Crafting the crowning glory

Najeeb Ur Rehman, whose hands have created magic with the locks of hair – be it the 89 models in the Miss world contest – 1996 held in Bangalore,  the cast of Monsoon wedding or the likes of Sonakshi Sinha, is a walking wikipedia when is comes to one’s coiffure.

He comes with a goldmine of experience, working with stylists all around the globe like Anthony Whitaker, Robert Seah, Tyler Jhonston and Tracey Hayes among others. A recipient of the Queen’s cup, one of the biggest hairdressing awards worldwide, in two categories – ‘ Best hairdressing’ and ‘ Best evening hairstyle’, Najeeb hides his achievements behind a veil of modesty, as he expains about the trends and texture that vary across India.

How do you trail the hair trend as we go from South to North?

Of course, there is change in the texture and tone, but when it comes to people accepting fashion, I find they are all similar. I have observed that when it comes to medium to lengthy hair, women mostly go for straightening. Most opt for shades of brown for colouring, but talk about darker shades, then there is a lot of inhibition – be it South or North.

Is there any peculiar trend that you noted in Chennai that sets it apart from the rest?

In Chennai, women mostly plate their hair or use bands. It is understandable because of the high humidity.  The wavy hair frizzes out by the end of the day.

Any solutions?

Yes, there are solutions to leave it open. It requires a change in the regime. A change in the usual shampoo and conditioner that they use. I would personally suggest Bonacure smooth and shine shampoo that works for coarse, unmanageable and dull hair. The styling products such as the Shwartzkoff’s Osis magic anti-frizz serum also would suit the Chennai hair.

How do you decide on which hairstyle suits each individual?

There are five kinds of shapes when it comes to a face. The hairstyle must complement this shape and profile of the person. For example, for those who have high cheek bones, wispy bangs in the front can help hide it. For those who have broad foreheads, I would recommend fringes and those with small foreheads, a puffed up hairdo would suit.

All this also depends on the comfort of the person of course. The customer’s suggestion is also taken into consideration.

So did you do the looks for Sonakshi Sinha in Lootera?

No, but I have worked with her for a launch. She has a broad forehead, so I went for something loose, with a few strands falling forward.

Have you worked with anyone from Kollywood?

Unfortunately, not. But I did meet many in the Bangalore fashion week recently.  I met Vijay and Rajinikanth and many others, whose names I forget now. Very nice people, I must say. I would to do hairstyles for them for some project in future.

The article was previously published in The New Indian Express. Check out –



Whip your hair back and forth!

Get to touch, feel and experience the hairdos, which were exhibited at the ramps of Milan, Paris, London and New York, right here in Chennai.

Bewitching. The display of magnetic hairdos at Schwarzkopf essential looks’ 13 , has the audience stuck to their seats like iron chips. With each new look displayed at the launch of its new colour range – Igora Royal, there is an arousal of consciousness among women as they tousle and stroke their locks, only to feel the lack of something – the colours.

Crisp reds, stunning chocolates and vivid blonds give that elvish touch to the hair that falls obediently, forming a neat curtain before the eyes. You are almost tempted to part it along the radiant highlights, but restrain yourself in the fear of destroying that beautiful symmetry that could give an inferiority complex to geometry in itself.

“Monomodes!” – the first hair design in the Colour buzz collection is on display at the Leela Palace. The crowd isn’t prepared for this. Their seats rattle and soon they are teleported into the sixties, shaking hands with the groundbreaking designers such as Pierre Cardin and Marrie Quaint.  The clean cuts, the smooth tranistion of colours and the neat tapering at the back is almost like an ode to the 60s vibe. The copper pastel colours alternating with shades of brown and bronze make one’s hair a perpetual ‘crowning glory’, as top model, Lisa Hayden, present among the crowd, puts it.

A silent mutiny to the symmetry of monomodes, is the next – White angles. Like the pleats in a Kimono and the precision folds done in Origami, the cuts look sculptured – straight and neat. A triangular A shaped pattern at the back, red longer locks in the front, violet shorter locks in the right – disorientated yet organised, it seems like a puzzle yet to be fixed.

Forget the 60’s, forget the Japanese. Let’s talk about the modern luxe. Glam chic lets you loose your eccentricity, lets you blend in and still stand out. The strong red highlights are hidden and the urban with an interplay of urban and beige colours that darkens at the top and lightens a bit to form the curls at the end, like the winding threads of a gold yarn.

‘If my mama likes the look, it’s not the look I want’ – this defines electric youth. Disheveled and rebellious, the cuts are tailored by chaotic chopping, with no rules what-so-ever. Not glamorous or shiny, the pastel colours on bold fringes and randomly taken sections is a conscious effort in creating a devil maker look. Well, a hair cut is not like a helmet, anyways.

The four new trends have their own set of crowds. If you had your hair-fetish voice within you raising to get one on yourself, let it dominate your heart voice for once.

The article was previoulsy published in The New Indian Express. Check out –