Hottest cut of all - Gaza barber wields blowtorch

By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - In Ramadan Odwan's barbershop in Gaza, hair isn't just blow-dried, it's blowtorch-dried.

"People have gone crazy about it, many people are curious to go through the experience and they are not afraid," he told Reuters. "People here love adventures."

Odwan, 37, is not the first stylist in the world to use flame to straighten hair, but his craft is unique in the Gaza Strip.

In his salon in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, Odwan applied what he described as a protective liquid coating to a customer's hair - he declined to disclose its contents - before aiming for the head and pressing the button on a small blowtorch.

"I control how long I apply fire, I keep it on and off for 10 seconds or 15 seconds. It is completely safe and I have not encountered any accident since I started it two months ago," Odwan added.

Odwan charges 20 shekels ($5.20) for a haircut and fire-straightening.

A barber for the past 18 years, he said part of the reason he uses the technique is to show that Palestinian barbers are as "professional as those out there around the world".

(Editing by Jeffrey Heller)

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