Window to a beautiful world | Daily News

Window to a beautiful world

Self-grooming is no longer a fancy pursuit for the vain. A beautician seems to be a necessity for urban life. Though beauty is only skin deep it seems to have gone deeper than just the epidermis. Going by the proliferation of hair and skin clinics and beauty salons in the city, beauty has got under our skin.

With more than 35 years of experience under her belt Antoinette Kammanankada is well a established name in the hair and beauty industry. Not only has she strived to provide quality services, but she has dished out her expertise to many young women and had helped them establish themselves in the field. A student of Morris School of Hair Dressing in London, Kammanankada had been trained by ladies hairdressing and beauty pioneer Moira Muthukrishna and had worked in Salon Moira which is dubbed the first beauty salon run by a woman in the country.

“That created quite a stir among the beauty conscious women. The salon was patronized by elite women from across all towns,” Kammanankada recalled.

Later she came under Ira de Silva’s wings and trained in Hairdressing and Trichology. Soon she was able to make a name for herself and clients began visiting her to get her services at home.

She decided to start small by working at home. By then she had two sons to care for as well. But soon the demand was such that she had to establish a venue to serve her clients. Salon Antoinette was initiated in 1974. Though the salon was incepted in Kandy town, it moved to it’s present location at Kandy City Mission around 25 years ago.

A new generation of young women is gearing up to become makeup artistes, nail art technicians, hair stylists and beauticians. How good and viable are beauty parlours, now that every street seems to have one?

“True, the beauty business is becoming increasingly crowded. Everyone sees this as a means of earning big bucks easily. However, only a few have in-depth knowledge about this field. Learn about it first before opening up your salon to clients. Practice counts a lot as you cannot learn from theory alone. Otherwise you will be cheating them. You too will fall into trouble if you make mishaps. Clients too should make sure that the salon you are visiting has professionally trained staff,” she opined.

She notes that it is very important for beauticians to be able to give the right advice to their clients.

“I know many women who just apply a moisturiser as part of their beauty routine. The treatment doesn’t end at the salon. Women should continue taking care of their skin at home. The aim is to improve the quality of service and the quality of advice we give out,” she stressed.

Though she faces competition from newly established salons Kammanankada says that her clients have been loyal to her throughout the years.

“Once a person visits me and receives my services, they normally return for more beauty treatments or hair treatments. Haircuts are my specialty. I have dressed many brides as well as their own daughters later. This gives me immense satisfaction because it is the mothers who recommend me to their daughters. I have dressed two generations in this manner on several occasions,” she expressed.

Salon Antoinette also values hygiene. Kammanankada keeps a check on the resources and the cleanliness every hour. This, she says, is lacking in many places.

“The beauty and fashion industry is fast moving. New trends emerge every day and they also die away quickly. You need to be constantly update to keep up with the global scene. If you don’t, then you will not be able to excel in this field,” she pointed out.