Head for style
He cuts, curls and styles the hair with a touch of class. Meet G. Ramesh, specialist in hair care and personal grooming
HE IS the man responsible for that youthful look of superstar Rajnikanth, politician Stalin and a host of other Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam film personalities. G. Ramesh, well-known hairstylist in the city, also specialises in grooming the complete personality of his clients.
"My career started when I was 12 years old at the Ambuli Saloon in Alwarpet," says 39-year-old Ramesh. "After working there for about five years I joined the gents beauty parlour at the Taj Coromandel hotel at Nungambakkam and it was during this period that I got the opportunity to be hairstylist for VIPs such as J.R.D. Tata, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajnikanth and a several Hindi and Tamil film personalities," he adds.
After gaining experience and confidence, Ramesh went on to open his own shop, which was inaugurated by Rajnikanth at Nungambakkam in 1987. Since then there has been no looking back. "I started life very humbly. I didn't even own a bicycle, I could not study beyond Standard IV but am glad I have made a mark as far as my profession is concerned," says Ramesh, who hails from a family of barbers. "My aim in life, right from a young age, was to become famous, not just rich," he says.
His clientele includes almost all Tamil actors, politicians, businessmen, IAS and IPS officers, besides the general public. "Some of my clients fix an appointment and fly down from Bangalore or Hyderabad just to have their hair styled and then return home." "It is hard work, talent and patience that have made Ramesh successful," says his wife Ann, who assists him in managing the salon. "As customer satisfaction is a priority, Ramesh goes out of his way to make his clients feel comfortable," she adds.
With about 24 well-trained staff, and three sections catering for the various needs of his customers, Ramesh works from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. "I recently opened another section for VIP clients (mainly cine actors) with four separate cabins to ensure privacy." His parlour provides treatment for double chin, wrinkles, hair loss and dandruff using the latest technology. A special effort is made to make bridegrooms look their best.
Ramesh was responsible for styling the hair of the late Shivaji Ganesan. Now, his grandson Dushyanthan also comes to him. "Besides Sarath Kumar, Vijaykanth, Vivek, Prakash Raj and Raguvaran, popular stars of today like Madhavan, Silambarasan and Siddharth are my clients," he says.
"My skills got wider recognition after Rajinikanth and Stalin began visiting my salon," he feels. He is now in charge of grooming and hairstyling for Madhavan, Surya and Siddharth for Manirathnam's next film "Ayudha Ezuthu".
"I learn a lot through observation. I closely watch people when I travel abroad. As I cannot read or write English or Tamil, I learn from observation," he says. Ramesh who has come up in life the hard way does a lot for the poor and needy by way of charity but shuns publicity. "Every month we undertake hair cuts for 600 visual, hearing and speech impaired kids at the Little Flower Convent free of cost," he says.
Actor Siddharth has this to say about Ramesh. "Ramesh has been my hairstylist since I was eight years old. A great thing about him is that he understands the human head so well (I mean the exterior!) and choose styles accordingly. Even when he is talking to about 20 people around him his concentration on the job never wavers. His talented hands transform your personality. You feel so good that you want to return to his salon every time you need a haircut."
Ramesh's future plans of expansion include a unisex parlour, a health club and an institute to teach the art of hairdressing to those interested and free of cost to underprivileged young boys. Ramesh's shop is located at 142, Continental Chambers, Nungambakkam High Road.
A. CHITHRAA DEEPA
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