Training gen-next in beauty
Nalini Naegamvala, the pioneer of India’s salon industry and an iconic educator, has many new ideas for hair education. She is completely devoted to the cause of helping the underprivileged. She shares her story exclusively with Beauty Launchpad.
Hair education in India is far better today than it was when I started my salon 45 years ago. We were the first salon to teach hairdressing as there were no schools back then and we had to train the staff in order to have qualified stylists working with us. Some of the finest stylists in the country have been trained by us and quite a few salon owners, too. I was interested in a salon with qualified staff hence the interest in education. In spite of being a busy stylist and a salon owner, I managed to conduct training (don’t ask me how!). Thereafter education became a passion, especially when we started training our helpers who in turn became our assistants. When Yasmin (erstwhile partner) and I started getting very busy, we taught our helpers to blow dry and hair set after we did the haircut. This worked out so well as we now could carry on cutting hair while these helpers did the hair set. As time went on, these girls from lesser privileged backgrounds brought their friends and soon this turned into a new career and also my passion. I realised how a woman with hardly any education, when given encouragement, can turn into a great asset to the salon, to herself and her family. What mattered is that we had helped a woman to make her life. This became an important career, and now is a major part of my life. I have innumerable stories of success of so many women who started their hair journey this way. Today, in my retirement years, I devote my time to the development of the lesser privileged and have various basic courses in hair, beauty and spa.
Heading the education brigade
Whilst trying to get them placement after doing the course, I came across their friends or relatives who needed jobs. This sparked new interest in me. These women need some kind of employment/ counselling bureau. I realised that the poor, especially women, just need affection, guidance and help to get on with their lives.
With this inspiration, I have collaborated with other associations for the education-on-wheels project. We are in the process of finalising a bus, which will school young girls who are not allowed to travel far by their parents. It is an important project, which is being initiated by Salaam Bombay, FICCI Flo, and Masoom. These prominent NGOs have asked me to set it up and I look forward to this venture. A travelling school is an incredible idea as the bus will go from one area to another training students. This will take a while as there are various clearances required by authorities. I hope it comes through.”
“Today, in my retirement years I devote my time to the development of the lesser privileged and have various basic courses in hair, beauty and spa.”
Founder, Nalini of Nalini and Yasmin Salon