Mute barber inspires people with disabilities

(VOVWORLD) - Nguyen Thai Thanh, a young man from Bac Giang province with his speech and hearing impairments, has overcome numerous difficulties and challenges to open several hair salons in Hanoi. Thanh’s great will has really inspired many young people.
Mute barber inspires people with disabilities - ảnh 1(Photo: Thu Hang/ VOV) 

A hair salon in Van Chuong alley looks no different from other salons at first sight. In fact, it is a special hair salon where both the barber and customers communicate with one another through hand signals, text messages, or notes.  The salon’s owner, Nguyen Thai Thanh, has a congenital speech and hearing disability. He always has a notebook with him to communicate with new clients, asking them to jot down in the book or in their smart phones how they want their cuts or perms.

Thanh said it has not been a smooth path for a disabled man like him to establish a career. Believing he was cut out for a career in hairdressing, the young man applied to multiple hair salons to learn the craft and work as an apprentice. But he was turned down on the assumption that he could not learn or it would take extra time to train him. After several attempts, Thanh was finally hired by a salon. He patiently learned by observing carefully and practicing diligently. Thanh learned  more techniques on Youtube and always bears in mind that he must do his best to learn and improve his skills.

In 2011, Thanh opened his own hair salon in Van Chuong alley, Ton Duc Thang street, Hanoi. Appreciating the young hairdresser’s skills and dedication, many of his clients return and introduce their friends and relatives to his shop. In 2015, the Thanh Nguyen Beauty Joint Stock Company led by Nguyen Thai Thanh was set up. One year later, he opened two more hair salons on Kim Ma street. The salons have a growing base of loyal customers. Nguyen Thi My Nga is one regular customer: “When I came here for the first time, I wondered how they could do it when they can’t hear the customers’ requests. Now, I’m very pleased with the hairdresser’s skills. I have come here several times”.

After becoming a professional barber, Thanh decided to pass his skills to other disabled people. So far, he has helped train more than 30 disabled persons. 22-year-old Nguyen Viet Long from Hanoi’s Soc Son district, said: “Thanh’s instructions are easy to understand. Now I can wash hair and am learning more about hairdressing. I hope I will do as well as Thanh has”.

Nguyen Thai Thanh was selected by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union as one of the promising young people of 2017.