Multimedia·Photos

Taiwanese pet stylist sculpts bizarre 'teddy bear' cuts

Taiwanese pet hair stylist Lee Mei-chen puts nearly three hours of work into a teddy bear-shaped trim. The latest trend in pet grooming feels like a natural progression from the geometric shapes that were popular in the island nation last year.

In truly freaky fashion, a pet hair stylist lets the fur fly

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Sculpting this cuddly shape took intensive effort.

Taiwanese pet hair stylist Lee Mei-chen puts nearly three hours of work into a teddy bear-shaped trim. The 30-year-old hairdresser-turned-groomer has many other styles in her repertoire.

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)
(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Her styles include a lion face. 

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

And characters from Hello Kitty.

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

It's hard to know how the pets feel about their fancy styles.

Ou Shih-jou owns the southern Taiwan pet salon where Lee works. She told Reuters photographer Tyrone Siu, who shot this feature, that the quirky patterns her shop is known for grew from customers' desires for alternatives to the typical summer shave. This cat's cut is designed to make it look like a stegosaurus.

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

You've got to match the medium with the message.

The designs, not unlike the forms locked in a block of Michelangelo's marble, are hiding just below the surface, waiting to be rendered by a skilled hand.

"When a cat gets angry, the fur on its back stands up. That was the genesis of the stegosaurus design," Ou said. The Hello Kitty design, for example, suits dogs with white fur (or hair in the case of the poodle hybrid pictured above) since that is the colour of the popular Japanese character. 

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Taiwanese have a thing for quirky pet grooming.

Ou opened the salon in September and has seen public interest in her offerings grow thanks to social media (owners frequently pose for pet selfies before leaving the salon) and the Taiwanese proclivity for geometric dog cuts.

"When walking outside, people think it's amazing and magical. Everyone wants to take a photograph and see what kind of styles they came up with," pet owner Kuo Yu-lan said.

(Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

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