Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Of Parlors and Paranoia!

I recently added my experience at Studio Profile, T Nagar on Chennai Burrp! Am posting it here on my blog for easy reference.


I went to Studio Profile T. Nagar on a Sunday for a pedicure. As they had opened recently, the parlor was fairly empty. There was no waiting time and I was led into an exclusive room which had two of those fancy pedicure chairs. The pedicure was done by a young lady who took care to switch on the massage option in the chair etc. before starting. The chair experience was really nice -- not something I expected in a parlor in Chennai which is not Page 3 or Oryza. But the chair did stop the massaging after a certain duration -- but I think we can live with that. The pedicure itself was also unhurried and relaxing.

So impressed was I by this cushy experience, that I decided to get myself a haircut also while I was there. I don't recall who the hair stylist was but I expected him to give me some consultation. However, he told me (much like my mom) about how not to get a haircut done and was not very excited. He was nice enough and it was refreshing to have a stylist give an honest opinion.

So, I went ahead and got just a trim done. As soon as the trim was over, the power went off (as is the norm in Chennai) and they informed me that they would not be able to blow dry my hair. I asked them if they did not have a generator and was informed that they did but it did not power the dryers. Do you know what the generator was for? For the bright lights and loud techno music!! I even went ahead and asked them that having a setup in this city, they should have amenities to provide for appliance backup... but of course, I realize that the stylists hardly have a say in all that! This is for the management to consider and rectify.

The silly thing was the stylist offered for me to come back in two hours to get my hair blow dried!!! Really? In two hours, one would think that my hair would have dried by itself! Plus, one of the many reasons one goes for a haircut is to get a nice blow dried look at least on that day... not leave the salon with damp, limp hair!! I told the stylist that since I was not getting a proper cut, they need to at least get me a rebate and he dutifully got me the hair cut price for short hair instead of medium. Which, at Rs. 650, was expensive considering it was only a trim. I am going to stick with Toni & Guy for hair cuts from now on.

I hope the management reads this review and makes sure that clients have an uninterrupted experience, especially because power cuts are a part of our life and we need to have substitutes in place.


I am not completely writing the place off, given how parched Chennai is for good parlors. That's one problem I have been facing for the last 3 years since I moved here. Places are just downright expensive, and they are not even fancy.

I mean, the really fancy ones like Oryza or Page 3 charge as much as 3K to 5K for a facial, not something I would want to shell out on a monthly basis. And with facials, I always have this nagging worry about whether they are even using products that are worth that much. I mean, come on, while you are relaxing on that table, how do you know what is being used? (Okay, please don't sue me here for defamation or anything. I am sure they are using good quality, renowned products -- this is just the paranoid me!)

And the not-so-fancy ones like Green Trends or Naturals are also expensive, compared to what I used to pay in Delhi and Mumbai. Oh how I miss Meghna in Green Park !!

When I moved to Mumbai, I used to be a VLCC regular because it was very nearby and I was okay with shelling out money for a branded parlor. Working in BKC/Kalina also gave me access to a super-efficient, super-reasonable parlor in Kalina which was actually meant for students. Eventually, though I also tried out Enrich -- which I found to be just right for me in terms of ambience, rates and efficiency.

The one place that I am really comfortable with in Chennai is Toni & Guy at EA Mall, Royapettah. I have been there only for hair cuts and I have always been satisfied. They are also fairly reasonable, given that they are an international chain and are located inside a mall. They have now also introduced a junior stylist rate for INR 550!

Now, with a window of only a year to spend in Chennai before moving back to Mumbai, maybe I ought to stop my hunt for the perfect parlor -- or may be such a thing as a perfect parlor does not exist!

Oh, how I miss Meghna @ Green Park, Delhi !


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