In India, A Salon A Cut Above the Rest

Thanks to rising disposable incomes, designer hairstyling is finally making the cut with India's middle class. Take a chair in the coiffured world of Jawed Habib

Pedro Ugarte / AFP / Getty

Indians are forsaking street barbers like this one for modern slaves.

It's like a fish market," says Jawed Habib, fondly surveying the Sunday-afternoon hubbub of his South New Delhi hair salon, one of 12 he runs in the Indian capital alone. Heaving with stylists wearing bold red-and-black shirts emblazoned with JAWED HABIB PRO TEAM, the salon calls to mind less the chaos of a fish market than the disciplined efficiency of a well-run kitchen. His golden quiff defying gravity, the 46-year-old Habib serves as both head chef and maƮtre d', helping a matron into her chair, judging the angle of a junior stylist's cut, checking the helmet of sludgy green henna drying...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!