October 23, 2011

I am nobody without my hair, I just love them!

'Aur kitna waqt lagega?' Barber: 'Sa'ab, paanch minute lagenge, aap baithiye idhar, inke baad aap hi ka number hai.' Me: 'Hmm, theek hai. India khel rahee hai (looking at the TV), kya lagta hai kaun jitega?' Barber: 'Sa'ab, Sehwag chala gaya ab sab kuch Gambhir ke upar hai, balla chalega toh jeet sakte hain hum'. Me: 'Chalega, chalega! Gambhir itni furti ke saath khel raha hai, mujhe lagta hai ki hum nikaal lenge.' Barber: 'Haan sa'ab, aa jaiye, ab aapka number hai.' Me: 'Tight rakhna, peeche se square, side se sharp and upar se medium - bilkul pichli baar ki tarah, aur dheere daudana apni kainchi, koi jaldi nahi hai' Barber: 'Jee sa'ab, bilkul yaad hai. Apna sar aaghe kijiye, thoda side mein.' (with a smile).
The barber takes the spray pump and sprays from all sides which makes me feel my head is surfing in a cool wave! It is one those rare feelings which comes when you go for a hair cut at your local barber shop. He combs my wet hair from front to back in one go and picks up the scissors with a keech keech sound ready for the first cut.

Barber's seat
He advances by cutting from the back and starts the conversation about the match, Indian politics, Mumbai metro and what not?! Whatever you want to talk on, he has them all ready! Sometimes I wonder if he weren't a barber, he could have been a good journalist, at least an AajTak one for sure. In between, he suddenly says 'Sa'ab aapke baal bahut achche hain, bade mulayam se hain aur kanghi bhi achchi gir rahee hai. Aap chhote katwate ho par mujhe toh yeh bade baal hi achche lagte hain.' Me: 'Kya karoon, nahi katwaunga toh mere office wale mujhe garage wala samajh lenge!' Hahaa (both laughed). 'Tum achcha kaatte ho, is liye laut ke yahan aata hun.' Barber: 'Bahut log aate hain baal katwane, zara zara si baat pe garam ho jate hain. Aap shant rehte ho aur is wajah se main achche se kaat pata hun. Achcha lagta hai jab aap kursi pe hote ho. Sa'ab idhar se chote karun?' Me: 'Haan, zara sa bas.' The barber cut my hair perfectly, I paid him and thanked him with a smile. He too reciprocated with a smile as a symbol of the unsaid bond we share. That was my previous experience at the barber's shop.

Note: I usually write in English but this conversation between my barber and me was deliberately written in Hindi to capture the magic and charm that comes along with it. However, for non-Hindi readers, here's the jist of the opening paragraph - I tell the barber how I expect him to cut my hair and he begins to cut. In between, he tells me that my hair are very good and soft which allows him to comfortably comb through. He adds that I want to get it short but he personally likes my big hair. The bottom-line is that he enjoys cutting my hair as a part of his job. This statement coming from a person who touches, feels different strands of hair is definitely one of the best complement I've got for my hair. Without them, I would have been nothing, not the guy I am. But then, it wasn't like this always. I had tough times handling my hair during my life as a student. They always used to get messed up, looked unkempt and made me look shabby.

My Ammi noticed about this discomfort first and advised me to use the shampoo and conditioner for my hair at least twice a week. I understood shampoo but what on Earth was a conditioner? I bet many boys wouldn't know this (Haha, go ask them!) Later, I came to know a conditioner is also a hair-care product which ease combing and styling. Basically, it's like an add-on supplement without getting into the science of it. Watch any shampoo ad, observe the flying molecules and you'll figure out. I agreed to follow my Ammi's advice and initially didn't find any difference apart from the sweet fragrance that used to come along as soon as I came out of the bathroom. I must add, it felt good! My Ammi was not the only one to advice me, my grandmom, my aunt, even one uncle - all of them gave their own piece of advice. One aunt from a small town asked me to apply some special mitti (soil) on my hair for a day. I was like - what?! It may have been a good practice but I simply laughed it off.

As I advanced to the next phase of my life, i.e. job, I had lesser time to take care of my hair. There were days when I couldn't shampoo for a week and then my hair would become like some jute mat! A horrible feeling by the end of the week. One thing which I never used to do earlier was to read about the different type of shampoos. I started reading about the different variants of the same brand available on the store shelves and then made a selection depending on my need. It could be plain anti-dandruff, or for silk and shine, or for dry hair, etc. Try reading the pack details next time before you buy one, you'll be surprised that there are different shampoos for different needs. The anti-dandruff shampoo that you usually pick up without much of a thought may may not always be the best solution for your hair. Being a guy, it may feel a little embarrassing but then it's your hair dude, if you don't care, the floor-guy certainly ain't going to come and tell you 'Sir, take this one, this is good for your dry hair!' A little reading can help make you choose wisely. If you still feel shy, then just note the name, come back and google on the net. Today, thanks to some aggressive marketing, all major shampoo brands ensure that the it's easy for a customer find something he's looking for. These companies make such information snippets available on their websites and some of them even have an interactive microsite to help you choose the right shampoo. You will come across many opportunities to 'like' someone's Facebook photo, tweeting or whatever you keep doing but take out a minute to look at the new Dove Nourishing Oil Care Range. Their tipshome remedies and myths are worth a quick read.

I have tried various shampoo brands and my top selections in no particular order (perhaps top-of-the-mind recall) are:
Good shampoo brands in India
  • Head and Shoulders - very good for anti-dandruff.
  • Garnier Fructis - for making your hair silky, shiny with good fragrance.
  • Dove Hair Care - Ammi started using since a couple of months, feels soft and extremely light on the head. It just refreshes you, just try it!
  • Pantene Pro-V - recommended by Aunt, it makes hair smooth.

Once you have selected a shampoo of your choice, you got to make sure that you apply it at least twice in a week of five working days (three would be better). And how? Well, wet your hair and take some shampoo in your palm. Add a few drops of water and massage your head for 2 minutes. Make sure you don't leave any corner. Now rinse with straight flowing water till the the foam flows away. Thereafter start rubbing your head under flowing water, I sometimes shake my head like a footballer, it's fun! Wipe your hair with a good soft towel and neatly comb. Simple, right?

Girls would already know so much that my post here would appear irrelevant to them but guys, if you are not serious about hair care yet, then you should right away! We live a busy life and have so my commitments to fulfill and often end up spending less time on taking care of ourselves. As Dove puts; love your Hair and it loves you back! To add, if you don't love your hair now then soon you may end up sitting at the reception of Dr. Batra's Clinic. Decide and make a bald, oops I meant a bold choice!

I feel that listening to my Ammi's advice some 7-8 years ago has made me what I am, how I appear, what people think of me today. Although I have had super short hair-cuts almost bald-like thrice which surprised my friends and colleagues (two of them couldn't recognize me), I can't imagine a day without my hair follicles. Once your hair grows healthy, you can fiddle with it, experiment, try different styles, make that perfect impression you always wanted to. Biochemically hair is keratin, i.e. dead protein but I love my hair and it loves me back, that's how we both are! Some rockstars (my hair) have turned white but I don't feel like killing them, they have a place of their own on my crazy head!

I'm not that good looking but I'll leave you with a collage that I made for the IndiBlogger Dove Contest to showcase some of the different hairdos I have flaunted. Every photo in the collage has a 'wow' story of its own. Perhaps, I can share over a cup of coffee some other day. Super-short crop, short, spike, medium, long, etc - there's nothing I haven't tried and trust me for each individual style you need to take good care of your hair so that you can carry it wherever you go.

IndiBlogger Dove Contest - My Hairdo Collage

If there's some style missing, just tweet to me at @arifkhan7 - I'll get it done next time for you as I experiment a lot on my hair. And yes, here's the pep twitter conversation I had with Vineet Rajan @vineetrajan from my favorite blogging community IndiBlogger which actually pushed me to take part in this contest!

Vineet - Dude, I, a guy wrote this post, now where's my iPad2? Haha. ;)

Bubble-up - the Arif way!
I hope you enjoyed the narrative of my little rockstars and will take good care of your hair.

Love is a two way street: Love your hair and it loves you back! However, after all this if nothing works out for you then don't worry at all. I have a creative solution for you. Just chill, feed your hair with Coca Cola and see your little rockstars bubble up! It may sound crazy but you'll feel you are on top of the world with your rockstars singing the 'happiness' note above your head. And ssshhh... this is our little secret, keep it between us! ;)

If you found some value and a take-away from this post, then do share your thoughts and leave a comment below. I would definitely like to read as who knows I may get to learn something new from you. Plus, if we still don't know each other, then come let's shake hands on Twitter! Simply follow me @arifkhan7 and we'll converse on hair care and more! If you are a regular, then do use the hashtag #DoveSpa and #maktion while sharing this post with your friends and followers.

Remember, it's our hair, we gotta care! :)

So long friend,
Be creative, have fun!


  1. nice post.... .i use pantene after their mystery campaign :D
    ordered my free dove hamper from indi lets see id that changes things

  2. @Zooni Thank you! Yeah, Pantene ran a good campaign and I hope you enjoy the Dove experience.

  3. Nice post Arif..finally got time to read ur post...all the best...u stand as an opponent to me because I participated too and I am aiming for ipad too...so lemme win..okay??? :))
    my post is here at http://chat-with-pushpee.blogspot.com/2011/10/hair-flair.html

  4. @Pushpee We were once teammates and todat are opponents? Haha. No problem, there are 5 iPad2 t be won and I won't mind winning one after you win one. :)

  5. Awesome post! And especially the collage :)

  6. Great post buddy...as they say..aapne to 'baal ki khaal' udhed di...lol :)

    All the best for the iPad..hope u win it :)

  7. I wish I had hair like yours. My hair turn wavy as it grows long. And it's too thick to manage.

    I wish I had curly hair like Sachin or smooth and straight like SRK. :(

  8. u have a good post . thanks for ur comment on the DOVE IndiBlogger post in my blog. i will surely edit it and try to make it look like a writing and not a poem. After i edit it i'lll share it on ur indiblogger profile if possible. Do view it again and give ur comment by mail on indiblogger.

  9. Nice post! Interactive, creative and funny at places :) I liked the conversation with the barber!

  10. I could never imagine that I will get to read so much about hair on a guy's blog. Good effort and wonderful post.

  11. http://www.indiblogger.in/indipost.php?post=87759
    read my Dove contest post now.

  12. @Geet Thanks!
    @Amit Thanks bud, glad you liked the collage.
    @Vishal Haha, you're at best in commenting too! ;)

  13. @Rakesh What have you been trying? You should start afresh, go for a super-short haircut and then groom your hair the way you like. Try.

  14. @Indian PjBoy Thanks.
    @Shwetha (Dashami) Your welcome. I'll certainly look back at your revised edit.
    @Harsha Haha, thx. The conversations with our barbers are more or less like this always! ;)
    @Farila Thank you for the appreciation.

  15. Hey Arif bhai, I really enjoyed the conversation between you and the barber- very realistic and a nice way to go about !

  16. Arif, great, great, research put into the post. Are you serious on cocacola thing on hair, I am afraid my hair would get addicted and demand it 10 times a day. It has already started pushing me for it.( i will put water in cocacola bottle and try to deceive it)
    kudos to your post. very well penned.
    sincere best wishes.

  17. A story to start with is always good for any article.....I believe, you have the capability to come up with ur own autobiography in the days to come.....ALL THE BEST!!!

    From: www.sriramnivas.com

  18. your post was REALLY fun to read! :D and you pics, they're cool man !
    shall follow you on twitter now..
    meanwhile, do read my post too : http://khanvibes.blogspot.com/2011/11/even-hair-has-life.html

  19. Arif, the pics are cool man.. and the conversation between you and barber has got real magic man.. Cool Post.. All the best..

    Someone is Special

  20. @specs buffy - Thank you! Glad you liked it.
    @pramod Thanks bud! Haha, no don't try the Coca Cola thing as your hair will get stiff and sweet! ;)
    @sriramnivas You got it Ram! Thank you for the appreciation and wishes!
    @Defiant Princess Thank you very much Miss Khan! I don't look great but worked hard on the collage, hence you find it cool! ;) Good to connect with you on twitter.
    @Someone is Special Thanks dude, the conversation was for real. :)

  21. The barber part was very good and liked the collage too. Wow a fan of Shahrukh..Enjoyable post.

  22. Visit indianhairstore.com
    I love head abd shoulder.its awesome for antidendruf......

  23. A great info of a journey. The images are so cool, Head and shoulders and Pantene certainly are the best shampoos but if some one wants natural solutions regarding their hair fall problem then they can opt for herbal ayurvedic shampoos as well. They would work well in this scenario.
    Certainly a person looking for surgery in india can get best hair transplant cost in Bangalore by experienced surgeons.

  24. Great info in simple language. if you have hair fall you need to try hair transplant

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