efe-epaGiza (Egypt)

An Egyptian barber who has adopted an unorthodox method of styling hair that involves using fire has managed to win over his once skeptical clients with a more affordable alternative to chemical straightening techniques, an epa-efe photojournalist reported Wednesday.

Hamada Ramadan, 32, has been in the business of hairstyling for some 17 years, but after he discovered a video showing a barber in India using fire in order to straighten a client's hair two years ago, he decided to revamp his own working method.

"I usually offer the idea to the client by showing him a video," Ramadan told epa-efe. "And if he's convinced by it, I go ahead."

The barber swears by fire for styling unruly hair, claiming that it produces the same results as traditional treatment methods that use keratin, but at a fraction of the cost.

And for the men who live in the Fasial neighborhood of Giza, west of the capital Cairo, price is an important factor, according to the barber.

"There's a very large gap between the two prices, if the price of keratin is 300 EGP ($17), then the price of straightening with fire will be 30 EGP ($1.7)."

But besides the technique going easy on the wallet, Ramadan said the use of fire appealed to his clientele, mostly young men, because they "always want to try the new trendy ways."

He said he comes across new faces turning up at his salon on a daily basis, thanks to his use of fire.

He admitted that when he first pitched the technique to his clients, they were unsure about how effective it would be. "They refused and said that's impossible," he said.

So in order to convince his clients that the technique worked, he decided to try it out on his son.

"They thought I'm a crazy man who will burn their hair, but when I tried the technique on my son's hair, and I showed them the video, they began to be encouraged," he said.

Ramadan's method involves applying an isolating cream so that the hair does not burn when it comes into contact with the flame.