The Sibu born Foochow girls were all disciplined well by their parents who were mostly born in Fujian.
Firstly while their mothers had straight hair styles, with no perming allowed, the young girls kept their hair short. This way of cutting hair was called "as high as the ears".
Secondly, short hair was preferred because it was easier to maintain, wash and dried in the hot climate. Mothers did not have to comb their hair too often. Long hair needed a lot of maintenance, combing and plaiting.
Thirdly, short hair also meant that lice would not develop so easily. The best treatment for lice was kerosene. And most of the girls did not like that.
Fourthly - girls could only have their hair cut at home by either their own father or by an older brother who was named "barber of the family".
Fifthly, the style of hair cut was also called Coconut hair style, because the front part covered the forehead , just above the eye brows. When the girls grew older, many would part the hair at the side or in the middle and clip with some hair clips . According to my aunts they did not like their coconut hair style. In Bintangor, my aunts went to the Chinese primary school and later when they were older they went to Yuk Ing Girls school, Sibu as boarders. Two of them were in the same class, in the photo above.
My father's second brother thus became the family's barber and hair stylist for years from the time he was able to cut hair until almost all the sisters could go off to boarding school. He was strict with all the girls and he made sure that their hair was always short.