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SHEAR TALENT

Sudhakar, a third-generation hairstylist, has done the hair of kings and VIPs. People have been coming to him for over 20 years now



To begin with, Sudhakar studies his client's face and later on suggests what cut suits him. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

WHAT'S COMMON between a king's crown and a neta's Gandhi cap? They both conceal a mane that is styled by V. Sudhakar of Windsor's Manor's Beau Brummel Men's Beauty Saloon. Former chief minister S. Bangarappa, filmstars like Shivraj Kumar, Rahman, Karthik, and VIPs like K.J. George are among those who have got their hair styled by those famous shears of Sudhakar.

Clients have to wait for almost a month before they get their turns and most of his clients are those who have been coming to him from days when their crop was a shiny black, to times when some silver strands popped up, and to receding hairline days, covering almost 20 years.

What is it that his clients find in him that makes them come back to him again and again? Its his skill and deft fingers, he says. Sudhakar studies his client's face and then suggests what cut would suit him. Before he goes ahead with it, he takes the client's opinion. And so the end result is usually a combination of Sudhakar's style and the client's requirement. Cleanliness, hygiene, satisfaction, quality work are all high on his priorities and this has been bringing clients back to him.

Sudhakar is a third generation hair stylist and has taken after his grandfather who used to snip the blondes and brunettes in his Paris Hair Dressing Saloon on Brigade Road during the colonial days. Later, as a young boy he used to cycle to the States Hotel on Gundappa Street, to deliver lunch to his father Venkatesh who used to work there as a hairdresser. He initially didn't expect to follow his father's footsteps but due to certain family commitments he had to take the plunge into the profession in 1964 when he was barely eight or 10. He started as a helper in a local salon and slowly learnt the trade and gained from his father's expertise, touch, and clients.

When he was 14 years old, he got started on his own and then worked for five shops till 1972. At this juncture, he joined Narson's Stylist Hair Dresser Saloon near Johnson Market. He worked till 1984 and that was a hectic period, recalls Sudhakar, when he worked from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.. His method of working caught the clients' fancy and they used to come back to Sudhakar asking for his services specifically. The local crowd got used to Sudhakar's earnestness in work, and by mere word of mouth Sudhakar's fame had spread.

In 1984, he applied to the Windsor Manor for a hairdresser's job. Sudhakar's experience got him a job at the Beau - Brummel. The rest, as they say is history. He caters to 18 clients a day and they appreciate his personal attention and courteousness. He has customers coming to him from as far as Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.

In 1987, Sudhakar was adjudged the Best Employee of the month by Windsor Manor. In 1989, he was given an award for his outstanding contribution by his employers. In 1993, the Rotary Club Orchid selected four people from different vocations for best service, and Sudhakar got the Best Hair Dresser Award.

Sudhakar also does his homework and keeps pace with the latest hairstyles by looking through foreign publications. In 1993, he went to Singapore and updated himself with the latest technology in hair designing and equipment. "My success as a hair stylist is largely due to the encouragement and support the management of Windsor Manor has given me over the years," says Sudhakar.

Ask him about some memorable moment of his life and he remembers the SAARC meet in Bangalore, when he had the privilege of doing up the hair of the Kings of Nepal and Bhutan, besides a whole lot of VIPs who were staying in Windsor Manor.

Even bridegrooms come to him for facials. He is available between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.. Contact him on 22269898 Extension: 1228 Or 1328.

M.V. CHANDRASHEKAR

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