Celebrated hairstylist Jawed Habib is on a mission to make the best use of the cut hair from styling that is done on a regular basis at his over 500 salons in the country. He believes that if the Narendra Modi-led government extends support to the idea of recycling hair, he will be able to facilitate it soon.
Currently, Jawed has about 570 salons in India and aspires to take the figure to 5,000 in the next three years. And a part of his business expansion plan includes setting up an organised way to recycle cut hair.
“We are talking about Swachh Bharat. But what about the hair at salons that gets collected after every hair cut? Should we just throw them? Even if we burn them, it’s not good for the environment. So why not recycle it? We are working on how to go about it.
“Hopefully, by the end of this year, we will have something to announce. If the government supports me, it will be quicker,” Jawed, who appreciated Modi’s salt and pepper look, said.
He will be also launching his own brushes and scissors range, salon furniture, hair electronics and “anything required in a salon”.
Jawed, a member of the renowned Habib family, who have been taming tresses of heads of state since the pre-Independence era, says everyone is only talking about cosmetics. But since education is essential for the Jawaharlal Nehru University alumnus, he wants to go beyond that.
“I am still here because of education. Hair is science. How your hair is growing… you should be be able to feel hair and that’s only possible if you are educated,” said Jawed, who runs over 50 academies in India.
“Whatever you are cutting, you should be able to explain it. Your client is the research centre. What he or she has to say or looks like, you can learn so much from them,” he added.
So, what has he learnt from his clients?
“That we all want to look smart, beautiful and young. Whatever is missing, just add that to the client’s personality, then he or she will become happy. For instance, if you have curly hair, you want to straighten it. If you have straight hair then you want to add bounce to it,” he said.
As much as he enjoys beautifying the mane of the masses, he likes to keep a distance from the stars.
“I wanted to become a star myself, so I stayed away from Bollywood and politics. I used to be a part of Miss India and I realised that I’m not interested in that. I’m looking for business. I’m going to extend my business in Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries. I can become the McDonald’s of hair,” he said.
Jawed was in the capital to launch UAE-based digital platform for beauty and wellness services called Beawel.
Asked how helpful technology is for business, he said: “Technology can get clients to salons, but retaining them depends on hands and scissors of the hair stylist.”