North Korea officials visit UK salon over leader poster

Advert using picture of Kim Jong-un with slogan ‘bad hair day?’ used for special offers

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang. Photograph: Kyodo /Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends the Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang. Photograph: Kyodo /Reuters


A salon had a visit from North Korean officials after poking fun at their leader’s unusual hairstyle.

Staff at M&M Hair Academy in South Ealing, west London, put up a poster with “Bad Hair Day?” written across a picture of Kim Jong-un, with details of a special offer on men’s haircuts in April.

The dictator has a striking hairdo which is shaved around the sides and then longer on top.

Barber Karim Nabbach (26) said that salon manager Mo Nabbach was confronted by two men claiming to be officials from the country, demanding to know his name.

Karim Nabbach said: “We put up posters for an offer for men’s hair cuts through the month of April. Obviously in the current news there has been this story that North Korean men are only allowed one haircut.

“We didn’t realise but the North Korean embassy is a 10 minute walk from the salon. The next day we had North Korean officials pop into the salon asking to speak to the manager.

“He said ‘listen this isn’t North Korea, this is England, we live in a democracy so I’m afraid you’re going to have to get out of my salon’.”

The manager later reported the visit to police, and the embassy also contacted officers.

Karim Nabbach added: “He (Mo) went to Ealing police station afterwards to file a report just in case anything happened to the salon overnight. Apparently they went to the police as well.

“We haven’t had any trouble since then, if anything the poster has become a tourist attraction. It was just something that had been in the news, and the North Korean officials didn’t even have the haircut.

“We always put up little offers in the window, it’s harmless. We were just making light of a bad situation in North Korea.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We have spoken to all parties involved and no offence has been disclosed.”

There were reports recently that male students in North Korea had been told that they must adopt the same haircut as their leader, but this was later called into question. Visitors to the country said there had been no noticeable change in young men’s hairstyles, and experts on North Korea dismissed the idea.