In conversation with Nikhil Sharma, the avant garde hairdresser from New Delhi.
Delhi-based Nikhil Sharma is a standout amongst the edgiest hairdressers we have in the industry. Known for his distinct style and focus on cut and precision, Nikhil has been associated with top notch salons and brands such as Toni&Guy and Sebastian Professional.
In an exclusive interview with Professional Beauty, Nikhil Sharma discusses his current projects, Indian salon business and more. Excerpts from his interview…
Tell us about your journey so far.
I started 15 years ago. I took a year off after school in plans to search for the right direction in life. I perused many interests, hairdressing being one of them. I found doing hair really therapeutic. It is really artistic and I am still a student growing my skills and understanding of hair. The journey so far has been very exciting. When I look back at my journey I feel lucky to have gotten the opportunities that I did. I have made many friends who are like family. My first 12 years were with a Delhi-based brand, where I started as an assistant and rose up the hierarchy, becoming the artistic force of the brand. In 2009, I was chosen to represent Sebastian in India. In 2015, I joined Toni&Guy as their Art Director for North India.
The latest exciting news is that I have joined hands with ADARA Beauty & Wellness Salon & Spa in Gurgaon as their Senior Art Director.
What were the challenges, then and now?
The challenges are still the same i.e to do hair to the best of your ability and bringing a smile to every face that sits in your chair. The roles have changed. Earlier I was only responsible for the team on the floor, but now I have a bigger role. Education is very important role to me. Thus there is a constant push to upgrade and keep yourself up with the latest trends in fashion. This is the culture that I am bringing to Adara.
Earlier the clients were not so aware of the change in trends. Today, due to social media, we need to be on our toes to provide the best and latest technologies in hair and fashion to our clients.
Also, the industry has become highly competitive. With many brands coming in and offering ridiculous discounts, they have really diluted our industry.
What is your opinion of the Indian salon industry?
The Indian salon industry has become very competitive. With so many salons targeting different sections of the society, competition is immense. With the coming of the ecommerce platform, salon services are now available at your doorstep. It definitely has changed, as most of the brands have gone into franchise model. The franchise salon providing services at dirt cheap rates, thus cutting on quality. Today you go to any market, shopping complex or a mall you will find at least a couple of salons. But, with all of this disruption — I still believe that there is space and need for quality hairdressing.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities at Adara?
My move to Adara is a month old and I am really excited about it. Adara is in its initial stages as of now. We are re-launching the brand next month. With Adara, I wish to create a workplace where our creative energies can transform our clients’ lives. Right now, the challenge is to build the brand, create awareness and synergise all the pillars of the salon. Our goal is to make Adara the No 1 beauty and wellness brand pan India.