With the rise of social media, it is hard to keep track of the latest fashion trends across the world. Hairstylists are always on their toes as celebrities and fashion icons keep posting pictures on these platforms.
Sometimes a balayage hair becomes popular, sometimes it is an ombré, but Quazi Qumrul Islam, professional hairstylist and owner of Ban Thai Barber and Beauty Salon, does not believe in trends. In his words "whatever you can pull off, it can become a trend".
Located at Gulshan-1, Ban Thai is a unisex beauty salon that gives top-notch services to its customers. Open from 10am to 8pm, this salon has been operating for more than a decade.
Quazi Qumrul has been in the hairstyling industry for almost 20 years but Ban Thai did not start out as a salon. Initially it was a departmental store, but over the years, it has been turned into a well-equipped beauty salon.
Ban Thai is divided into two sections with the workstations on one side and the waiting lounge on the other. Elaborate masquerade masks adorn the walls in between each workstation.
In a conversation with the maestro himself, Qumrul detailed the journey made by him and Ban Thai 20 years ago.
"Ban stands for 'House' in Thai and 'Thai' is from the name of the country. You put them together and get the House of Thailand," he explained.
"Initially it started off as a departmental store where I used to sell fresh produce from Bangkok, home décor and household items, clothing lines and so on. In addition, the shop also had a Thai bakery. I was left with one room, which I decided to turn into a salon with someone from Thailand. That is how Ban Thai began its journey."
Talking about hairstyling these days, Qumrul stated, "Before it was just a simple haircut, but now it is completely science. When a client walks into our salon, the first thing we do is observe him or her. Before doing anything on the person, we take into consideration the client's personality, age, profession, type and quantity of hair, facial structure and in case of colour, the complexion. Taking all these into consideration, I make my judgement and proceed with my work."
Ban Thai's services include haircuts and hair washes, waxing, pedicure, manicure, nail art, body massages, facials along with grooming the bride and groom.
Dhaka has many salons that cater to specific genders but very few of them are unisex. In this regard, Qumrul added, "Our male staff provide services to our male clients and the female staff to the female clients. But I do haircuts and stylings on both males and females."
Over the years, many things have changed for the better in the beauty industry while some have remained the same. Qumrul said, "I become elated when I see clients from different age groups visit Ban Thai. We often have elderly men coming in for pedicures and manicures. Cleanliness and putting on make-up are really two different things, and I am glad more clients are realizing it now. Moreover, grooms these days are just as conscious about their looks as the brides. And that is normal, because nobody wants to look shabby beside a glimmering spouse."