The BMT barber has spoken, and her words are as sharp as her trimmer


Last Updated on 2016-05-18 , 4:56 pm

There’s a niggling question that’s always been in our minds even before we go into Tekong for the first time. It’s not about the food, it’s not about the bunks and no, it’s not about the training either. Given how metrosexual guys are getting nowadays, the most worrying thought that plagued our minds is this – will I look good in botak?

The reality of what you’re entering will only sink in when you’re getting your head shaved, not when you first step onto the ferry with your parents. You’ll feel like crying when you feel the electronic clipper on your scalp, cutting away your beautiful hair and seeing those faithful locks falling away out of the corner of your eyes. Some recruits even cried, for real.

Most recruits, after the haircut, complained about how uneven their new haircut is. Some recruits even went out of their way to shave their heads before enlisting because they believe their own hairdresser – which can sometimes cost up to 20 over dollars per haircut – over the barbers at Tekong. Then they find out that they have to shave their heads again.

I believe most of us thought that the barbers at Tekong are not trained professionals. Well, we thought that way, until this Tekong barber spoke up that is. And boy, did she speak up. Her words are as sharp as the electronic clippers she holds, “I can shave someone botak in 45 seconds.

And if you thought these barbers, also known as Tekong Barbers, are not professionally trained hairstylist, you’re never more wrong.

Madam Rose Sadiah has her own chain of barber shops in Bedok, Hougang and Choa Chu Kang named Rose Merah Hair Stylist and Malay Barber back in the 90s. Today, the Tekong barbers are actually professional hairstylists from her own company, Rose Tekong Barber which has an outlet in Choa Chu Kang.


So, this begs the question, why is the haircuts in Tekong so bad if they’re actual hairstylists? For one, I don’t know about you, but there’s not much, really, that you can do about the Botak cut, right? It depends on your features to look good, not the barber. Another reason, of course, is the speed required from the barbers.

One company of recruits takes her 1 and a half hours to complete, and in an island with almost 30 companies, you can imagine the speed they need to operate at, right?

Awarded a tender by the military in 2001, she has since learnt a few lessons that’s useful for those who wants to be cut recruits’ hair in the future. She works on her arm strength on Sunday and she takes care of her own personal pair of clippers, which was modified to increase cutting speed and sharpened at a specialized shop in Chinatown.

She even has a few trade secrets to share:


Always collect the $2 fee first
Because after the haircut, you’ll find it hard to identify who has already paid up and who hasn’t because they all look alike.

Always carry spare clippers
Because you’ll never know when it’ll break down when you need it most

Speed is everything
Now you know why sometimes, our haircut might turn out to be a tad bit lopsided, no?

So, if you’re enlisting and you want to shave, go to the Rose Tekong Barber at Choa Chu Kang because they know how the haircut is supposed to be done. After all, you don’t want to shave one time, enlist then find out that your hair has to be shaved again, right?

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