New Delhi, February 24: The IPL fever is gripping over the country and the players will soon be in the T20 mode as March 29 approaches. IPL isn't just a platform for the cricketers to showcase their skills. In fact, the glamour quotient of the players also soars during the cash-rich league. The players look to sport different hairstyles and look during this period and show off their glamorous avatar.
The players approach their favourite hairstylists to get a special makeover for the league and the celebrity stylists get very busy during this period.
Ahead of the IPL season, MyKhel contacted Delhi's celebrity hairstylist Rashid Salmani and picked up his brains. Rashid started as a basic hairstylist but worked really hard to become a celebrity stylist. Rashid runs a unisex salon named 'Studio 17', located in Ashok Vihar Phase-3 in New Delhi.
Rashid believes creativity and innovation are very important in this sector and he has invented several looks on his own. He was the regional finalist during 2018-19 L'Oreal Indian Hair Dressing Awards and that also helped him get popular amongst cricketers.
Rashid is a regular stylist of young India players like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw and other domestic and international players and has been working with them for the last four years. He's offered his services to players from Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
Talking exclusively to MyKhel, the hairstylist revealed his plans for the upcoming IPL 2020 season and what kind of styles and trends are popular amongst cricketers.
Here are the excerpts from the chat:
MyKhel: Who according to you is the most stylish cricketer whom you have groomed?
Rashid Salmani: Players nowadays are pretty aware of their looks and stylish so almost every young cricketer is stylish. But if I rank a few then Nitish Rana, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer are the most stylish ones as they possess very good dressing and style sense. All three of them are very choosy, stylish and brand conscious and put a lot of emphasis on their overall look.
MK: Actors, models or footballers, to whom do the cricketers generally follow for styling?
RS: Cricketers mostly follow the footballers from European leagues but they do not generally copy them. They want their looks to be inspired and not copied and this is where my role comes into play. I give my own unique personalised touch to their hair. The cricketers tell me that their hairstyles shouldn't look copied so I add my thoughts to it. But at the same time, they tell me that they should not classy and not too flashy. My forte is personalising keeping in the client's personality, profession and as per shape, face, hair type and texture.
As cricketers are mostly fit and don't have chubby faces so I give them square and inverted (short-to-long) shaped haircuts. Perfect symmetry is the beauty of any haircut. The left profile and right profile has to be balanced. The textured, next-day look, rough and tough looks are in demand these days.
MK: What is the change in the demands of the players you have witnessed over the years? Is it about their hairstyle, beards, or to their overall looks?
RS: Players nowadays are very possessive about their hair. Where ever they travel, they prefer getting styled by the best in the world. As the cricketers are physically fit, they focus on their overall looks. They love to wear chains, classy and trendy watches along with designer clothes. They are also very particular about the accessories and perfumes they carry. So they wish to look presentable all the time and wherever they go.
And as you mentioned, beards are also in trend these days but that is relative because not everyone has a good beard. Virat Kohli has the best beard in the Indian team but Delhi cricketer Kulwant Khejrolia and Haryana cricketer Shivam Chauhan are also very popular for their unique beards.
MK: How do you see the youngsters following the footsteps of the senior players when it comes to their looks and appearances?
RS: A lot has changed, the youngsters are also matching the senior players when it comes to looking stylish and presentable. I have styled almost every India U-19 Player that won the U-19 World Cup 2018. Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra, Shivam Mavi are all my regular customers and they treat me like a friend. Prithvi Shaw always prefers getting haircuts from me whenever he's in Delhi. Sometimes, he's even called me to Mumbai for getting styled. Shubman Gill got a haircut from me before leaving for New Zealand.
I also style the Haryana Ranji Trophy players like Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Chauhan, Jayant Yadav. They are all like family to me and even Delhi state team players.
The youngsters have also understood the fact that brands will approach you for endorsements when you look stylish and presentable. So apart from focussing on their game, the players take a great deal of care on their looks and appearances.
MK: Have the players demanded haircuts from you at the odd hours?
RS: Yes, that's pretty common because the players have a very busy schedule. They spend most of the time on the ground and when they are not playing they are in the gym or practising in the nets. So generally, I get to work for them in the odd hours only.
Recently, Rishabh bhai was in Mumbai for an ad shoot and after that, he had to attend a BCCI event so I had to miss my flight to give him a haircut.
Same was the case with Shreyas Iyer last year. He asked me to reach his hotel room for a styling session. He was supposed to sleep after the session for he had to go to the gym around 10 am the next day. But he was caught up with some work and arrived late. I started my work around 1 am and it went till 6 am in the morning. So, Shreyas bhai went straight to the gym after getting the style.
During the IPL 2019, I gave a haircut to New Zealand pacer Trent Boult at 3 am in the night after a Delhi Capitals' match in Delhi. So, me working in the odd timings is pretty common because I have to be available as per the players' convenience.
MK: Have you got a chance to style Virat Kohli?
RS: Virat Kohli is one of the most stylish athletes in the world. I admire him a lot for his work ethic and dedication. He has taken cricket and style to the next level. I haven't yet got a chance to style him. It's not that he refused to get styled by me, it's just that our timings never coincided. Whenever he's in Delhi, I am out of the station and vice versa. But I am sure I'll get a chance to style him and it will be like a dream come true for me.
MK: How easy or tough it is when you are treating overseas players?
RS: No, I haven't faced any problems while working for overseas players. In fact, it is easy to treat them because unlike us Indians, the Caucasian hair possesses diffuse pigment which gives a variety of shades to their hair. The diffuse pigment enhances their looks and even the slightest of haircut comes out prominently.
I have given haircuts to foreign players from Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Overseas players like Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kagiso Rabada, Colin de Grandhomme, Sam Billings, Jason Roy, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Tom Curran, etc. were very impressed with my work. Rabada, Southee, Boult have blind faith in me because they know I won't let them down. Before IPL 2018 final between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sam Billings gave me a call for a haircut but I couldn't go as I had prior commitments.
MK: Do you see a rise in demands for hairstyling and colourings from the domestic players during the IPL? Any special plans in mind for this year's IPL?
RS: See during the domestic season the players don't get much media and public attention but during the IPL entire world is watching you. So yes, the domestic players wish to look stylish and presentable during the IPL because the league is glamorous. Thus, the domestic players do not shy from experimenting during the IPL season. And yes, the demand is high during the league.
My plan for this year's IPL is to play with good shapes, textured and disconnected haircuts; personalised look as per the client's physique and personality. I'll recommend for colouring because that is in trend but it is a matter of choice if they'll agree then only I am going to experiment.