A family trade
Ah-lok works in Beauty Salon Choice Threading, a family business manned by Leung Tai, the legendary woman who carries the artisanal side of the family. Leung Tai's children help in the shop and know this beauty trade inside out, with no exception for Ah-lok, her son-in-law.
"I didn’t know anything about threading before I met my wife,” says Ah-lok. His wife, the daughter of Leung Tai, grew up in the humble trade and watched her mother 'thread out' a living. It is her root and her love language – and something that Ah-lok needed to master. "When we were dating, I had to thread her face”, he says with a smile. Then one day, Leung Tai injured her hand, and her daughter shouldered the salon business alone. To lighten his wife’s burden, Ah-lok decided to lend a hand whenever he could and started working part-time at the salon.
Although Ah-lok had picked up the skills from his wife, threading on-the-job was not a piece of cake. "We rely on the neck, shoulder, and waist to lend motion to the thread", he explains. "When I first started, I would experience pain and aches all over the body until I gradually got into the swing of things." Now a full-time threader, Ah-lok has taken on this job for eight years and counting.