Chennai’s neighbourhood beauty parlours now customise make up looks, saree drapes this Deepavali

Clients getting their Deepavali looks customised

Clients getting their Deepavali looks customised
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

If you are under the impression that the immaculate Deepavali looks, consisting of neatly drawn eyes and perfectly placed glitter, is the handiwork of Aphrodite, you might only be partially right.

Beauty parlours across the city are seeing a steady uptick through the festive season with specific requests for glam teams to be available for soft saree drapes and evening cocktail looks for house parties. At the smaller, independent neighbourhood beauty parlours in Chennai that have stuck around for around two decades, the response is a mixed bag.

Gayathri Harikrishnan’s Pretty ‘n’ Passion Beauty Salon in Besant Nagar has had choc-o-block salon chairs since Navaratri. In October, clients came to tie different drapes all through the nine days of the festival. Now, the focus has shifted to light makeup and basic services like manicures and pedicures. “The Deepavali parties start two weeks before the date. We have started receiving the regular rush,” she says.

There has been a drastic evolution of hair and make up trends since many of these neighbourhood parlours opened their shutters. K Pavithra, Managing Director of Maha Beauty Parlour, Mylapore, established 35 years ago, says, “The youngsters want their nails and hairstyle to change while the older generation prefers hair colouring and face treatments. Saree draping including styles like box pleats and pre-pleating are all major demands during the festival time,” she says. The focus continues to be on women who look to groom. There isn’t a drastic rise in services that men seek before the festival.

Lovly Beauty Parlour on Eldams road, open since 1976, says that clients who have come to them for years, initiate their families into the world of beauty and grooming during the season. “It becomes a family activity,” says Vesta Chen, the creative director of the parlour. While Deepavali does not see a diametric rise in the number of customers, there is a definite bump in the inflow, she says. Most customers here are traditional and prefer their usual beauty routines with the addition of facials, manicures and pedicures about two days before Deepavali, Vesta adds. They also receive many saree tying requests and have been focussing on styling curly hair.

Lovly Beauty Parlour in Chennai began in 1976

Lovly Beauty Parlour in Chennai began in 1976
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

“Earlier, Deepavali would be the only time when people would splurge. New clothes, crackers and grooming would all be in the mix. Now, young people want to change their look regularly,” says A Alima, proprietor, Alima Beauty Centre. Nestled in the plush by-lanes of CIT Colony, this 29-year-old beauty parlour has always enjoyed a niche clientele. The wives and daughters of Chennai’s few tennis stars and many politicians used to make their way to this neighbourhood beauty parlour for a blow dry and a touch up before events. There has been a drop in the number of customers seeking a glow up before the festivals. “It was different before. There would be no appointments available around this time,” she says.

Eve’s Beauty Parlour in Egmore’s Prince Plaza is part of the oldest chain of beauty parlours in the city. A week before Deepavali, there are two women who are getting their eyebrows threaded. This duo disappears soon too, not seeking much. Once upon a time, actors like Sridevi and Rati would swirl in the saloon chairs. David Kao who runs this branch, says that sales during the festival time in fact sees a dip. “Looks like people are spending more on crackers and clothes,” he says. To keep up with changing times are trends, David says that he and his wife Monica head to Paris, France every two years to upskill. “We come back and teach our girls [employees] the new trends in the world of hair and face treatments. This includes colouring, straightening and keratin treatments which have all gained popularity recently,” he says.

Grooming for men this Deepavali

Grooming for men this Deepavali
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Maha’s K Pavithra, says that about fifteen years ago, grooming was limited to people only belonging to the higher economic strata. This however, has changed and there is demand for various alterations to hair, skin and looks on a regular basis. More people are consistently grooming themselves now.

“Even if it is a birthday party, people want to look good. Deepavali is another such celebration and this is good news,” she says.

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