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Crowning glory: 'Indian hair's the best'

Its silky texture makes it easy to work with, says Caroline Lannuzel -manager of L'Oreal's new hairdressing academy in Mumbai.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 17:46 IST

Sometimes a visit to a new dentist is better than an appointment with a new hair stylist. While a dentist just needs you to open your mouth to find the problem, a hair stylist needs you to open up your personality to get to the root of your problem hair, sayshair stylist Caroline Lannuzel.

The recently opened international hairdressing academy by L’Oreal,has as its manager, Caroline,a woman who believes that communication is the foremost skill hair stylists need to learn before they take to the tresses. Having lived three years in Mumbai now, Caroline came here from France via West Asia.

But the sojourn with the scissors began way back in the north of France, when she began doing up her mother and sister’s hair in her play salon. It wasn’t long before she got herself into a real salon even while she was going to school to earn her first French diploma.

Five years of training at the Jacques Dessange school in Paris and she felt confident eno ugh to cross the Channel to improve her English and try her skills in London. “I wanted to learn the language while I earned more money,” says Caroline, speaking fluently, albeit with a French accent.

      Caroline Lannuzel

Five years of work later, Caroline left the balmy British climate for the sunny Mediterranean weather. She spent a year in Cyprus with the Jacques Dessange salon before another stint with the same company in the Gulf.

She was instrumental in setting up the Jacques Dessange salons in Kuwait and Qatar. Finally, she moved to Mumbai, where she also got to work with international hairdressers such as Bertrand Kaiser and communication expert Julie Eldrett, before launching the L’Oreal Academy in January.

“I call my trainers educators,” says Caroline, explaining that being comfortable is the key to clients getting the desired look. “It’s crucial for my stylists to learn how to talk to clients, do a good diagnosis and understand what clients have in mind even if the latter are not articulate or expressive, or simply don’t know.” Hair styling is a term on its own, because it is different from hair cutting.

“It’s much deeper, more personalised,” says Caroline. “You don’t need to have a degree to join the academy, you just have to have a passion for the profession and good communication skills,” she says.

Confidence is what clients want, she explains.

Besides confidence and comfort, another goal for Caroline is to reintroduce the unisex salon, where one’s stylist can be of the opposite gender and still understand one’s specific needs.

The reason why Mumbai was chosen as L’Oreal’s first international academy is purely because the demand is higher here than any where else, says Caroline.

Indian hair is the best that she has come across so far, says Caroline. “It’s all about the texture. It’s silky and thick and that makes it so easy to work with,” she says.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 13:34 IST