Getting a haircut or even a wash for women is considered easy-peasy. But not so much for my hijabi friends. Shruti Gattani sheds light on salons that are trying to make a difference in a halal way.
For you and me, getting a haircut, is a very simple deal: Walk into a salon, and voila, come out looking chic. Is it the same for Muslim women, especially the ones who wear a hijab? I don’t think so. My colleague – a hijabi – recently was complaining over lunch on how her haircut has been due for six months and how it’s just not easy to go to any salon. Sometimes they make you sit in the storage room for a haircut, which is so not fair. Or at other times, their washing station will be outside and she will always have to be on guard. Thus the delay in her haircut!
Since many Muslim women keep their hair covered in presence of unrelated men, finding a place that doesn’t look like a dungeon is difficult. However, there are many souls who are beautifully tackling this problem by opening hijab-friendly salons. A new one recently opened in Brooklyn, with hopes that devoted Muslim women can pamper themselves with ease. Le’Jemalik, an Arabic phrase meaning ‘for your beauty’ is open to women of all faiths – and women only.
As per Rozza Ramli, owner of Karva Salon in Singapore, “Muslimah friendly salons are not a momentary trend but have become a necessity.” She further added, “The growth is due to the rising number of Muslim consumers who have become more discerning and confident of our customised services. In the past years, services such as ours were rare and not made commercially viable.”
Huda Quhshi, owner of Le’Jemalik, too echoed similar sentiments. “I have always had a difficult time finding a salon that could accommodate me, even for a simple haircut,” Quhshi told the New York Post. “We want women to be able to come in and feel completely relaxed.” Her new salon aims to simplify the pampering experience for Muslim women living in New York.
What makes a hair salon ideal for Muslimahs? PRIVACY! It is important that the women are treated in privacy. “In Karva, the women are pampered within a chandeliered space, along with complimentary extensive list of tea and other beverages. Additionally, prayer areas and a play corner for young children are also provided for guests who are busy moms,” Rozza proudly states.
Earlier when google did not exist, word-of-mouth would be the only possible way to know about a women-only or (moreover) halal-salons. To further strengthen these salons in the market, the women visiting them have to be satisfied with the products being used. Answering their concerns about haram ingredients, Rozza ensures that her salon chain only uses halal or botanical-based products.
Today’s target market has diversified. Girls as young as 12-years old visit the salon, hence more and more companies are venturing into this booming market and gaining a loyal following. Another brand that has become conscious and started with Muslimah Mondays is Swee. A Singapore-based salon, it caters to their Muslim sisters every Monday. “We let them go wild behind closed doors,” laughs Hali, the owner of the salon. “At Swee, we take the opportunity to beautify them and educate about haircare. From high fashion haircuts to newly-introduced hair colours, we give these women all, but as per the guidelines of Islam teachings.”
Don’t judge their hair just because they can’t show it. You’ll be surprised to see them donning the latest cuts and wackiest colours, inspired by their favourite Hollywood celebrity. It’s as simple as this: Why should boys have all the fun!