From working as a junior stylist at Juice Salon to co-founding Zido Salon in Bandra, Zingranwon Shatsang or Zing as she’s lovingly called, tells us about her journey, inspiration and achievements.
Tell us about your hairdressing journey. What were the challenges?
I started my hairdressing journey when I got enrolled in the Juice academy in 2004. Honestly, I never imagined a career in hairdressing because I dreamt of a career in fashion. It was my family who introduced me to the hair academies in Mumbai. But with every passing day at the academy, I started to enjoy working with hair and before I knew, I was hooked for life. The academy days showed me what hairdressing was all about, but it was only after I joined Juice that I learnt what it takes to be a hairdresser.
I was 18 when I started my career, so I needed a lot of guidance on how to juggle the multiple roles a hairdresser plays at a salon. I realised that to survive in the industry, I needed to be skilled, attentive, physically fit and mentally strong enough to interact with different clients all through the day. I worked at three other salons after Juice and each salon taught me an additional attribute about hairdressing. I imbibed everything – from the pre-requisites required to become an educator to managing a busy salon. Five years later, in the year 2009, Dodo (Dharmesh Hingorani, co-founder, Zido Salon) came up with this brilliant plan of starting a boutique personalised salon together. I said yes, and Zido was born just a few months after. Today, we are eight years stronger, with a team of five hairdressers, each specialising in different aspects of hair.
From shoots to celebrity styling and owning an independent salon – you’ve your hands full. But your work only gets better. Where do you seek inspiration from?
I get inspired easily – even listening to client stories as they sit on my chair motivates me to do better. Dodo has been one of my greatest inspirations on being disciplined at work. I derive my energy from my team, my biggest support system. You see, no success story is complete without the army it took to get there. For creative inspiration, I thank my roots. Born in the North Eastern part of the country, I’ve always been observant and inquisitive about nature.
How does it feel to work with your partner? Do you have your share of differences? What keeps the partnership going?
Partnership is like a roller coaster ride – you either hate it or love the adrenaline rush. Partnering with Dodo has been one of my best decisions in life. Since we both are strong-headed individuals, differences are definitely there, but we have found a balance to the madness. I take care of the creative and managerial aspect of Zido, and Dodo handles the finance and business aspect. I still don’t know how much each stylist at the salon gets paid, and I am absolutely at peace with that, because that leaves me with no distraction as I work towards grooming them in their hairdressing skills.
Your biggest achievement in your career…
So many of them! I am extremely ambitious for a dreamy head person, and the rewards have been overwhelming. The top of the list is starting Zido. This is the first time I could express my vision as a hairdresser on my own terms. The latest crowning glory was being designated Technical Head for Crazy Color India.
What does it take to be a good hairstylist?
Skill, discipline, attentiveness, hard work, honesty and a happy state of mind. I call hairdressing a happy profession with a mix bag of surprises. With the industry becoming more and more competitive, upgrading your skills is equally important. Education should never stop as long as you are in the business.
What are the most common mistakes that Indian hairstylists make? What are the things that you imbibed from the West?
Hard selling an idea is something I don’t like. When you concentrate too much on making money, you will someday lose your purpose of being a hairdresser. The two crucial things I’ve imbibed from the West are dignity of labour and education. I do not think there’s ever a time when you will not have to clean your workstation after you are done or help someone with less work experience when they need you. The importance of education is undeniable. I go for classes whenever I can and translate the knowledge to the team after I’ve owned the techniques learned.
What is your advice to hairstylists today? How do you think they should upgrade themselves?
Someone I really respect as a hairdresser once said “you are as good as your last haircut”. That’s something the hairdressers today can take a note from. Constant upgrading of skills will keep you ahead of everyone in the game. Keep your eyes open for trend spotting, but learn to make your adaption of these trends. Communicate well with your clients, because that will build you a strong fan following. As a hairdresser you have the power to bring changes in someone’s life and confidence.
Colour and styling trends for 2018
Vivid colours are definitely the trend for 2018. If you are scared to join the global vivid party, start with a hidden panel. Also, yellow is officially the Colour of 2018. Styling in 2018 is about originality. Minimalism is still largely a favourite for session stylists. At salons, ‘Embrace your kinks/curls’ is a huge revolution this year, with maximum women letting go of their straightened hair. At Zido, trending styling look for 2018 is braids. I have also started introducing my Naga roots into the braid trend by creating thread braids inspired by the shawls, wrap skirts and stories of my forefathers.