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Ho Chi Minh City University Students Get Cheap VND2,000 Haircuts From Barbers Wishing To Pay It Forward

VND2,000 haircuts now available for Saigon students

Founded earlier this year, Đông Tây Barbershop quickly became popular for offering VND2,000 (~USD0.09) haircuts for all university students in Ho Chi Minh City – a dirt cheap and pocket-friendly price in Vietnam, especially for students on a budget. However, they had to close just as quickly due to Vietnam’s nationwide pandemic lockdown.

Now that the barber shop inside Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM) has reopened post-lockdown, just like most of Vietnam’s public venues, Đông Tây Barbershop has also returned with its VND2,000 cheap haircuts for all university students.

Đông Tây Barbershop and the passion of a poor barber boy

Coming from an underprivileged background, Nguyen Hoai Thanh, the founder of Đông Tây Barbershop had to quit school and started making a living as a barber.

Dong Tay barbershop
Nguyen Hoai Thanh, the founder of Đông Tây Barbershop
Image adapted from: ZING News

After many years of hard work, Thanh is now the owner of 10 barber shops in Saigon and wanted to pay it forward by offering free haircuts to all university students in the city. However, fearing that students would hesitate to accept freebies, he decided to offer his barber services at only VND2,000 (~USD0.09) per haircut. 

Incredibly, this low price is not a temporary deal, but a permanent, fixed price at all times.

Dong Tay barbershop
Inside a branch of Đông Tây Barbershop
Image credit: Đông Tây Barbershop

Thanh hopes that a new haircut will give students more joy and confidence in their schoolwork as well as in their jobs. In addition,  he wants to help students save money on haircuts so they can spend more on their learning materials and rent. His wish is to see local residents from all walks of life looking neat and stylish.

Đông Tây Barbershop now offers haircuts in mobile trucks

In order to reach more students in different universities across the city, Đông Tây Barbershop has recently introduced new well-fitted mobile trucks.

Dong Tay barbershop
Some students waiting for their turns to get haircuts
Image credit: Đức Lê

The Đông Tây Barbershop trucks come with comfortable chairs, modern equipment, a pleasant ambiance, and enough space for 2 customers and 2 barbers – wearing their trademark bright orange uniforms.

Dong Tay barbershop
Image credit: Đức Lê

Low price does not equal a downgrade in service quality here. While the most basic haircut in a brick-and-mortar Đông Tây barber shop costs VND70,000 (~USD3), students can be treated to equally stylish cuts with only VND2,000 (~USD0.09) in the mobile truck salons.  

The VND2,000 haircut service is delivered out of sheer passion

When asked about how he would maintain his operations and pay for his employees when charging only VND2,000 per haircut, Thanh said that he created this service out of sheer passion and profits were simply out of the question.

Dong Tay barbershop
A barber chatting with university students while they wait for their turns to get haircuts
Image credit: Đức Lê

Thanh shared in his interview with ZING News, “I decided to spend all of the savings I’ve earned for the past 10 years and the profits from my other barbershop branches in order to keep up this VND2,000 haircut service.

It feels more comfortable when you do something out of sheer passion. I’m glad to receive so much support from local university students as well as society. That’s how I know I’m doing the right thing.” Thanh added.

Dong Tay barbershop
Image credit: Đức Lê

Support Đông Tây Barbershop’s passion to give local university students cheap haircuts

University students and teachers of VNUHCM can now enjoy VND2,000 haircuts in a truck stationed on campus from 25th to 30th May, open from 11AM-8PM. Another of the barbershop’s trucks has also checked in Thu Duc University Cultural House recently, offering the students their fresh cuts and shaves.

Students who wish to hit up a Đông Tây Barbershop truck for a haircut can follow their Facebook page to stay up-to-date with their service schedules. Those who’re able to afford Đông Tây Barbershop’s full-priced services can alternatively visit one of its physical shops in Saigon to support the shop’s passion to help local students.


  • 337 Nguyen Thai Binh, Ward 12, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 339/1 Nguyen Thai Binh, Ward 12, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 574 Su Van Hanh, Ward 10, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 123A Huynh Van Banh, Ward 17, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 101A Rach Bung Binh, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 125 Huynh Van Banh, Ward 17, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 234 Nguyen Thai Son, Ward 4, Go Vap District
  • 163 Tran Quy, Ward 4, District 11
  • 95 Hoang Van Thu, Dien Hong Ward, Pleiku City

Opening hours: Mon – Fri, 8.30AM-8.30PM
Telephone: 0972 730 732


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Cover image adapted from: Đông Tây Barbershop

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