve still got lots to go to the café with my friends. And it’s a fair salary, I think. After all, each head takes a different amount of time. For example, say someone comes in and I spend two hours plucking their hair. That works out to VND60,000 an hour. Plus, I never have to work overtime. There was one day when it was time to close the shop but one of the customers only had half of his head plucked. We just asked him to come back the next day to get the rest of his head plucked. Well, he came back, and we took care of it.

Some of my friends were surprised at first when I told them about the job, but when they come and see what I do, they like it. My parents think my job is pretty okay. After they came to see the store, they gave me permission to work here. This shop is different from other hair shops. We specialize in plucking white hair, and no customers ask for other services [a reference to massage/sexual services available at many hair salons for men]. The customers here know how to behave.


You know what keeps me going every day? I find it interesting that with every head of hair you need to pluck, you have to adapt and find your own technique. There’s thin hair, thick hair, curly hair, all types. And we’ve got a different type of tweezer for every different kind of hair. And you know what? After all this plucking, I’ve come up with a theory. I can guess someone’s character from the type of hair they have. Thick-haired people? They’re hard-headed. [Laughs]

My dreams? I’ve only been here a year, so it’s a little early for me to start thinking about other jobs. I used to take English classes in the evening, and I’m thinking of starting them again. These days, just about every job requires a foreign language. Mainly though, I dream about the family I’ll have some day. My dad owns a motorbike repair shop, so maybe one day after I get married, my husband and I will open our own motorbike repair shop. [Sighs and smiles]

Additional editing by Gerard Sasges Excerpted from It’s a Living: Work and Life in Vietnam Today, available in paperback on Amazon or as an e-book on iTunes.

Interviewed by Nguyen Thi Tao, Nguyen Thuy Linh, Lan Ngo and Jeremy De Niev

Images by Ngoc Tran

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

2 thoughts on “MY LIFE AS… a gray hair plucker”

Leave a Comment

How Carpet Cleaning Enhances Carpet’s life and Value?

Carpet cleaning can be painstaking when you have a large house and many carpets. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why people require the services of professional carpet cleaning companies that can quickly clean up your messes. However, carpets are not the only things you might need to clean up. When it

Read More »

The States That Have Legalized Marijuana So Far 2021

Are you interested in the legalization status of marijuana, especially in the United States, and want to learn more? Do you want to know where in the United States you could visit and still be able to smoke a joint legally? The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic in the United States for

Read More »

Understanding A Hoarder: Why Can’t They Throw Anything Away?

To provide an understanding and the process of hoarding, we must first understand its definition. Hoarding is defined as a single-minded urge of collecting and safekeeping unwanted items in great numbers. Most of the people afflicted with hoarding disorder find it hard to throw away items. A hoarder desires to save items that they know

Read More »

Vietnam War Student Protests

Where did the student movement begin? The US airplanes started bombing North Vietnam in February 1965 after North Vietnamese submarines invaded 2 US ships at the Gulf of Tonkin. President Lyndon B Johnson commanded the revenge attacks blasting armed targets in North Vietnam. There were some criticisms about how the government was battling the self-governing

Read More »

Instagram: different ways to post

Have you been away from Instagram for a while now and have come back to practically a whole new platform but have no idea what’s going on? Do you want to know what all of the various different features are the Instagram has to offer now and how to use them? Instagram is by far

Read More »

In Season: A List Of Colorful Plants To Plant in Your Garden

Planting flowers can directly benefit the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to humans and animals. Thus, improving the air quality. Moreover, there are different types of flowers you can choose from depending on your preferences. You may choose based on its colors or based on its symbolism. The wide variety of plants

Read More »