Arré Checklist: Is Your Parlour Lady a Judgemental Aunty or the Ripper?


Arré Checklist: Is Your Parlour Lady a Judgemental Aunty or the Ripper?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

There comes a time every month when women give themselves a pep talk about their threshold for pain. It’s a period that affects our mood and lulls us into denial until we are finally forced to pick up the phone to make that damn threading appointment. It’s also a decision that ultimately brings us face to face with the all-powerful entity that exists in every salon: the parlour ladies.

But the gentle aunties and the quaint neighbourhood beauty parlours that they once occupied are now a thing of the past. From worshipping Shahnaz Husain, we’ve had to come to terms with the unquestionable magical properties of Kerastase.

In this changing universe of grooming spaces, the companionship of parlour ladies has however remained constant, magical fairies who reign over our overgrown eyebrows, upper lips, and peace of mind. These women have the power to scare us senseless, far more than any horror film or Aadhaar-linking notification. Once you enter a salon, all it takes is five minutes to discern how downhill your day is going to go, based on the type of parlour lady you’re destined to meet.

The “Dare To Break Me” Perfectionist

If your eyebrows are in the hands of this parlour lady, I wish you luck. This unblinking, never-caught-smiling perfectionist will stop at nothing to guarantee you flawless Instagrammable brows. Don’t even think of wasting your time by making small talk, squealing in pain, or letting that single tear roll down your cheek, because there’s nothing that will break her.

The Ripper aka Devil Deceiver

She is the sweet-talking angel who will convince you that her “method of waxing” will cause zero pain and utter comforting phrases like “It’ll be over before you know it” and “I’ll wax slowly and gently”. Only to do a complete U-turn seconds after, by taking off the wax strip with such force that would put an asteroid to shame. The only thing that’s left is to have “Woh Bewafa Hai” play in the background while she goes about her business of trickery.

Keep your friends close, but your preferred parlour lady even closer.

The Judgmental Aunty

She’s the one equipped with the magical superpower of noticing every single flaw in your body. Simply put, if she didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be stressed about having dry skin, frizzy hair, oily scalp, decaying cuticles, and even the wrong shade of polish. During the runtime of your meeting with her, she’ll further lower your self-esteem with an offhand look aimed at a specific part of your body, repeated sighs, accurately guessing the last time you had a pedicure (centuries ago), washed your face, or even remembered to breathe correctly.

The Wallet Whisperer

You may not take a liking to her, but your wallet definitely will. She’s the one who will recommend at least 271946395 different treatments while giving you one. Blessed with the superpower to speak in the language of your wallet, she’ll guarantee you end up spending three times the amount you originally intended to. Before you know it, you’ll be struggling to find time for the numerous hair spas and the refreshing golden back massage you signed up for on the same day.

The “Where Were You My Entire Life?” BFF

She’s the parlour lady you’ll want to rishta. She’ll know what’s on your mind even before you do. For all the indecisive homegirls, she is the fairy godmother you never knew you needed or deserved. She’ll cut your hair exactly the way it suits your face, arch your eyebrow just the way you thought it, and gift your face a glow that hundreds of Korean face masks have failed at.

As the popular saying goes, keep your friends close, but your preferred parlour lady even closer.