Hardik Malde, Founder and Creative Director of Hair Castle Salon in Mumbai comes with 10 years of industry experience.
Hardik Malde’s professional merits include diploma courses from L’Oreal Professionnel Academy in Mumbai and training programmes at Vipul Chudasama Salon & Academy. Hardik has a slew of certificates from various cutting-edge workshops and seminars. He believes in expanding his expertise in hair. And he knows that education is central to the success of a hair professional.
In a tete-a-tete with Professional Beauty, he talks about his humble beginnings and his vision for the industry.
How did your career in hairdressing start?
My journey began in 2008 with a single chair in the small balcony of my home. Initially, it was difficult for me to open a salon at a commercial place with appropriate foundation due to financial constraints. Hence, I started taking clients in my small balcony. Once the income started flowing in, I gradually replaced the regular chair and tools with professional ones, converted half of my home into a hair studio and increased my capacity from 1 to 5 hair stations. And the rest is history!
How do you see the Indian hair industry?
The Indian hair industry is definitely booming, now more than ever and there’s incredible scope for employment here. I, however, feel we do lack behind in terms of professionally qualified technicians and government initiatives in this regard. Skill development and vocational training need to be geared up to compete for the international hair industry.
What are the industry trends?
I’ve been in this industry for more than 10 years. The salon industry has evolved a lot over the years. Today, the customer is much more aware of the products and its contents and they exactly know what they want. They come with a lot of research and reference pictures. There’s increased awareness in men with respect to grooming and personal care and a tremendous increase in the e-commerce sale. Branding is becoming more and more important.
How do you keep yourself abreast with the trends?
Social media, magazines and attending industry events and expos help me keep myself updated with this fast-moving industry. I research and learn about new trends and techniques from YouTube and Instagram videos, combine that with basic hairdressing and create new variations in cut, colour, and styling.
What are your plans for the year? How do you intend to take the business forward?
I plan on using my skills and experience to motivate and train young hairdressers from my team to achieve excellence in their work. I further propose to grow our Instagram page, educate people regarding the do’s and don’ts of hair and manage my salon business efficiently by delivering industry-leading service.
How active are you on social media? One inspiring hair account that you follow on Instagram…
We are super active on Instagram @hair.castle and have more than 24k followers admiring our work. We consistently post good quality pictures of our work and team members to market ourselves. We also regularly post hair tips and hold informative Q & A sessions on hair to educate and engage with our audience. @mounir @butterflyloftsalon @bestofbalayage @pulpriothair are some of the accounts I go to for inspiration.