The Iranian haircut police

If you’ve got a penchant for a spiked up punk rocker head of hair or even an 80s style mullet, you may wish to take heed if hanging out in Tehran this summer and and wishing to pop in to the local barber to keep yourself in trim.

That is because The Guardian have this week reported that the authorities in Iran have banned “Homosexual” and “devil worshiping” haircuts in a move seen as somewhat of a trend where each summer they crack down on anyone donning haircuts or or clothing seen as imitations of western lifestyles.

Seen as more of a moderate leader compared to his predecessor, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has been critical of such crackdowns which are seen more of an enforcement of Islam than an implementation of the law. However the head of Iran’s barbers’ union Mostafa Govahi has threatened the revocation of licenses to any barbers who are styling their clients with such ‘banned’ looks. He has also added that barbers across Iran had been given a list of ‘appropriate hairstyles for men. And that ‘Haircuts that show symbols or signs of devil worshipers or those adopted by homosexuals are banned’ (however giving no details on what kind of style these are exactly).

So if you’re out and about in Iran this summer with any kind of nonconformist styles on the street, remember you may feel the force of the annual crackdown and be marched off to the nearest barber with their ‘approved’ list of styles!

If you want to find out more about traveling in Iran, check out our Globe Trekker destination guide with Ian Wright, and  discover the wonderful hospitality and culture of the Persian people in Globe Trekker – Iran.

Iran is a notoriously tough place to exist freely as a homosexual. Illegal and punishable by death it ranks as a serious no-go country for any gay travelers. For more gay-friendly destinations you can see our guide to all things Gay Travel in our show ‘Gay Traveler’