Friday, March 04, 2005

It's all in the hair

Just a quick additional point re: my previous post about what girls - and some guys - will be spending on - Hair.

Mainly: colouring, highlighting, straightening.

A few years ago, spending upwards of 2000 bucks to jazz up your hair was unheard of. Now, it's not a big deal.

I guess the hair industry needs to thank the following:

The women on the idiot box : Vamp or bahu, there is scarcely a woman on the telly with her hair less than perfect - or in its original colour. Daily exposure to 'wow-looking' hair has no doubt fuelled the desire to have the same in the aam junta.

What they realised was that no one is 'born' with it. Good hair is just the result of hours spent 'investing' in one's hair with the help of a trained professional.

Farhan Akhtar: Celeb hairstyles have been copied in the past. But Dil Chahta hai made hair 'cool'. The resulting publicity for Adhuna Akhtar's and Juice hair salon (which had patrons willing to shell out 800 bucks a cut) was a new high point in India's 'hair history'.

Postscript: Adhuna fell out with the financial partner of Juice and has now set up a new salon called Bblunt in Bbandra.

The Trend
There was a time when using shampoo used to be an upmarket thing. With two rupee sachets flooding the market everyone does. At the same time, young women have become more conscious about their hair and coloured/ straightened hair needs more 'advanced' products.

So, even as the mainline shampoos go mass, there will be an increasing number who will switch to using 'salon' shampoos and imported brands, even though they may cost Rs 200-400 a bottle vs Rs 40 bucks for the regular Pantene/ Sunsilk.

Also, haircare is a more unisex activity than say, getting a facial. Despite all the talk about metrosexuality you can be sure that few men will venture into waxing or bleaching. Hair? Sure. That's studly enough.

Young men have always been obsessed with their hair. In decades past, they's keep a comb handy in their back pockets, and constantly run it through their hair - with the aid of scooter and car mirrors. Woh naubat aaj nahin aati, simply because they ensure it's gelled into place.

The trick is for cosmetics companies to get us to use more of their products. Already from simple oil and shampoo the youth population at least is graduating to hair serums, gels/ wax, anti frizz products, leave-in conditioners.

Apparently women in Korea use 12 products every morning on their face including stuff like "pre-moisturisers"...

The Big Question for marketers: How to sell us stuff we don't really need but makes us feel good :)


  1. Anonymous7:01 PM

    well yello
    for me.. its cool having long hair
    i can headbang while playing the guitar
    but i heard someone once say
    THe Bald are the Beautiful

  2. Regarding you big question to the marketers. They do it all the time. They sell you insurance, they sell you lifestyle products. Heck BJP even tried to sell a budget citing the 'feel good' factor.

  3. I love the smell of consumer culture in the morning.
    I went back to India 2 years ago, and in the city no one gave a shat about my gelled/sprayed/nuked hair.
    I went to visit my cousins in the outlying UP towns and villages. They took one look at my styled hair and began to uncontrollably laugh like hyenas. They'd touch it and say it feels like reeds. What the hell did I do to my hair?
    It immediately put me in my place.

  4. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Hi Rashmi,
    This article is beneath you and ridiculous too - 800 rs hair treatment. Pl. do not concern yourself with the junk folks of this world.

  5. Hi Rashmi: one more interesting news about hairs.The meterological dept uses only 'French Ladies' Hair' for graphing climatolofy in their offices


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