Hassan ‘Sammy’ Assaf has been cutting hair since high school.
“I like to draw,” Assaf says. “I’m an artist. I love to cut my friends hair.”
With support from his wife Amil, Assaf sold his barbershop in Edmonton to move to Slave Lake. He opened LionsDen Barbershop in Slave Lake on August 3.
The barbershop opened with an open house fundraiser for Slave Lake Gymnastics Association. It raised $500.
Assaf moved to Slave Lake at the urging of his uncle Andy and cousin Ali. He was born and raised in Edmonton and came to visit family in Slave Lake often. He loves the lake side.
A while ago, Assaf lived in Athabasca for three years and considered opening a barbershop there, but decided on Slave Lake.
“I missed living in a town,” he says.
“It’s such a busy life in the city,” Assaf says. “I don’t have time to focus on the good things in life. I came here to enjoy life.”
“I got it (the name LionsDen) five months ago,” Assaf says. “It’s a symbol of masculinity.”
Assaf started out as a hair stylist, but switched to barbering.
“Hairstylists forget how to be a barber,” Assaf says. “It’s (barbering) about being a perfectionist.”
When cutting women’s hair, hairstylists “become more intuitive and sensitive to the client,” Assaf says. “There’s a masculinity, that’s hard to define” it comes down to different “psychological perspectives” of how men and women view hair.
The barbershop is next to Alimo’s Pizzaria on 2 Ave. It is open Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It offers men’s haircuts and hot shaves.