HOW I GOT INTO THE STYLING AND SALON BUSINESS:
My parents were very supportive of my choice in this career. Also my inspiration, my hairstylist, guided me as to which schools to apply to and how to go about getting my qualifications, followed by a career path leading into the business.
MY EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:
I have studied and been qualified from the Vidal Sasson Academy, The Wella Academy in London, The Schwartzkopf Academy in Germany, plus courses in New York.
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO START STYLING AS A PROFESSION:
I used to see my hairstylist at her work, socializing at the salon, and loved the energy
HOW I WOULD YOU DESCRIBE MY PERSONAL SENSE OF STYLE:
Itâ€™s classic but with an individualistic update. I donâ€™t experiment with silhouettes or cuts, because Iâ€™m petite and know what suits my frame, but Iâ€™m more adventurous with my accessories. Shoes are my weakness and I will always make an effort to wear a nice pair, even under gym clothes! My greatest expression of personal style though is my hair being a hair stylist and having the luxury of maintaining a cut or colour that requires upkeep means that I can play around with my hair. I refuse to go blonde or brown (our national obsession) and like adding different hues. Letâ€™s call it my own manic touch.
WHEN IT COMES TO WORK, YOU CAN MOSTLY FIND ME WEARING:
Culottes in various colours, white capriâ€™s, knee length skirts and fun slogan t-shirts.
SONG(S) CURRENTLY ON REPEAT IN MY WORK PLACE:
The 70â€™s and 80â€™s hits.
A loose and scrunchy blowdry that gives off a beachy vibe.
MY FAV. ACCESSORIES THESE DAYS:
Rings, lots and lots of bling and hair bands.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, I THROW ON: Â Â
Track pants, a sweatshirt and joggers.
WORK QUALITY I AM MOST ADMIRED FOR:
I am very hands-on with my work. I give personal attention to each client.
WORK QUALITY I AM MOST HATED FOR:
I am a stickler for punctuality
I still somehow manage to get colour on myself when I am colouring a clients hair.
PROUDEST WORK MOMENT: Â
When I opened my own salon.
FOR LUNCH, I EAT: Â
Home cooked food. Whatever is on the menu, I love ghar ka khaana.
COOLEST PART ABOUT MY JOB:Â
I am my own boss!
WORST PART ABOUT MY JOB:
My work never ends, regardless of weekends or public holidays.
WORK ROUTINE ON A REGULAR day: Â
Salon appointments start at noon with haircuts or colour appointments. The makeup appointments start around mid afternoon.On a busy day, I am on the go till six or seven PM. On a relaxed day, I can manage to even sneak away time for lunch or get off by late afternoon on a busy day.
ADVICE FOR A YOUNGER ME: Â
Dear Natasha, you are tired, your feet are about to disown you, the teachers at college are drill sergeants, the models are nasty to you cause you are a junior, your fingers are hurting and pruned from being wet all day long. But donâ€™t cry! The new job has long hours, your boss has very high expectations from you, but this is the greatest learning experience you will ever have! Watch, in 10 years… Itâ€™ll all be so worth it and you will be grateful for every moment.
FOR BREAKFAST, I HAVE:
Fruit and black coffee.
UP NEXT AT WORK, I AM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:Â
SOMETHING THAT SURPRISES ME ABOUT THE INDUSTRY:
Itâ€™s great to see the industry growing and expanding so fast. People are coming from abroad with qualifications and credentials and itâ€™s great to see real talent entering in every aspect of the industry.
MY STYLE ICONS ARE:
Internationally, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, Madonna, Lady Gaga… I could go on and on! Locally, I must say Babra Sharif has a very edgy sense of style
PERKS OF OWNING A SALON:
Brightening peopleâ€™s day! It just feels so good when a client leaves the salon happy. Since I work so closely with my clients, I have formed many lasting relationships which is a huge perk as well.
MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE FROM MY CAREER?
My time spent working with Tariq Amin. All of it was amazing! The team, the friends I made in my colleagues, the work we pulled off together, the shows and projects, the constant bouncing of ideas and creativity, experimenting on each otherâ€¦ And of course, Tariq himself who kept us so inspired. There was certainly never a dull moment.
WORST CLIENT EXPERIENCE:
I canâ€™t recall the worst one but every now and then I get a client who even after the consultation and getting all the work done, just either refuses or tries to get out of making the payment.
FAVOURITE hair TRENDS FOR 2016:
Embracing the natural texture of hair is finally here. My personal favourite look is the no fuss, no hot styling tools, minimum product, look. For styling itâ€™s all trending towards easy, make at home, do-it-yourself hair doâ€™s like neater softer twists, side braids, or just teased and lifted updoâ€™s.
IF YOU COULD STYLE ANYONE WHO WOULD IT BE?
Iâ€™d love to give Mahira Khan a cool bob or even a Jennifer Lawrence inspired pixie cut. Internationally, I would love to work on Jennifer Lopez or Victoria Beckham.
Photography: Imran Fareed