I feel like I am cheating on Waris. As I gingerly step into the Lakme Absolute Salon (Yes, it’s unisex and they have treatments galore for the male folk), my thoughts are on how Waris, my regular hair stylist for more than a decade, would react if he finds out I let someone else cut my hair. Last time I went back to him after doing a similar review elsewhere, he had sniffled, started talking in low tones and generally looked at me as if I had given him a colonoscopy against his will throughout the cut and colour session.
The stylist in question is Asif, a ‘backstage hero’, the term Lakme gives to stylists who do hair and make-up at its Fashion Weeks. We go through a detailed Q&A about my hair, issues and specifically my job and lifestyle (he wouldn’t recommend streaks if I was working in a bank, or, say, attending to Yogi Adityanath’s cows, for e.g..) before we embark on the session - while I was ok with some colour to cover up my encroaching greys, Asif wants to go further - a pouf at the top and some subtle streaks of a mix of brown and beige is his recommendation.
There is no needless talk aimed at a generous tip, but he doesn’t speed through the routine either. Every movement, be it a race of the scissors, or an expert massage of the hands on the scalp, showcases the expertise of a man who knows his trade. The products used are chemical-free and imported. After the cut and colour and shampoo, I enjoy the lush organic cool hair spa treatment, which includes a heavenly essential oil massage followed by mask and mint serum. As if that wasn’t enough, he gives me a bonus moustache and facial hair styling, too! Looks like my cheating days could continue.
Cost: Hair cut starts at 500 rupees and goes up depending on the hair stylist. There are 98 treatments for men, with the most expensive, the fashionista facial, coming in at 8,500 rupees.
Where: Lakme Absolute salons are a notch above the regular Lakme salons and are present in Delhi (A6, South Ex Part One), Mumbai (227, Diamond Link, Off Linking Road, Bandra) and Bengaluru (1 MG-Lido Mall, Someshwarpura, Halasuru)