33 year-old Sri Lankan, Jishan Hewage is the Salon Director at Bounce in Bangalore. He shares with Salon India his journey into the salon industry
I had started out in the hotel industry back home in Sri Lanka, where the economy had reached a drastic situation due to civil ethnic war that was going on at that time. I decided to move into the salon field as I was inspired by one of the salon owners with whom I had an opportunity to work with. I was 24 and started from a basic level, which included sweeping the salon fl oors and then later standing with the trainers throughout the day, watching how they worked, after which they would start teaching me about hair. I had spent a good four years in that salon then realised that I wanted to venture out, which is when I moved to Bounce. The management also send out selected hairstylists for training programmes to reputed academies like Vidal stick to one style anymore, they prefer to try something new every time they come to the salon. We do get a lot of the college students and professionals. As far as brands and products are concerned, when I was in Sri Lanka, products like Nexxus, a European brand was popular, but in India, I work with L’Oréal, Shwarzkopf or Wella and today people are more into Kérastase. We used to keep Paul Mitchell, but it wasn’t really moving.
My wife is also in the same field. She handles the spa department in the same company. I am also going to be a daddy soon. I do miss Sri Lanka nowadays because there are a lot of things that are happening back home as well. I initially thought that I would come to Bengaluru for just a year and then go back to Sri Lanka, but then I ended up staying here for so many years.
Moments in your career
The most memorable moment in my career was when I won the L’Oréal Color Trophy 2006 in Mumbai for the Men’s Image.
Very often I come across clients who are not clear about what style or colour would suit them. They usually come asking for a European hairstyle or the look of a European, but it is diffi cult to make them understand that it all depends on the texture of their hair. It is something that we can achieve in the salon, but it is not something that the client will be able to maintain. However, clients are never willing to accept that.
I have now been in India for nine years. Indian women are now experimenting a bit more and trying shorter lengths of hair and colouring. A lot of clients who come for touch ups, would ask a few high lights on their hair. Even men’s style has changed. Men do not like to stick to one style anymore, they prefer to try something new every time they come to the salon. We do get a lot of the college students and Professionals. As far as brands and products are concerned, when I was in Sri Lanka, products like Nexxus, a European brand was popular, but in India, I work with L’Oréal, Shwarzkopf or Wella and today people are more into Kérastase. We used to keep Paul Mitchell, but it wasn’t really moving.
I like using Shwarzkopf which is really easy to work for shaping, mixing and matching. Here, at Bounce, we use L’Oréal, Wella, Schwarzkopf, and sometimes, even Kérastase.
My favourite brand of tools are Ikonic that comes with a range of curlers, irons, scissors, and more.
Permanent hair colour
There are a lot of products that do not have ammonia. Inoa is the best product in the market and it doesn’t dry your hair, but even then a client must be advised to go for hair care treatment and hair spas after colouring.
The hair industry
There are many salons that are coming up these days, but they have to take care to maintain the quality and kind of products or brands used, only then will you see a growth in the industry. In the next five years, I think hairstylists who work really hard and give 100 per cent to their job will find a bright future.
Advice to beginners
I would advice anyone who is interested in getting into this field to get into a good institute. In this industry you have to satisfy your customers and for this you have to give your 100 per cent.
If you work hard you will definitely be successful.
Would love to style
I would probably like to open something of my own someday, not sure whether that would be in Bangalore or in Sri Lanka. Sassoon and Toni&Guy where I had an opportunity to learn the basic and advanced training in London. My speciality lies in cut and colour.