Grandma's Tales

October 5, 2006

Hair raising story

Filed under: Uncategorized — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:04 pm

CavinKare, a cosmetics company has opened two chains of beauty parlours in Chennai. Green Trends, which opened first, began by charging customers a wee bit less than others in the market. It is unisex but with two separate areas for men and women. Only the billing is common.

After a year or so came Limelite. This is the swank, upmarket version of the earlier one. Here haircut and beauty treatments cost 36 to 50% more. What do you pay for? The welcome. An assistant gives you a cold towel and a glass of water when you enter. You sit on a very comfortable sofa to wait. You can choose between a male and a female beautician. You could have your hair done in a common area or opt for the privacy of a room. There are several rooms for various treatments (why are they called so?). You have choices like a steam bath, massage, body soak, etc. You are served tea, coffee or fruit juice.

Do you use the same stuff in both the places? I asked the manager. Absolutely, he assured me. Are the assistants here better trained or equipped to handle customers? I wanted to know. No, he said. They are all trained at the same place for the same duration. (But I suspect your head gets into experienced hands at Limelite). Are all the creams and lotions you use available in both the places? Yes, he insisted.

Why is there such a difference in charges? The brand madam. Now you will go tell your friends you get your hair done at Limelite. Shouldn’t you be paying for that?

The business model is similar to that of a consumer major selling varieties of bath/washing soap. Bath soap for every household, washing soap for every collar. Does a cake of cheaper soap have more soda and less oil? I don’t know. But I guess paying for a high-end variety which promises eternal beauty (film stars use them!) gives you bragging rights. You pay and then you talk about it.

It’s hair today, gone tomorrow. But hope remains.



  1. hi,
    I think the article was well written , but informationprovided were less to judge anything.
    As far as the subject is of charges , I think a premium service will be charged extra. It depends on the producer of the service , where he wants to position its service.

    Comment by anurag — December 3, 2006 @ 5:30 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Anurag,
    Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for that input. By premium service, if you mean a service that is a cut (pun?) above the rest, yeah, there is justification for that extra charge. This was an unusual case. The producer of the service in both places was the same, CavinKare. So I kept wondering why they were charging so much more, since both the parlours are in the same locality and use the same products.
    One guess was you would get more experienced hands at Limelite. I guess they have to be paid more. May be. I mulled over what the manager said in the end, and then the penny dropped. They had invited a select gathering to have this “hair spa” treatment and hoped to create a “brand” through us! I was expected to tell my friends that I had this wonderful experience at Limelite and “why don’t you try it once?”
    What do you think?

    Comment by Geeta Padmanabhan — December 3, 2006 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

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