City salons sweep awards at AIBHA 2009

It’s a good thing Rapunzel isn’t around now. Don’t think she could handle the competition. With salons burgeoning, and each offering the latest in hair and beauty treatments, girls, and even boys, have hair like Rapunzel, if not better.

Curls, colours — hideous and elegant, cuts ranging from wacky to sophisticated? nothing seems impossible for the present crop of stylists. With a pair of scissors, a make-up brush and comb, they can work miracles and make you look like Paris Hilton one moment, and Lauryn Hill the next. And, in recognition of their contribution, the AIBHA (All India Beauty Specialists and Hairdressers Association) Awards are given away every year.

The big battle

This year, the contest saw 108 stylists participating from all over South India. The day-long event had six categories — Techni Art Ladies Cut and Style; Techni Art Gents Cut and Style; Ladies Evening Hair Style; Nail Art; Bridal Make-up; and Wild and Wacky Hair Style.

The panel of judges comprised Simii Keer, National Technical and Academy Manager, L’Oreal Professional; Binaifer Pardiwalla, Key Accounts Artistic Manager for L’Oreal Professional; make-up stylist Marvie Beck; ace fashion designer Gavin Miguel; and Caroline Lannuzel of L’Oreal, Paris.

A fashion show organised by L’Oreal, along with impromptu make over sessions on stage, was part of the event. The GRT Convention Centre, the venue for AIBHA 2009, looked like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland with models garbed in exotic outfits — women dressed like butterflies, a garden, queens, trees with trunks, brides? luckily the Mad Hatter isn’t around. Hair dressers and stylists sit huddled together with their salon groups, chattering excitedly and occasionally running around looking for their models, who can’t do much with their elaborate head gear and nail extensions.

Chief guests saunter in —Mohiniattam dancer Gopika Varma, actors Lizzie Priyadarshan and a slightly bulky-looking Abbas. Tense moments follow before the results are announced.

Interestingly, the female stylists swept the awards with only five of the male stylists managing to win laurels. The Grand Champion trophy went to Ambika Devi of Stylesmith, Chennai. The show was brimming with talent, innovation and novelty. Some of the styles, especially in the wild and wacky section and nail art, were truly amazing.

It was apparent that hours and hours of hard work, detailing and planning had gone into every element. The most satisfying part was that all the categories except one was won by the salons of Chennai. On that note, three cheers to more good hair days!

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