meet the favorite hairstylist of our salon!
Here, we bring you one inspiring story of our favoritea hairstylist at Salon Nayana - Indra. He is loved by his clients who revisit us to get their service done "again" by Indra.
12 years in the Hairdressing Industry, is not as easy as it looks.
Let's get Indra to spill all the beans & know more about his journey.
Indra hails from a barber family. His dad, being a barber, Indra, was well aware of this profession at an early age. He knew this profession inside out as he saw his dad work most of the time. But he really never thought of becoming one himself.
As Indra says, I initially tried my hand at a few other things, some other kind of work, but within just a few months, I realized it was not my cup of tea. I did not enjoy my job or seem passionate or interested in it.
As we say, he was the son of a barber; he had to give hairdressing a shot.
So, I, too, with the learning that was provided to me by my father, stepped into becoming a hairdresser.
But this was not what attracted Indra to become a Hairdresser.
Indra recalls that "When I started, it was with no formal training. Just from what I learned from my dad, informally. Like "Indra, take care of this client; I'll just look at the other client." his father said on most days.
This is how by looking at my dad and following the tips he gave me, I started my journey.
What just began as a "try intention" - let me try out hairdressing. Became a passion & decision to make this a career choice. Let's read his story!
But how did this happen?
As I started working at the barbershop, I enjoyed my work. I realized the 9am to 7pm didn't seem like work but more fun. So I continued as a barber, and just like that 2 whole years passed by.
But what next? Did you continue there, or was there a shift in the plan again?
After two years, though, I had serviced hundreds of clients, I felt like I was stuck there, doing the same task every day without any creativity or change.
So I shifted to working at a Salon.
For 2 years - from 2008- 2010, I helped my dad at his barber shop.
Then for 4 years, from 2010 – 2015, I worked at other salons.
Here I realized the importance of formal education to get ahead in my learning, work & career.
Therefore, I joined IHB Academy in Bangalore and pursued my Diploma Degree in Hairdressing.
With what I learned from my father & in the barbershop, & now what I learned from my formal education. Both of them were different but very useful in my career.
In 2015, after the completion of my course, I was hired by Salon Nayana in Brigade Road. This was just right after the course. Maybe they liked my work, considered me an asset, or saw my capabilities. But this did instill a sense of confidence in me.
In a day, I interact with a minimum of 5 clients. About 200- 250 clients in a month. It's been 7 years at Salon Nayana & I'm delighted with my work, growth & my career progress.
Working 7 long continuous years in one place! This is something very rare we get to see these days.
Yes, this seems strange, but I didn't feel the need to change my workplace. Whatever a hairdresser requires or inspires, I've been provided with it here.
I get my space to showcase my creativity; no restrictions are imposed, and they trust my work.
I've been provided growth opportunities at the salon for the last seven years. This includes money, creativity, position & role-wise.
And most importantly, they look after us. The salon owners & staff treat me like family.
Aren't these enough reasons to make one stay?
The salon has been really supportive. Was it the same from the family side?
What do you think? My father himself was a barber. My parents were always supportive & encouraged me. There was always encouragement from their side.
A hairdresser not having any challenges is hard to believe...
My biggest challenge was learning. I always felt that I couldn't do it. It would be really tough.
You have to be completely confident about yourself, which I wasn't.
New trends coming up, so keep updating yourself and learning constantly. Initially, I lacked confidence here.
At Salon Nayana we see the clients come back to you. Why do you think is the reason?
I think it's because of my communication. I actually educate my clients about their hair & how to maintain it. The do's & don'ts while they share things about their hair issues. Whatever I know, I spread it ahead.
Also, I think that their expectations are met. I fulfill their requirements. I deliver not just what they ask for but what would be suitable for them.
The growth graph seems really interesting...
Yes, it is. One thing I realized is that one can move up the ladder, irrespective of your year of service. If your work is good, it will show results; money, opportunities, success, and growth will follow.
Also, my growth in terms of experience, creativity, client appreciation, and word of mouth about my work spread by my clients is what I really cherish.
Traits according to you needed to become a good hairdresser...
Creativity, because you have to judge different kinds of hair, texture, and structure, and deliver the service. Also, have to keep the demand of the clients in mind. You have to be creative here.
Communication - asking what your client needs, understanding how much is possible & not, and conveying it to them with proper knowledge is a skill you have to have.
It's pretty common while we show the hairstylist a picture of some celebrity & ask for the exact same thing on our hair..
It's become a trend in the past few years. My client shows me a picture from Instagram & asks me to deliver that to their hair. It gets really tough to explain that it's not always possible. Because they don't understand the technical part of it. While we perform our service, the only thing you see is, oh, he just has to cut/color my hair. But I have to take into so many considerations like the hair texture, face structure, will the hair be able to hold, will it suit you, or will you be able to carry it?
I educate them that the picture is about the hair set. I tell them the truth; it's about style; you can't style it at home. I explain to them the difference & then suggest the next best alternative most suitable.
I can definitely do what's in the picture. But for my client's benefit, I don't want to. Sometimes people understand, and sometimes it's tough to get them to understand.
We always wish someone had given us some suggestions when we started our journey. What would you like to say to people starting out?
In my view, the three top things to keep in mind while aspiring to hairdressing is, that I would tell my younger self is -
Always be passionate & confident about yourself & your work. Build your confidence.
This business is all about looking & feeling good. So what better way to start than yourself? So always look good & keep yourself groomed. Only then can you get others to trust you with their hair.
Formal education is not an option but a necessity. Yes, practical learning will help you carry on. But to start off, you need to know the basics first. Also, keep learning & updating yourself. There is no end to learning & growing here.
What did you learn in the job while doing it?
Don't worry about the money; money will follow if your work is worth it.
Like what you do - one may not like your work - don't be disappointed with that, as you can't please everyone.
Don't you think there are cons too to becoming a hairstylist?
Cons you mean standing for long hours, dynamic environment, etc.?
I will agree there are busy hours at work when there is no time for myself, where I have to stand for 10 hours. But I choose this. I mean, even if I'm standing for long hours, it's because of something I like. So I won't complain about this. Infact, this is not entirely true. We do get time in between clients to refresh.
At the salon, the workplace is quite dynamic. It's all about dealing with new people every time. How does this feel?
Every day, in addition to my old clients, I have to deal with & service new clients too. And let me tell you, as every person is difficult, so is the customer. They are all different, with different demands. So tackling every day is a new journey. And there is no book to teach me how to deal, in what way, what to say & what not. It all comes with experience.
At Salon Nayana, we've been given the freedom to follow our instinct & do our best accordingly. This gives me space & freedom to be myself and apply my judgment & skills.
What is your future plan?
Every hairstylist dreams of opening a beauty academy or becoming a beauty lecturer or owner of a salon. These are the most common stages of a hairstylist in their career path.
For me currently, I'm more invested in being a hairstylist. This is what excites me & I love my work. For a few years, I would love to explore myself as a hairstylist; maybe down the line, I could think of being a salon owner; you never know.
I feel I've just started my career and have a long way to go as a Hairdresser. But, yes, definitely a big thank you to Salon Nayana for giving me the freedom to apply my creativity & for the growth opportunities.
See you at Salon Nayana!
See Indra work his magic on your hair, call 080-4150-7253 to book your appointment.