Had seen this movie a long time back where Rehaan Engineer played a hairdresser who could read people’s thoughts while cutting their hair. I had found it brilliant, especially since I do find a haircut to be my most stress relieving experience. When the scissors snip through those tresses, it feels that they are doing away with those unwanted, unnecessary baggage of thoughts.
To most people I know, the salon is a place where women go and splurge hard earned money. Haven’t you heard someone comment “You spent 1000 bucks on a facial, what’s the difference?” While that is a really mean comment, I know a lot of women who have been subjected to it sometime or the other. Of course, these days gold facials are the ‘in thing’ at men’s salons too, but we’ll let them be for now. The point here is that the salon for women is much more than a beautifying experience. It gives us a sense of royalty, individuality, community and of course the most obvious, relaxation.
The salon experience is designed to make its customers feel royal. In our rush to keep every one happy (unfortunately that big responsibility still lies with us), we need someone to fawn over us as well. This is the place where we are the center of attention. Feet soaked in hot water, warm oil being massaged through the aching head, a nice cup of tea in the hand and the latest edition of Femina. All this without bothering about the meetings, reports, maid, kids, the ringing doorbell and so on- is truly royalty for us! For instance it gives me the time and peace to read amidst the otherwise maddening schedule. Walk into a salon especially in the afternoon and you would mostly find women who are dying to get those few hours of peace when they can stop thinking about their day to day chores and just be themselves.
We women have an inherent need to bond. In our fast racing society with neighbourhoods and extended families fading very fast, this place does provide us a community. We share our experiences with our hairdressers and, those who are regulars at the same place, often find a few community friends there. These are other women who they frequently bump into and with whom they gradually start sharing little details about their lives. For the independent, urban women, this community of unknown women provides a cathartic effect. Its one of those places where we women can just be women! Where we can talk shopping, gossip, crib and not have anyone judging us with those “mahila mandal/ ladies club” comments.
It’s not all about the glamour quotient or good looks. For most women it’s just about feeling nice and special about themselves. And by the way, a good beautician does not turn her customer into an angel; she just specializes in making her customer feel good about her looks. It gives us a strong sense of individuality. We can choose what we want to look like. As we get our hair colored, permed, straightened, it’s an act of defiance against nature, of being in control of ourselves or simply a difference from the monotony of routine.
So all you women reading this, continue enjoying this special experience and all men who now know what it means to us, stop cribbing and counting our visits. Maybe you would start enjoying your own salon visits even more now because while everybody says “I’m fine”, we all want to feel special and to be cared for ...