PESHAWAR, 31 January: It is a natural phenomena that every human being particularly youth wants to be good-looking and handsome. Comparatively, the womenfolk are more conscious about their outlook.
There was a time when Pashtun-women used traditional methods inside their houses to enhance their beauty. They used to apply ‘surma’ to make eyes beautiful while “dandasa” peel of walnut tree was used to colouring lips and cleaning the teeth.
But with the passage of time and urbanisation of our society, latest technology and techniques have replaced the traditional methods of beautification. Now, women in North West Pakistan heavily use technologically manufactured cosmetics and modern techniques to beautify themselves.
Like other traditional societies, the ‘beauty parlour’ and salons have become popular in recent years in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and more particularly the provincial metropolis.
Beauty shops and businesses can be witnessed in commercial as well as in posh areas of the city where womenfolk come in large number, particularly on the occasions of marriages, engagements and other festivities.
Services like haircutting and hair straitening, colouring, bridal makeover, facial among others are provided in these beauty parlours.
“Women usually come here for facial and haircutting,” says Nosheen, who runs a parlour in Saddar area of Peshawar.
“We offer different makeup services, but most of the women come here for fairness and whitening,” says Mehreen, who works with Nosheen.
Women who regularly visit these parlours say they could not spare enough time out of house chores and looking after of children to perform their makeup at home. “I go to parlour because I cannot do my makeup professionally,” says Aisha, who is a university student.
She adds the beauticians at the parlours have proper understanding and gadgets of makeup that is why she prefers to go to parlour.
Unlike in previous years, when only affluent women used to go to beauty parlours, now women from all strata and classes get beauty treatment, says Nosheen while referring to the ‘affordable prices’ offered by different parlours.
Contrary to women, men are mostly against these beauty parlours for charging high prices. “Women waste lots of money on their makeup,” says Arshad, a local of Peshawar.” My wife went to a parlour the other day where she was charged Rs 700 for small haircut”. He says natural beauty is more attractive than cosmetic beauty.
Aisha partially agrees with Arshad “I admit some of the parlours charge high rates but there are others which charge reasonable amount,” says Aisha.
Beauty treatments are no longer deemed a privilege of women. Interestingly, men in Peshawar too are realising the importance of appearance and are turning to salons. Sajid, who runs a male beauty parlour in Peshawar, says “earlier men were just concerned about their hairstyle but now they are also conscious about their skin and experimenting with services like facials, among other treatments”.
Though, cosmetic makeup is equally popular among males and females as it adds to their beauty and look, skin experts said applying substandard creams, lotions and other materials can harm human skin and body.