Daily Drip

Watch: Ryan Hemsworth’s “Special Girl” Goes Inside a Shanghai Hairdresser Training Camp


The Wenfeng hairdressing chain is pretty ubiquitous in Shanghai. Their branding features a beaming image of the company founder and the staff are often seen out on the street first thing in the morning doing synchronized exercises and getting shouted at.

That all happens on a grand scale at a training camp on the outskirts of the city, where hundreds of wannabe hairdressers and beauticians go through regular five hour speeches from the founder and daily drills on eyebrow drawing, hair-cutting, and more.

Director Noah Sheldon has a mini-documentary in the works about the school and its slightly dictatorial-like leader Chen Hao. But before that, he’s used some of the B-roll and pulled in some professional dancers for this great new music video from Ryan Hemsworth for the track “Special Girl”:

Sheldon’s filmography is full of quirky looks at every day Chinese life, including portraits of a model for products on Taobao, and traders of styrofoam and human hair. Have a click around on his website here for more.

And if music videos featuring mass Chinese exercise regimes are your thing, here are a couple that this reminded us of. First up, Inigo Westmeier’s spectacular Shaolin-set video for M.I.A. featuring 36,000 kung fu students:

And then the Romain Gavras-directed video for Jamie xx’s “Gosh” that’s set in a “fake Paris” housing complex near Hangzhou:

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Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of RADII and Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for the Associated Press, The Wire, the Financial Times and more.
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