Men in Iran wanting to get a spiky haircut, a tattoo or a good ol' eyebrow plucking from barbers are out of luck. Officials have banned such styles, describing them as "devil-worshipping" and "homosexual."
“Devil-worshipping hairstyles are forbidden," Iranian barbershop union head Mostafa Govahi told the semiofficial Iranian Students' News Agency, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Any shop that cuts hair in the devil worshipping style will be harshly dealt with and their licence revoked."
He added that tattoos, tanning-bed treatments and male eyebrow plucking also are forbidden, and that businesses offering such services "violate the Islamic system's regulations," the BBC reported.
These latest rules come ahead of summer, when authorities tend to crack down on dress and appearance. Violations could result in arrest, but many city youths nonetheless attempt to push the boundaries.
Govahi also spoke with the television channel Manoto, the Guardian reported, and told the station that barbers have received a list of approved styles. "Haircuts that show symbols or signs of devil worshippers or those adopted by homosexuals are banned,” he said. “I won’t allow such wrongful western styles as long as I’m in this position.”
Although women often tend to be the targets of such restrictions, Iran has weighed in on appropriate styles for men before. In 2010, the government established a haircut code for men as a way to "stop the propagation of Western and Eastern hair styles," Christian Science Monitor reported.
Excessive hair gel and male eyebrow plucking also were on the 2010 list of no-no's, as they have been in the past. Authorities apparently had some outdated ideas of current Western styles: They also banned mullets.
Getting rid of mullets doesn't seem like the worst idea, sure. But hair gel and eyebrow plucking are staples for many Iranian men, who have plenty of hair to tame.