Aleisha Keswani, Freelancer
Aleisha chopped off this editor’s hair when we were both 16, and she lived to tell the tale. Now she “practices” on Bollywood celebrities and specializes in colour. She’s always been brassy, that girl. Call Aleisha at 9820815332, starts at Rs 8,000 for colour and Rs 1,800 for a women’s haircut.
Alessandro Calvio, The Taj Mahal Palace & Hotel Salon
Formerly presiding over the salon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai, this “international stylist” has now moved South. He flies into town for ten days every fortnight with a sharp pair of scissors and a natty Italian accent, and bestows his presence on only the very lucky (and the very rich). His next trip is slated for October, so start saving up now. Taj Mahal Palace & Hotel, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, call 66653366, Rs 18,500 plus taxes for a women’s cut.
Samantha D’souza, Samantha’s Salon
Sam is everyone’s favourite Bandra girl for her ability to chat and chop. bpb editors and their beaux swear by her quick cuts. Special mention for Behnaz at the salon if you’re looking for colour jobs or Keratine treatments. A-17, 1st floor, Elco Arcade Co-operative Society Ltd, Hill Road, Bandra (W), call 9820409749, Rs 2,500 for women and Rs 1,800 for men. Not available on Sundays.
Clarabelle, Clarabelle’s Studio
The foliage that covers this home is as lush as the manes inside it, each waiting for Clarabelle’s scissors. In the business for 36 years, this diva coifs celebrities old and new, ranging from Dimple Kapadia to Deepika Padukone. PS: She does a mean bob. Studio at Lilly Villa, 21, Convent Road, in the lane opposite Candies, Bandra (W), call 987010703, Rs 5,000 for men and women.
Dodo and Zing, Zido Salon
Dodo and Zing sound like characters from a story book for Brooklyn kids, but really, they’re a mad cool barber-colorist duo that have worked on “looks” for Aditi Rao Hydari and Ileana D’cruz. Shop no. 2, ground floor, Kalpana Building, 16th Road, Pali Naka, Bandra (W),call 919867299888, Rs 1,950 for men and women. Shut on Mondays.
Loic Chapoix, Dessange
Loic’s name popped up with almost every stylist we talked to – he’s one of Bombay’s most popular scissor-hands, especially if you have long locks that need a colour job. 502, Pali Road, Bandra (W), call 9769242619 / 2226000170, Rs 5,000 for a haircut, Rs 3,000 for a touch up. Available from Wednesday to Sunday.
He's a slippery one, this ambidextrous master of texture and "air in the hair", with tons of international magazine work under his belt, including with Vogue Spain, Elle Japan, Tatler.
Walter Dorairaj, Our Own Salon
This ex-bBlunt hairstylist has opened his own salon around Churchgate, a proud, quiet space where you can also get a pedicure to go with your new pouf. Shop no.2, Firuz Ara, 160 MK Road, opposite Cooperage Road, Nariman Point, call 22888810, Rs 3,300 for women and men, Rs 6,300 for highlights.
Keiichiro Hirno, Freelancer
He's a slippery one, this ambidextrous master of texture and "air in the hair", with tons of international magazine work under his belt, including with Vogue Spain, Elle Japan, Tatler, as well as shoots with homegrown stars such as Lakshmi Menon, Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor. Originally from Japan, he's known to fly in every few months to Mumbai for a handful of lucky clients. Catch him if you can!
Call +919819407997, price on request.
Afreen Khan, Affinity Salon
Afreen freelances at Affinity Salon and while she will follow instructions, she really gets creative when you surrender. Trust her with a colour job. Affinity Salon, Ambedkar Road, Bandra (W), call 9833645217, Rs 1,500 for men and Rs 2,200 for women.
Ity Aggarwal, Freelancer
Harper’s Bazaar editor Nonita Kalra’s always-impeccable fringe is testament to Ity Agarwal’s perfectionist attitude. Ity works with very few clients (a reference would help), and also specialises in hair styling – “I love updos.” Call 9820835096, Rs 5,000 for men and women.
Neha Nagpal, Rossano Ferretti, The Four Seasons Hotel
Sit in Neha’s chair and she will talk to you about “The Method”, where she cuts layers from the inside, giving your hair a fuller look and “creating movement”. The Method comes at a price of course, and if you’re feeling generous, regulars swear by her ability to match hair colour with skin tone. 1/136, Dr. E. Moses Marg, Gandhi Nagar,call 24818000, Rs 7,670 for men and women, available everyday except Sundays.
Ajay Taloya, Hakim’s Aalim
Ajay is best known for being one of Ranbir Kapoor’s hairstylists, which means appointments have to be scheduled in between his shoot dates. Yes, he is currently unavailable but back at work in a fortnight. 27 Krishna House, ground floor, Golf Link Road, Union Park, Bandra (W), call 26460044, Rs 1,500 for men and Rs 1,800 for women.
Sylvia Chen, Butterfly Pond
When Grazia Magazine’s fashion editor Pasham Alwani tells you where to get your hair done, you listen. Sylvia is travelling for the next week, so swim over to this pond after. Royal Terrace, ground floor, Woodhouse Road, Colaba, Rs 1,400 for women, Rs 1,000 for men.
Franco Vallelonga, Freelancer
This Italian barber from Australia has worked on shoots for labels like Burberry, Adidas and Sabyasachi. We hope he can make the time for you when he’s in Mumbai. Call Amrita on 9619729287 to make an appointment, price on request.
Honey’s Salon is buzzing with stylists who spend the rest of their days making others look good. Honey or Heena is the queen bee, who works wonders with long tresses, but her number is also constantly passed from one Bandra bro to another. G1, Purshottam Villa, 7th Road, Khar (W), off Linking Road, call 9920234446, Rs 2,500 for women, Rs 1,500 for men. She works Tuesday to Saturday, and on alternate Sundays.
Raaj Gupta, Freelancer
In between trips to Iceland & Hyderabad, Raaj Gupta, Shah Rukh Khan’s barber works out of Samantha’s salon, where he attends to non-starry manes. Call 9819989036, haircuts will be conducted at Samantha’s Salon, Hill Road, Bandra (W), starts at Rs 2,000 for men and women.
Yianni is the hand behind Aalia Bhatt’s tousled head on the February cover of Vogue. He has an agent, naturally.
Nishita Bawdekar, Freelancer
Our friends with the healthiest manes swear by Nishita and her hot scissors that claim to seal the most stubborn split ends. Plus there’s a certain charm about her house-run salon in Mahim. Better for a classic do; don’t try anything fancy. Call 9867982837, approx. Rs 2,000 for men and women.
Yianni Tsapatori, Freelancer
Yianni is the hand behind Aalia Bhatt’s tousled head on the February cover of Vogue. He has an agent, naturally, who you can email for a personal appointment. Psst: he is a hair extension specialist so if you’ve always wondered about adding a few inches, this Greek god is for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, price on request.
Akshata Honawar, Runah Salon
Akshata excels as a colourist, which means even if you don’t want to commit haircut hara-kiri and be disloyal to your current barber (remember he/she works with a blade), stop by here for a colour job. Runah Salon, Lower Parel, opposite High Street Phoenix, call 9820055790, Rs 3,500 for women and Rs 2,000 for men.
Hat tip to all our fancy friends for their recommendations: Kazim Delhiwalla, Kshitij Karia, Nimish Shah, Nonita Kalra, Pasham Alwani, Priyanka Shahani.
Photo Credit: Franco Vallelonga's Portfolio
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