The day is not far when we walk into a salon and alongside getting a haircut and styling, also meet a certified dermatologist or a trichologist to address our hair concerns, says Jawed Habib. “I believe in a science-based approach and what better than to address hair concerns from a doctor’s point of view? Clinical salons are the future,” he says over the phone when we speak in the context of his new book Beautiful Hair, Beautiful You.
Jawed reveals that he is currently testing the idea of working alongside a dermatologist. “I began my career 35 years ago as a third-generation hairdresser and I’ve observed several changes. Earlier, there were beauty parlours. Today, hair salons are an exclusive business while makeup and nail art have their own spaces.”
Beautiful Hair, Beautiful You! is his eighth book and is divided into three segments — finding the right look for different genders according to age and occasion; maintaining and improving hair health, and addressing myths and truths of hair care and styling. Ask him about addressing these aspects through a guidebook in the age of information overdose on social media and he says, “Everywhere I travel and meet people, they ask me about hair care. Every person I meet becomes a case study. Even when there is so much available on social media, people have hair issues. This book has simple and effective solutions that I have learnt throughout my journey.”
Waves and curls
The curly, wavy trend: In the last few years, there has been a growing awareness towards embracing the natural curls and waves rather than blow drying and straightening the curls and waves. Jawed Habib welcomes the change in perception and says, “It is good that people are enjoying their curly hair and not trying to change its texture. However, curly hair is more demanding. I would advice periodic haircuts, preconditioning and gentle handling of the hair.”
The questions he gets asked frequently and the general lack of awareness, he says, prompted him to write the book. He mentions some of the common questions — is it good to wash your hair daily? (“Why not? It is essential to keep it clean. If we wash our face daily, why not the scalp?”), is trimming important? (“We are in the process of growing hair, how can someone grow healthy hair without trimming the ends; this step is very important.”), are colours bad for the hair? (“Colours are not bad, it is the wrong application that spoils hair.”) and so on.
Jawed asserts that there is a strong connection between hair and self-confidence and does not advocate copying the hairstyles of politicians, movie, or sports stars. “What works for them may not work for you. Your style should suit your hair texture and your personality. Everyone has different hair and lifestyles. A good style is decided after examining the hair, its condition and the person’s lifestyle.”
Colour it professionally
Premature greying in the 30s and even 20s has prompted more people to resort to frequent and early hair colouring. Jawed advices not to begin to colour your hair until it is at least 40% grey. “Start with henna if possible. Go to salons for colouring because professionals know how to use chemicals well. Do not go overboard with colours; use them only when required. After colouring, look after your hair well. Preconditioning (before shampoo and wash) and trimming become important.”
He spells out a few simple guidelines: “If you have curly hair, go for layers. If you have straight hair, go for straight cuts without layers. Bangs look good on people with sharp noses. Bangs and bobs require extra effort in styling, so one should keep in mind the person’s lifestyle.”
With his salons operating in 120 cities across India and his hair academy claiming to have trained over 10 million students, he says is now at a stage where he prioritises hair education. “Ours has grown into a skill-based company and we train 99% of the staff who work in our salons. We want to grow everywhere, as a company.”
In the past, he has authored books on hair yoga, hair colour, professional styling and the attitude required to build a business. “All the books I have written are from my experiences. I have cut and styled hair madly, I have opened salons madly, I have done seminars madly. So these books are about what I have genuinely felt and done in life.”
Published by Jaico Books, Beautiful Hair, Beautiful You is priced at ₹359 and available on Amazon.in and bookstores across the country.