Everyone who knows me also knows that I have really bad hair. It's too fine, has no body, and is a stylist's nightmare. In fact, it really makes no difference whether I brush it or not because it looks pretty much the same eitherway. Now with such terrible hair, I've had a hard time almost all my life getting it cut and styled to my satisfaction. So many imes I have walked into a salon brimming with excitement over the anticipation of the new look, and walked out in abject dejection over the actual new look. In my mid-twenties, living in London, I happened to find Maria, who performed a miracle with my hair, and transformed me from an ugly duckling into beautiful swan.
Sadly, my decision to return to Bangladesh for good, also meant transformation back into the ugly duckling, and no matter which salon I patronized, the before and after results were the same. Shorter hair, certainly, but a very similar look. I had pretty much resigned myself to fate when one fine Summer day a year or so ago, on the reference of a coworker, I found Naureen.
Naureen is the proprietress of Studio Salon. She studied fashion designing in India, and then was inspired by her mother's legendary talents in the world of beauty styling to venture into the world of hair and makeup. She trained at Toni and Guy in Singapore for cut, at L'Oreal for color and in makeup at Lancome. She then returned to Dhaka in 2005 and opened the gates of Studio Salon.
Compared to the 'beauty parlours' of Dhaka, Naureen's place is small in terms of sqaure footage, but her talents have quickly earned her an exclusive clientele. Her salon caters to both women and men, and once you have been spoiled by this young and energetic cut and color specialist, you would not dream of venturing anywhere else. She has even converted my husband, a die-hard 'men's hair should be cut by male stylists because women stylists don't understand it' believer. He literally preens after a trip to Naureen's, while I suppress a smile, and a wicked desire to gloat - I told you she's the best!
Naureen is popular with both expats and locals, and she 'understands' different kinds of hair, instictively knowing what style would best suit the person. She possesses a trait missing in most stylists - she's a good listener. She always listens to what haircut you want , how long you want your hair and what color you want it. Equally important, she is able to follow through and provide you with the exact look you found on Kate Holmes in last month's Elle.
Naureen is also a talented makeup artist, and she has triumphs such as the Prestige Bengal Show (Bvlgari at the Westin and Givenchy at the Radisson), and the recent BGMEA fashion event to her credit. The models all looked drop-dead gorgeous, thanks to Naureen's magic touch. In fact, I'd say that she will soon be giving the leading beauticians of the country - the Farzana Shakils and Kaniz Almas Khans and Sadia Moyeens - a run for their money.
The Studio Salon has all the modern facilities for hair styling and makeup and also specializes in skin care. It is clean, well-lit and has genuinely friendly and helpful staff, not those made-up-from-tip-to-toe snobby asistants who make you look and feel inferior because you are in need of some styling, and who come across as oh so superior just because of their specialized knowledge.
Not only does Naureen make my hair look fabulous which in turn makes me feel beautiful (now please allow me some flights of fancy!), but we get along really well. She is friendly and gracious, and the advice she gives on hair care products, different hair styles and hair care equipment is the genuinely caring advice of a friend who happens to be a professional. The best combination! She is also a kind and compassionate human being, and we share a love for dogs and other animals. Take a look at the two goldfish she has in a bowl to keep her company at work. She is very, very careful about caring for them. Over the months that I have known her, I have started to think of her as a younger sister, and we swap travel and family/friends stories with great familiarity.
Naureen, I want to tell you that you are not only a talented stylist, but everyone that you work with seems to love you as a person! And that is undoubtedly the secret to your success.
So if any of my readers are living in Dhaka and are trying to find an experienced stylist with enthusiasm, knowledge and a pleasing personality, look no further. Studio Salon is open for business Saturday-Thursday, from 11am to 8pm. It is located at Road 11, Banani, above Trendz/Baskin Robbins/Coffee World.