If you have seen me in pics you should know that I am not the trendiest or most fashionably dressed lady on the planet. My clothes are never very adventurous and about the wildest side of me with respect to fashion are my accessories. And my hair pretty much always looks the same because I am completely chicken to try anything too avant-garde or new with it. I detest changing salons because – again – it scares the living shizle out of me! But it was time. Since my arrival in Bangalore in April 2011 I had been going to Mirrors and Within in UB City which I adore because it is probably the prettiest salon I’ve ever been in … but I recently heard about a salon that claimed to be the “blonde specialists” of Bangalore and it piqued my curiosity.
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The new hot spot on Lavelle Road is Scent Salon & Spa. Apparently the blonde thing all started some time back in their first salon up north on New Airport Road when one American gentleman entered their salon for a haircut. He then told his wife, who happened to be blonde, that it was a lovely salon and he liked his cut so she went in and gave them a try. And then she told two friends and so on and so on… and now four and a half years later they boast that they have coloured or highlighted more than 300 blondes in Bangalore. The salon director shared with me that many of the blondes who have become clients came to them immediately after their hair had been tinted orange by one of the more swish salons in town. Their ability to not only highlight blonde hair but also correct the mistakes of other salons is a point of pride with them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not an expat salon. The salon caters mostly to Indian men and women. In fact, just as I was leaving after my appointment, one of the stars of RCB was on his way in for his appointment (very handsome gent actually, wish I could mention who it was!). Their clientele is diverse and so is their offering.
As for me, I have to say that I was impressed as hell with what they styled and worked with my thin, fine blonde hair. Sadly, I have indeed had my hair tinted slightly orange twice by a salon here in Bangalore so I was skeptical at best at the thought of trying out Scent. But they really took the time to listen to what I wanted, both for the cut and my highlights, and I have to say that my hair has never looked more “me” in all the time I’ve lived in Bangalore. I am so pleased. It has been way too blonde and looked completely unnatural to me for some time but I could never quite get my stylist to darken it back to my more normal shade for some reason. Anyway, they highlighted it, cut it and then selected just the right types of styling products to use for my hair type to give it volume and keep it looking fresh for hours, without weighing down my fine thin hair with too products that are better suited for thick, lustrous Indian hair. Salon hair products are always the best and my hair looks great for days after compared to using store-bought products!
I went to Scent at their newest salon on Lavelle Road which opened in July 2012 and is their second location. It is situated in the heart of Bangalore and it has been designed by the Italian-educated architect Wills Warruny who runs the firm W&W India and it is simply stunning. He has used natural elements like sand to give the walls not only a unique texture that I haven’t seen elsewhere but it also gives the walls a lovely shimmer, which is a natural effect of sand when light hits it. From the funky but actually really comfy steel reception benches to the beautiful use of illumination and the relaxing alcoves that have been built to give guests a feeling of tranquility – it is truly special. The salon itself has a tremendously modern feel to it while still giving off a feeling of relaxed warmth. It combines 90 degree angles with rounded walls and door ways for a really unique look. The chairs are overstuffed for comfort, there are foot rests all about and the music is a clubby mix of tunes that includes progressive and house music. It’s definitely not a spot for our sweet little grammas or more conservative aunties.
Another thing I personally love is that it is structured like an international salon typically is. There aren’t any young boys around only to fetch this or that or sweep up. The staff is comprised of a salon manager for the administrative side of client services and then inside it is run by a senior director, two senior stylists, three aestheticians (for body treatments) and two junior stylists – all very attractive (not sure how the cosmos brought them all together but they are!), all in their 20s to early/mid 30s, all with tremendous experience, and most hail from India but one is from Latin America and one from the Middle East.
Because of the products they use (for hair: Paul Mitchell, Rusk, Loreal, Shwarzkopf, Siah, Essencity, Inoa), the quality of the service and the expertise of the staff, this is a salon for those who want the best. My appointment, for example, comprised of full highlights (individual hairs painted and wrapped in foil, not bathed in colour), a haircut and Schwarzkopf’s ‘Mess Up Texture Gum’ product to replicate my new look myself at home, and it cost me Rs. 4,600. Depending on whether you choose either a stylist/senior-stylist/director for your services, the price for a haircut runs Rs. 400/600/1000 for men, Rs. 700/900/1200 for ladies and Rs. 250 for boys or Rs. 500 for girls. Highlights cost around Rs. 2500 – 3000, which is standard for Bangalore.
Scent’s tagline is “the haircut is just an excuse” and I can see why because I didn’t want to leave! They told me that they have a half-day ‘relax’ package so I hope to be able to try out their spa soon, as well. They have a beautiful room with four comfy pedicure stations, two regal high-backed chairs for manicures, and three massage, body scrub or reflexology treatment rooms.
I was more than pleasantly surprised by Scent Salon and Spa, they have definitely won me over. It felt damn good to leave there all “product’d up” and looking more ‘different’ but more ‘me’ than I have in ages. Plus I like the idea of running into handsome cricketers again!
You can check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/ScentSalonSpaBangalore
(reviewer Angela Carson)