A Keratin Treatment for Salon Anxiety


A Keratin Treatment for Salon Anxiety

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré


still remember my first visit to the beauty parlour. I must have been 15, conscious of my appearance like any teenager, and unsure of how I could turn my scraggly braid into Rapunzel’s mane. I tentatively stepped into my neighbourhood aunty’s one-room establishment, where I spied on my neighbour getting her hair dyed and my friend getting her legs waxed. Before I could even unbraid my hair, I was surrounded by a gaggle of ladies instructing aunty on what would suit me best. In half an hour, I stared at a ravishing version of myself, all for the princely sum of 50 rupees.

Now, several years later, I crave for that place so hard. For so many of us women, the beauty parlour has always been a place of refuge. Remember Lipstick Under My Burkha and its depiction of a parlour that doubled up as a confessional as well as a therapist’s couch? A neighbourhood parlour made us feel and look beautiful and provided us with a spirit of kinship with other women. They are to women what bars are to men: a place to run to when the boss has been mean and the spouse is miffed. It was a place I could step into, get transformed, and step out feeling good about myself.