Bangalore is home to a fairly eclectic mix of people, from traditional to cosmopolitan, with varying attitudes to beauty. Taking the limelight, though, is Bangalore’s large population of socialites, industrialists, sports personalities and models who regularly dazzle page three of The Times of India (known for its regular socialite sightings). Appearance is a priority, among the city’s mid to top echelon, which includes highly fashionable international wardrobes, fine jewelery, dramatic make-up, coiffed hair and polished nails (for the ladies). Men are generally expected to be clean-shaven and well-dressed.
Of course business attire is less flamboyant, but many people pride themselves on their appearance, and expect the same in return.
To cater to this market, there is a large array of beauty services in Bangalore, from hole-in-the-wall beauty parlours and home service visits to high-end day spas offering laser cosmetic procedures.
High-end beauty clinics have internationally-trained staff that offer personalised hair cuts, colour consultancy, facials, hair removal (threading is the popular local method), manicures and pedicures, foot baths, various styles of massage (including Indian ayurveda), aromatherapy, etc. While these are more expensive than the common parlour, such services will cost you a fraction of what you would pay in a similar facility abroad. For example, a haircut and shampoo in a trendy Bangalore salon will cost about Rs 600.
- Salon Squeeze (Lavelle road) run by fashion industry guru Prasad Bidappa, is popular with the city’s glitterati. It is a unisex salon open from 10am to 8pm from Tuesday to Saturday and 12pm to 8pm on Sunday. Going with a prior appointment is advisable, especially on weekends. Recommended for hair styling and treatments, facials, pedicures, manicures, etc. [Phone: 4112-1220]
- Spratt (Magrath Road) is a posh salon run by expert hairstylist Rita Spratt. It is best known for hair treatments which include colouring, styling, perming, re-bonding and, of course, cutting. [Phone: 2509-1110]
- Salon Mousse: This unisex salon has two plush outlets: one in an Indiranagar bungalow and another one at Marathalli. Besides the regular salon services, they have a range of treatments for your feet and hands. Both branches are open daily between 11am and 7pm. (4148-1267)
- Bounce (VM Road) delights with its funky interiors. The stylists take the time to acquaint themselves with your hair texture, facial structure and personality to create a style that complements you. [Phone: 41329100]
- Escape (Lavelle Road [Phone: 4149-7020; http://www.bouncehere.com/)
Massage and Spa Treatments
Most beauty salons also offer a range of spa treatments, such as traditional ayurvedic therapies and massages, aromatherapy, acupressure, Swedish and Thai treatments, and reflexology techniques. Generally, men provide treatments to men, and women to women due to local societal codes of conduct.
Some of the best day spas are:
- Asian Woman: The Villa (Koramangala) is, as the name suggests, women-only. Balinese-style, it offers various beauty therapies with full spa and salon services, including yoga. http://www.e-asianwoman.com/
- Spa.ce (Cunningham Road, among other locations) is a large spa offering services for men, women and couples, with lounge, jacuzzi and sunning area. http://www.spacethespa.com/
- Chandan Sparsh (100ft Road) is a luxury ‘FDA-approved’ sandalwood-based therapies spa where are treatments are completely natural using sandalwood in all its forms: powder, paste and gooey packs. http://www.chandansparsh.com/spa.asp
Almost all the five-star hotels have beauty salons and spas on par with international standards. Some of the best of these are:
- Angsana (UB CIty, among others) http://www.angsanaspa.com
- Jiva Spa at Taj Hotels (various locations) http://www.tajhotels.com/Jivaspas/index.html
- Golden Palms (Tumkur Road) http://www.goldenpalmshotel.com/spa_in_bangalore.html
- The Leela (Airport Road) http://www.theleela.com/locations/bangalore/spa