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The mane attraction

Sri Lanka's famed Salon Nayana was launched in Chennai this past week. Its Image Consultants offers interesting personality-grooming programmes for individuals and corporates and hair and beauty courses for professionals.

"Thanks to my frequent visits to Chennai, I know its pulse. Over the years, I've closely followed the beauty scene here, and there certainly is a vacuum. That's precisely why I chose Chennai for the launch of my first overseas establishment," says a gleaming Nayana Karunaratne of the Salon Nayana chain in Sri Lanka.

Having been in the beauty business for over three decades, Nayana brings to Chennai, not just her expertise in hair styling and beauty solutions but also an academy that offers intensive training to aspiring professionals.

Personally supervising the finishing touches being given to her salon (Sterling Point, 124 G.N. Chetty Road, T.Nagar, phone 8256064), Nayana, who has also authored "Matter of Hair", a manual for beginners and professionals says, "Ours is a unisex salon with stylists certified by premier institutions. Right from the way the beauticians are turned out for their work to the personalised service, everything is taken care of meticulously."

Nayana herself has undergone extensive training at globally acclaimed institutions like The Alan School of Hair Dressing in London, Rever School of Hair Dressing in Hong Kong, Wella, Lancome, Elizabeth Arden and Schwarzkopf in Germany. "We see to it that all our stylists and beauticians are equally trained. Appraisal and updating of skills are done frequently," says Nayana, also the official beautician for Air Lanka.

At a glitzy launch this past week, the varied skills of the Salon Nayana team came to the fore as live demonstrations of make-up and hair styles were presented. At a fashion show that followed, the trendsetting hairstylists displayed their deft hands with styles ranging from quirky crops to classic braids. The head turners included some cool chic styles for men and kids.

When asked about the hair styles in vogue, pat comes the reply, "I think the emphasis is now on healthy hair. Styles are secondary. Beauty and hair experts are underscoring the importance of healthy hair — the outcome of nutritious food, stress-free life and a regular clean-and-wash regimen."

Taking about her other venture — Image Consultants, Nayana explains, "According to me, a good degree is not just enough. One has to evolve into a fine personality as well. We at Image Consultants hope to fill this lacuna by offering personality development programmes. The packages are attractive and cover individuals and corporates."

The grooming sessions (Rs.1,200, 9.30 a.m to 4.30 p.m) cover various aspects like positive thinking, body perfect, personal hygiene (hair, nail and skin care), make-up, dress sense and posture. Specialised areas include social etiquette, dining etiquette, time management, working wardrobe etc. Incidentally, Nayana's programmes have been included in the training pool of leading corporate establishments like John Keels, ANZ Standard Chartered Bank and Colombo Hilton Hotel.

That's not all. For aspiring beauty professionals too, Image Consultants offers short and long term courses on hairdressing, professional make-up and beauty.

Would the promise of premium quality mean prohibitive pricing? "It's reasonable. Look at my style," she says, pointing out to her shoulder length hair. "A cut like this would cost Rs. 500, inclusive of shampoo and blow dry. But what's important is the versatility of the cut. I can style it in six different ways you know." Well... that's a relative issue. Go and check it out for yourself. After all, looking good in today's context is a big investment - of time and money, isn't it?


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