In the biz of good hair days

It draws attention if styled well, but if not, as the cliche goes you end up ‘having a bad hair day’. Hairstyling is essential for one’s makeover, be it every day or an occasion. With international brands setting up base in India, this profession is gradually evolving and gaining recognition in the country. According to Najeeb Ur Rehman, professional partnership service manager, Schwarzkopf Professional India, hairstyling involves cutting, colouring and garnishing of the hair to give it the oomph factor. Adhuna Bhabani-Akhtar, creative director of b:blunt, a destination hair salon in Mumbai, defines hairstyling as a creative profession that requires professional training.

Hairstyling requires commitment and dedication. There maybe times when one has to stand for hours at a stretch, but there is no room for complaint as at the end of the day the smiles on you customers’ faces reflect your success.

Qualification

One should have completed class 12, possess a basic knowledge of maths, science and English. S/he should also have an eye for art, a sense of fashion and flair for the job. Keep updating yourself not just about hair cuts but also styling.

Where to study

Every hair care company or at times a salon has its own academy. There are three main courses that any academy or salon offers: basic, advanced and the creative course. Some of the popular ones in India are b: blunt Academy and Schwarzkopf Professional. b:blunt offers a six-month foundation course on owning a salon, working with leading salon brands, becoming an integral part of the hair department in the film industry, designing looks for advertising and editorials in magazines. b:blunt’s team of highly qualified educators have designed the foundation course to orient one in the best possible way in this profession.

Fee for hairstyling courses may vary between `50,000-`2 lakh and its duration could be anywhere between two-six months.

Growth

Hairstyling is the fastest growing industry, and people find a need for their hair to be styled. Thus, if you choose hairstyling as your profession, the world is your oyster, as Bhabani-Akhtar says.

Rehman describes your career growth as such — “You can start off as a trainee. This would involve shampooing and hair drying. The next level would be assistant hairstylist, then a hairstylist. You can then aim to become a senior hairstylist.”

Challenges involved

According to Bhabani-Akhtar,  the key to success is based on a great consultation, good communication skills and a very thorough knowledge of the job. If one has these, then there shouldn’t be too many problems.

However, it is very difficult to please everyone, all the time! Sometimes it goes wrong, usually due to poor communication, but it is mostly a matter of personal taste and style.

The biggest challenge in running an academy is, “that the level of education is still very low among students which in turn limits the learning process,” says Rehman.

Current trend

The b:blunt’s latest hairstyle range is called 022 which is inspired by the STD code for Mumbai. “It is a collection that was developed in collaboration with our new partner and team mate, Brent Barber from the UK. All of us met in Mumbai and brainstormed together for the first time. Our mutual appreciation for the classic ‘halo’ haircut, inspired strong cuts with lots of texture, coupled with softness and shine for the girls. The colours used were smudged together adding global shine, while the hairband technique adds a fun element for the bolder client.

The ‘mad men’ series inspired short back and clean cut sides for the boys was a big hit with all of us. “We created our men’s look to offer sharp outlines with versatile internal lengths,” says Bhabani-Akhtar.

According to Rehman, the latest trend is Essential Looks — a mix of feminity, confidence, the urban and the stylish. They are named Pure, Metropolitan, Urban and Edge and has been inspired by the Catwalk fashion across the World’s premier fashion destinations including London, Milan, Paris and New York. The looks are developed in such a manner that they could be easily adapted to street fashion.

It’s personal

Bhabani-Akhtar, says, “As you know, getting one’s hair done is a very personal and often a private affair.  There is a trust one can build over time and often a comfort zone is achieved with the clients. They share their innermost feelings and insecurities with us while having some fun.”

Remuneration

Freshers will earn anywhere between `5,000-10,000 per month. Veterans can earn `60,000 monthly.

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