The spunky, twenty-eight-year-old hairstylist Preeti Singh has recently teamed up with Daniel Liao to open their very first Rock Paper Scissor salon in Bengaluru. The young maestro talks to Salon India about her dazzling career as a hairstylist and instructor, which she believes can become a reality only with single-point focus and dedication.
Beginning of the career
I love make-up art. Even as a kid, I loved rummaging through my mother’s closet to dig out her make-up kit and try on things that I found inside it. When I was around 19, during my college vacation, I found out that b:blunt in Mumbai was looking for a fresher and I was very happy to join them as a receptionist. While at b:blunt, I gradually grew more inclined towards hair dressing. That is when I got my calling. Right after finishing my studies, I decided to pursue hairstyling.
I am a very impulsive person; when I want something, I want it right then! I took up the six-month foundation course at Nalini & Yasmin salon in Bandra and started working with them. There, I worked for a couple of months before I got an opportunity to move and work in Dubai. In Dubai, I worked for a company called Juice for three years, starting from being an assistant to a junior hairstylist. Then I came back to India to join b:blunt as a senior hairstylist and instructor. b:blunt is a company that offers you ample opportunities in different aspects of hair dressing. They also give you the option to do shoots. So before I got into the b:blunt academy, I got an opportunity to assist for shoots. Then slowly I got to be the assistant at the academy as well, following which everyone was made to go through a trainer programme where we were trained and assessed based on our qualities. I eventually worked as an instructor there.
I came to Bengaluru because of b:blunt. I used to travel a lot as an instructor. We would travel to Delhi for two weeks and then Bengaluru for two weeks and every time I came to Bengaluru, I would just fall in love with the weather there. I mentioned this to my then boss, who suggested that I should move to this city. On coming to Bengaluru, I managed the b:blunt salon as well as the academy. My role was not only that of an instructor but I also managed the academy, in terms of scheduling other trainers and conducting their soirees and everything that goes in with the academy.
Rock Paper Scissor salon
The Rock Paper Scissor salon was a long awaited dream that I managed to execute in Bengaluru. I feel that there is a lot that one can do in in this city in terms of hairdressing, even though the city is not as exposed as Mumbai. My partner, Daniel Laio, who is also a hair stylist, and I have made this place with a lot of passion. This salon is 1,600 sq.ft., with 1,200 working space. My sister did the interiors and personal touches. I deliberately chose this location at Promenade Road because it is centrally located. The idea was to give clients a place to walk in and hang out.
On the Indian hairdressing industry
When I started out and when I would tell people that I was a hairdresser, they would ask why I couldn’t find another job. They would constantly ask questions like ‘Why are you doing this?’, ‘Why don’t you study?’, or, ‘Is this the career that you would like to choose?’
Today, I think a lot of people know more about the profession and they appreciate it! The whole perception about hairdressing has changed. I think it is because of all the companies and brands that have come into the country, especially the known brands that have made people more aware of the products they use. Therefore, a lot of people are getting into hairdressing right now.
Near future of hairdressing industry
If someone is making the trends and bringing a change in the world, then hopefully the hairdressers in our country would also be world renowned someday. The key to hairdressing is education and since education is increasing here in India, I think we are catching up with the rest of the countries. Hairdressers like to get themselves trained constantly and are looking forward to getting themselves educated. So, five years down the line, I think hairdressers would reach formidable places.
Nothing that I could not overcome.
The biggest break for me was when I got a chance to work at the Dubai Fashion Week. Next, I got a chance to do a lot of films and also work on editorial photo shoots and commercials where I worked behind the scenes as part of the team. We always see the finished product, but once you are behind the scenes, it is entirely different. That is the biggest achievement for me.
Trends for the coming season
I think a lot of people are accepting and loving the way their hair naturally is now as opposed to what it was a couple of years ago when people would do a lot of straightening. Nowadays when I go out, I notice that a lot of people are experimenting a lot with their hair, such as braiding and tying their hair up into a bun. A lot of people are very focused on doing a lot of stuff unlike the regular, straight blow-dried look.
Advice to upcoming hairstylists
Focus and dedication. Hairdressers these days are having it a little easy as opposed to what we had to go through. I think the key to climbing the ladder cannot be easy. So, every hair dresser has to go through each and every stage before they reach somewhere. For example, once out of the academy, get a job somewhere and start cutting, which is great, but you have to go through that phase in order to realise how things are done. I think that is how I have achieved whatever I have achieved so far. I have been through every stage.
L’Orèal, of course, has been with us. I also work with TIGI in terms of styling but when it comes to hair care, which is my focus area, I think Kerastase is the best. I intend to get a Mira Curl that gives instant curls rather than putting hair through a curling rod.
On permanent hair colour
I think it is a beautiful option to be able to change your hair colour based on your skin tone and eye colour. When there is a tool that helps you to make your hair more interesting than what it already looks, I think that is a superb idea but, of course, only when it is used in a correct fashion. I think it is very important for hairdressers to educate clients about hair colour but to do that, it is crucial for a hairdresser to know everything about it. The wrong colour job can put the client off and it would also not do very well for the hair.
I was born and raised in Mumbai where I did my schooling and college. The only time I moved away was when I was in Dubai for three years. Now that I have moved here in Bengaluru, it pretty much feels like home now that I have my salon here. This salon is my life; I am married to this. I still keep travelling as I am part of the L’Orèal project, which gives me a chance to go to Mumbai every month and I will be travelling across the country very soon. I also make it a point to visit my hometown once in three months.
Salon and yourself five years from now
My immediate step would be to stay focused on this salon, training the people who are working with me and training them well enough so that when I have to step out for any project, they can take the reins. I am confident that I can do this. Then I plan to teach and maybe extend this brand into an academy. Once this is successfully achieved, I would think of another branch. I would definitely want to have a salon in Mumbai because I feel I have clients in place who have been calling me.
Personality that you would like to style
I have had the opportunity to work with Amir Khan. I have worked with Kareena Kapoor Khan and Rani Mukerjee as well. So those people are among my favourites. I have been fortunate and very lucky to get whatever I had wished for, especially in this industry. I love Rian Gosling and would love to style his hair.
Salon: Rock Paper Scissor Salon
Address: No. 40, G2, Ground Floor, Milwaukee Building, Promenade Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore