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Chand raat, when beauty salons rake it in

August 09, 2013
- File Photo
- File Photo

KARACHI, Aug 8: Though all beauty parlours in the city aren’t offering mehndi, or henna, applying services, they are still tending to hundreds of clients for other things such as haircuts, facials, etc., and hope to remain open till the early hours of Eid.

“We keep busy every day but chand raat is different, of course. We opened at 10am on Thursday and I don’t think we will be able of close before 5am,” said Shahida Abrar of Raveena Beauty Parlour in Khadda Market Defence.

“We are not applying mehndi at this shop because it can get a bit crowded in here but it’s going on at our other branch in the Tauheed Commercial area,” she said.

The Khadda Market branch, meanwhile, will be busy doing waxing, bleaching, facials, pedicures, manicures, haircuts and other hair treatments till morning. “We have been so busy since this morning that our non-Muslim employees haven’t even had a chance to have lunch. And we will take a few minutes break for Iftar only before getting back to work,” she shared. “We only get rest after reaching home in the small hours of Eid. We will be sleeping till the afternoon on Eid day, too.”

About their charges, she said that they varied for different services. “Haircuts can cost from Rs200 to Rs1,200 and hair treatments from Rs3,000 to 6,000. And skincare treatments such as face bleach and polish range from Rs200 to Rs800,” she said.

Chic Ladies Beauty Salon, another parlour in Defence Phase-II extension, used to offer henna application but has stopped this year. “It becomes just too chaotic,” said Mrs Najam Siddiqui.

“And then it is not worth it when the customers, who have to wait for a while for their turn, start quarrelling with one another as well as the mehndi wali. It’s usually just four or five girls tending to hundreds of clients after all. Such kind of unpleasantness hurts our parlour’s reputation. We can’t allow it,” she added.

Asked if they would lose out on business due to it, the parlour owner said: “Well, we’ll find out about it this time as we have only stopped this year. But I don’t think that the difference would be so great as anyway we are taking only 50 per cent of the earning from henna application. We are taking half as we are providing the girls who apply henna the space to do their work. Our own clients come for facials, haircuts, etc.”

Naveen Purabia, an expert in henna in Pakistani, Indian, Arabian and Sudanese designs, keeps very busy on chand raat. “I am at a place near the Anklesaria Hospital at the moment from where I will be heading to Defence and then to another place near the PIDC traffic intersection. After that I don’t know where I am going as my next client is yet to call me,” said the woman who visits her clients’ places to apply henna. “An application usually takes me an hour.”

About the most popular henna design this year, Ms Purabia said: “Well, most of my clients this year are seeking the round Indian designs.”

“It usually costs Rs150 per side for henna designs although the high-profile beauty parlours may charge up to Rs200 per side,” said a client, Zainab Shams.

“I have seen that around 100 per cent of customers going to beauty parlours on chand raat want henna on their hands, too. It’s after all a happy Eid tradition.”

The woman who is a regular customer at various beauty parlours happens to be a mother of a young daughter as well and says that nail paint and nail art is also very popular these days, especially among young girls. “Young girls also go for haircuts, waxing, cleansing but not that much make-up,” she said.

“Around 70 per cent of the city’s female population regularly visits beauty parlours but the remaining 30 per cent, those who hardly visit one, will also make it a point to do so on chand raat as everyone visits friends and relatives on Eid.”

Where women won’t miss a visit to the parlour, men also don’t want to be left behind and try to look their best for Eid. Shahid Abdul Rehman at the Mennen salon for men, off Khayaban-i-Shamsheer, said they won’t remain open till 5am like the ladies’ beauty parlours “but we expect to remain busy till midnight on chand raat.”

“Of course men don’t want anything to do with henna,” the beautician laughed. “Still there is haircutting, shave, massages, facials, threading to do,” he pointed out. “Our most popular facial is also the most costly at Rs5,000.”

Meanwhile, Ghulam Safdar, manager at Groom Well Salon for men in the Tauheed Commercial area, said they would close shop in the morning. “We will be busy till Fajr on chand raat,” he said, adding that most of their customers were young men who wanted haircuts, hair streaking, facials and even a shave. “They have no problem paying Rs2,000 to Rs3,000 for these services. Everyone wants to look like the Eid ka chand on Eid,” he remarked.