BE Exclusive: Aalim Hakim Says “Work Smart & Do Better Every Day”
Aalim Hakim is a name that commands immediate admiration and respect in the Indian hairdressing industry and beyond, yet this master of celebrity makeovers and inspiring artistry chooses to stay humble and stick to his dedication to the craft. Speaking to Esha Gakhar over an Instagram LIVE session, Aalim delves deep into his beliefs and hopes for the industry.
Milestones & Recognitions
For me, the most rewarding experience is people appreciating my work. But I do not dwell on it — if I have done good work today and get appreciated for it, I am happy and then, I forget about it. Because tomorrow is a new day and a new challenge. I do not want to keep tabs on the work I have done — good or bad, or the money I am making. It’s all about enjoying the recognition and celebrating it at that moment and moving ahead with the aim to do better the next day. Tomorrow you could fail; for example, an actor could have a hit film followed by a couple of flops before they can deliver another hit. The same is possible in hairdressing too — so my focus is to work hard every day and be consistent with the results. You have to keep reinventing yourself and your craft. Keep learning, learn from others and help others learn too — do something new and start a new chapter every day.
NextGen & Future Industry
It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced hairdresser or a young professional — I want everyone to make the best of their talent and abilities to be successful. I wish for everyone to give their best and make the fraternity proud so that Indian hairdressing industry earns the name and fame it deserves. Practice mutual respect and learn from each other’s work, have gratitude and never forget the people who teach you the craft. Stay honest and humble, and you will always succeed.
Balancing Work Pressure & Expectations
When you are not doing well as an artist and if your work suffers because of that, no business strategy can save your name. Nepotism is not suited for the artistic world — if I do not perform well and prove my abilities, no one will come to me for a bad haircut because of my name or my father’s legacy.
When Binaifer Pardiwala at L’Oréal Professionnel sent me abroad for training, I realised how I have wasted the first 3-4 years in my career because of the lack of proper hairdressing education. When your foundation is strong, you will work smarter; otherwise, you’ll keep working hard but never achieve the same results. Once you understand what you are doing wrong, it will be easier to correct yourself and work better. And to do that, you need the proper guidance at an academy.
Ethics in the Industry
I have always been against poaching, which we are increasingly hearing about in the industry today. I have been vocal about the practice and will continue to do so. Poaching will never make you a successful brand. If you are luring someone away with money, you need to keep in mind that they could be lured away from you as well. If you want to build a strong team, educate them and train them — set up your own academy and mould your artists to be successful and in turn, make your business flourish too.
Changing World. Changing Industry
Take the effort to understand your business, keep an eye on your cash flow, pay vendors on time, pay your taxes — run your business honestly and ethically to keep it safe in any unforeseen circumstance.
I love collecting shoes — including limited edition ones, that I wear rarely. I collect shoes whenever and wherever I travel; in fact, my wardrobe has more shoes than clothes. Even my actor friends are intrigued by my shoe collection, and often ask about where I get particularly unique ones from!
*This is an excerpt from the original interview published in Beauty Launchpad India September 2020 digital issue. Photos: Instagram/Aalim Hakim