For the first time since the revolution of 1968, the Cuban government has given select small businesses control over their operations. In a country controlled by fixed prices and wages that average about $20 USD per month, this is a game changer.
Beauty-salons and barbershops were the first to be a part of the pilot program that began in April 2010; the greater income opportunity has attracted a younger generation of barbers.
Right around the same time, the wildly popular genre of music, reggaeton, was ‘banned’ by the government. For the youth, the isolation on the island typically fuels a desire to rebel and set their own trends. Heavily influenced by the style of reggaeton artists, the new era of barbers sparked a series of flashy hairstyles that have shaped a new generation of Cubans.