Beauty products, salons not spared by inflation

Despite exorbitant prices, women remain undeterred this Eid season

Qaiser Shirazi/Saleh Mughal April 09, 2024


Inflation has hit everything from women’s beauty products to salon services which are especially in demand during Eid season.

The beauty salon business has seen an increase in the twin cities during this time and a 50% hike has accordingly been observed in their service rates. However, customers remain undeterred and there is hardly any room in salons in Rawalpindi as women wait in line for their turn despite having booked appointments beforehand.

Booking fees are collected separately by salons through Easypaisa or Jazz Cash. Presently, average rates for a haircut range from Rs800 to Rs1,200, however, specifically requested haircuts can set customers back up to Rs1,400.

Rates for whitening facial range from Rs2,500 to Rs3,000, and Rs1,000 to Rs1,200 for plain facial, while only face cleansing can cost between Rs1,000 and Rs1,200. Manicure and pedicure charges are Rs3,000. Getting upper lips done costs Rs200 and eyebrow threading costs Rs300. Henna application, which is highly popular during the Eid season is being offered at the rate of Rs500, but requesting special designs can cost up to Rs1,300 per hand’s side.

In big beauty salons, slots are already completely booked since 10am on Tuesday (yesterday) to 10am on Wednesday. There is also an option to get urgent bookings, but it comes at an additional fee of Rs1,000 to Rs3,000.

The inflation has led many women to start offering beauty services from their home in neighbourhood streets at rates that are 50% than the current market rate.

Rawalpindi Beauty Parlor Union Secretary General, Nida Mumtaz, while speaking to The Express Tribune said that during this Eid season, the prices of all kinds of beauty creams, powders and chemicals have increased by a record 1,000% in comparison to the last decade.

She also said that there is a shortage of female workers, which is another reason for the expensive rates. The increase in prices of beauty products and services has also hiked the price of bridal packages which is currently being offered at Rs50,000 for a simple look, but can range from anywhere between Rs0.1 million to Rs0.5 million for heavier looks and styling.

Inflation dampens Eid spirit

With the advent of Eidul Fitr, the burden of inflation weighs heavily on middle-class families, making traditional Eid shopping an arduous task.

Prices for essential items such as clothing, footwear, cosmetics, bangles, and jewellery have soared, leaving citizens, particularly women, grappling with financial strain as they navigated the bustling markets.

With Eid festivities just around the corner, citizens began flocking to markets adorned with colourful stalls in anticipation of the celebration. However, the relentless surge in inflation casts a shadow of concern over both consumers and traders alike.

While an array of new fashion trends and designer items catered to individuals of all ages, the exorbitant prices placed them out of reach for the middle class. Parents, facing diminished purchasing power, fond themselves sacrificing personal needs to ensure their children’s Eid joy remained intact.

During a survey conducted by The Express Tribune, parents like Muhammad Nadine, Ali, and Afzal, who visited Saddar Bazar with their children for Eid shopping, voiced their distress over the escalating costs. They lamented the inability to indulge in personal purchases, focusing solely on fulfilling their children’s desires amid the festive season.

Amidst other financial obligations, the additional strain of inflated prices has further compounded the worries of citizens. Shopkeepers on Bank Road echoed similar concerns, noting a decline in sales as customers limit purchases to essentials.

Raja Farrukh, a businessman, acknowledged the pervasive anxiety caused by inflation but emphasised the resilience of shoppers, particularly in ensuring their children’s happiness during Eid. Despite the challenges, shopkeepers have adjusted profit margins in a bid to accommodate customers and uphold the spirit of the festival.

Yet, the joy of Eid has been overshadowed by the harsh realities of inflation, leaving many middle-class families unable to partake in customary celebrations. With their cherished traditions at stake, parents appeal to the government for relief measures to alleviate the financial strain and restore the essence of Eid festivities.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2024.


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