Starting Monday, Adhuna Akhtar and her brother Osh Bhabani will team up for their maiden TV outing, a show titled Be Blunt with Adhuna Akhtar, on TLC. The duo has shot six episodes in which they give makeovers to women in Mumbai and Delhi.
“It’s hair-centric, but there are aspects of fashion and make-up too, as they all go hand in hand,” says Adhuna. “These women are all in the process of change in their lives. We selected them on the basis of videos they sent in, explaining why they felt they deserved the change.”
The show also looks into a day in the life of the celebrity hairdresser — shoots for ad campaigns, magazines, films and other work outside the salon. “We’ve just finished working on Reema Kagti’s Talaash. We’re also doing Farhan’s (Adhuna’s husband, the actor Farhan Akhtar) hair in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” smiles Adhuna, recalling, “There are a couple of months to go. We had to arm-twist him into not cutting his hair.”
With the hairstyling industry mushrooming in the past decade, how has the brother-sister duo kept their place at the top? “It’s very important to have good competition. It helps keep us on our toes. I keep telling my team this — ‘You’re only as good as your last haircut’. That keeps us balanced.”
But what does she enjoy most — working in the salon, in films, or ads? “If I had my choice, I would just be in a space where I have a head of hair in front of me, which doesn’t talk; beautiful hair that I can just sculpt according to body proportion, bone structure and all the things that need to be taken into consideration,” says the ace hairstylist.
She goes on to explain just how much assessment goes into zeroing upon the perfect haircut for a client. “In all of five minutes, we go through a process of consultation that entails figuring out the person’s lifestyle, how much time they can spend on their hair as well as its natural texture,” says Adhuna. “Body proportion and body language are also important. When the client sits down in front of a mirror, you’ll often see they touch their hair in some way. And that gives you an indication of what they like or don’t like about their hair.”
To make her point, she describes the head-tousling action of someone who wants volume in their hair. And for those who have big hair, they’re always trying to pat it down or twist it.
What about the participants on the show? Any crazy haircuts? “Luckily, there were no disasters. A couple of them look more edgy than others but I feel craziness and avant-garde haircuts are not suited for salon floors. There are other avenues for such creative expression.”