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No post-nine beauty

The Capital’s beauty business is not headed for the night shift. Find out why the late-night concept can’t work for beauty parlours.

fashion and trends Updated: Oct 23, 2010 01:34 IST
Soumya Mukerji
Soumya Mukerji
Hindustan Times

While sundown salons take the West by storm, the Capital’s beauty business is not headed for the night shift. Indian beauticians say the late-night concept can’t work here, even as gyms and shopping centres push the hours. The reasons: safety concerns, infrastructural impediments and poor after-hour clientele.

"Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had proposed to keep city markets open till 11 pm. Tell me if it worked! Such an idea is not feasible in Delhi yet. Maybe we can work it out 10 years later, when Delhi is more professional," says hairstylist Jawed Habib.

BeautyStyler Ambika Pillai feels the same: "It’s not that New York or London don’t see dark fall, but we don’t have a culture of late-night markets like, say, Tokyo. Malls, too, close doors by midnight, so where’s the scope? MCD crackdowns will make sure home-parlours don’t work late, either. Work hours do stretch during the bridal season, but that happens by special appointment."

Most beauty centres in the city pull the shutters by 9pm. “It is not safe for employees to commute late at night. Such a concept may work in Mumbai, which is safer,” says makeup artist Vidya Tikari.

“Stretching it till 9.30 is okay. We get maximum footfall from 6-8.30pm. But a 24/7 spa-salon is a tall order, considering the operational costs,” says Sandeep Ahuja, MD, VLCC. Sparse clientele is another concern. “While this makes sense near a BPO, the concept would fail elsewhere,” says Gaurav Sadanah, co-owner, Looks Salon.

“We do keep our Saket branch open from 10 to 10, but I don’t know of a single salon, even in five-stars, which stays open all night,” he adds.

First Published: Oct 22, 2010 16:59 IST