Brotherhood, lifestyle and the 60s.
The lads at Ampas Studios Barber Co. live by this motto to set out a unique experience for every customer who walks through their doors.
We had a chat with Syakir and Haikal Ali, founders of freshly minted barber shop, Ampas Studios, at their cozy studio along Changi Road. Entering the barbershop brings on a homely vibe, with washed out carpets and old photographs on the pale yellow wall. We felt that these guys at the barber were already our friends before we even started talking. Well, you’ll find out why.
Photo by Ampas Studios
How this duo believes and puts in so much into building relationships, inspire us.
Most barbers or hairdressers in general put their expertise in haircutting and styling to please their customers with the end product. Because Syakir and Haikal puts their customers needs before anything else, “Sometimes I feel that this is not a barbershop, it’s like a family centre,” Syakir joked, while sharing some recounts of his customers’ life stories. He added, “Our clients sometimes lepak with us even after operating hours, watch movies, chill, go makan together.”
So we found out that the barbershop is actually named after Jalan Ampas, where the legends of the silver screen had once set foot on and where Malay films were produced. Till today, they have become classics of today, portraying the Malay culture of togetherness and kampong spirit.
Photo by Ampas Studios
They aren't just a "family-centre" for the heartbroken, though. They are real barbers – passionate ones.
Both of them have been cutting lots of hair over the past couple of years, and Syakir graduated from Kimage Hairdressing School. They came up with different hairstyle services such as the popular Ampas Klasik ($34) and Cut & Style ($24), which can take as long as 1 and a half hours, depending on your cut. Precision goes into the details of each haircut where you can choose from a Standard Fade, Bald Fade, Razor Fade or a simple slope. There is even a hot towel shave and a beard trimming service. Hello guys? Pampered, much? The catch is, you have to tell them exactly the look that you are going for and they can help you decide if the look is suitable on you.
Founders Haikal Ali (left) and Syakir (right)
Haikal explained how they are different from other barbers who focus on a cut-and-go system, “We provide everything. It’s like combining a salon service with ours. For example, the Ampas Klasik consists of a haircut, and then a hair wash. After which, comes the face massage and finally a cold towel.” Syakir added that he spends 30 to 45 minutes on each haircut because it is all about precision. “We care about the structure of the head, the person’s face shape and his hair texture. You’re paying that sum of money, we want you to enjoy a good outcome.”
They aspire to be better.
“We exchange critiques about each other’s work. Setting the record straight about the haircuts we did, how we served each client. How clients perceive us is very important to us,” Syakir explained when asked about what they hope to see in future. Haikal agreed that individual professional development is very important to them and would continue learning to improve their skills. Both of them have set Josh Lamonaca of Menspire in UK as their biggest idol in the barbering industry and they are inspired to give back to society from his lessons. It is one of their dreams to run their own hair academy and educate people about haircuts one day.
Something else that sets them apart from the others: Music.
Indeed, music unites people from all walks of life. You can sing, you can strum an acoustic guitar, right here at Ampas Studios. It is also one of the duos desires to create a relaxed gig space for monthly acoustic sessions. They've already had a couple of sessions - check out their Instagram!
Also, in case y’all didn’t know, Haikal Ali won an award at the regional Malay music awards show Anugerah Planet Muzik (APM). If you haven’t heard him sing, you should listen to the one that won the Best Song! At this point of time, Syakir would be endlessly singing praises about his partner’s achievement – and we will leave him to that. Drop by the store to hang with them!
To check out their hairstyling menu and rates or make an appointment, click here.
Ampas Studios Barber Co. is located at 80 Changi Road, Centropod, #01-01 Singapore 419715 (Located beside Caltex & Joo Chiat Complex)