February 1, 2023

Stella Maria L. de Guia

Planning to have a haircut? Hair salons have opened since the second week of June during the modified general community quarantine.
If you haven’t gone out for the last four months since the pandemic and is wondering how a hair salon lookslike nowadays, here is a preview.
Salons follow guidelines and health protocols set by the city government of Baguio and the Department of Trade and Industry in handling customers like wearing of personal protective equipment, face masks, gloves, and visors. The establishment is also required to install plastic separators for physical distancing. They only operate for six hours starting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The building administrators have very strict guidelines prior entering the building like body temperature gauge and IDs.
Salons all over the world who have opened also have instituted their own protective guidelines like distancing, sanitizing, disposal PPEs, masks, gloves and being responsible, among other protocols.
Baguio born Ferdinand “Regie” Barlin of Hairtech Salon has been our hairdresser for the last four decades, cutting and perming the hair of my daughter, sister (when she is in the country), my late mother-in-law including me and my husband and sons.
Regie’s passion is to make his customers beautiful. He carefully cuts and styles their hair until he is satisfied with the result. He can follow customer requests from wedge to barber cut.
Name it, he does it. “Hilig ko talagang mag gupit ng buhok. Kumuha ako ng cosmetology sa Baguio City National High School as anelective subject. Masaya ako sa guidance counselor ng Baguio City High kasi theylet you grow and they encourage you. Sila at ang mga teachers ang mga unang customers ko at nagkri- critic sa akin,” Regie said.
“Uma-attend din ako ng mga seminars to update my skills.Kailangan updated ako sa trends and techniques.So, I attend seminars, Regie added.
His expertise is hair cutting and make-up.In other words, he is a hair specialist. My personal favorite is the way he styles my hair at the back. He is fabulous with this.
Regie started working, training and observing parlor activities when he was very young at the market hangar There, he swept floors to earn his allowance. Then he moved to Suarez parlor at Session Road where he started cutting hair, then to the Empire building at Abanao, then to the Maharlika Livelihood Complex. He tried putting his own parlor at the GP building at Mabini Sreet, this is when he took care of his mother and sick brother. He then went back to being a paid employee at the Snieder Salon at Lopez building, before moving to the Oui Parlor at the La Azotea building, and finally back to Maharlika where he is now at the Hairtech Salon.
During these decades of being a professional hairdresser, his clients included the famous Amelia dela Rama Brady, the Prietos and the Sorianos, teachers, politicians and their wives, doctors, government and private individuals.
I met Regie when my eldest son was still a baby thru a tourism friend, Connie Nartates. Connie gave him his break doing her wedding, by doing the entourage make-up. I have since followed him whenever and wherever he moved to another location. That is how loyal I was and still is to him. During his training in Manila, the famous hairdresser, the late Jun Encarnacion, got him as a model because of his very thick hair then, thus enjoying a ‘free” training seminar.
Regie’s life as a hair stylist is not without its hardships, heartaches, bumps and twists. He was at his lowest during his freak accident and could not work. Then during this Covid-19 pandemic, he found love and compassion with his landlords – apartment owners, Jeffrey and Gina Colting who treats him like an elder brother, assisting him in his needs and taking care of him.
He becomes nostalgic and teary eyed with their kindness. He is very thankful to the Coltings – a compassionate couple during this pandemic. He also gets support from nursefriends (from here and abroad), old time customers, and doctor friends. He cherishes their acts of kindness.