Dar Singh: ‘I feel more Pakistani than Indian now’
UK-based Indian hairstylist Dar’s extensive list of loyal clients includes stars from Hollywood (Goldie Hawn, Pierce Brosnan) and Bollywood (Aishwarya Rai, Gurinder Chada, Salman Khan) as well as our very own ex-cricketer-turned-political leader Imran Khan.
Over the last two decades, Dar has successfully built a name for himself and has also worked with top photographers. His work has also been featured in magazines including Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.
On his recent visit to Lahore, he admits he has a soft corner for the city and its friendly people.
“I was working at Vidal Sassoon when Imran [Khan] and I became friends. He invited me to Pakistan and I was introduced to [socialite] Yousaf Salahuddin,” Dar says, recalling a time when Imran was playing for Sussex. He admits Lahore is one of his favourite places to visit and that he has stayed at Salahuddin’s haveli multiple times. “The people are so hospitable and welcoming that Lahore feels like home,” he says.
“I feel more Pakistani than Indian now, and to me, Lahore is the most beautiful city in the world because the old city still has its character,” the Malaysian-born Indian stylist admits.
Dar’s career started off as him being an assistant at Bruno & John — a salon that later shut down — and soon switched over to Vidal Sassoon and worked there for almost seven years. “Growing up, I knew I wanted to be involved in the fashion industry and I hated formal schooling,” he says. “During my stay at Vidal Sassoon, I met some of the most influential hairdressers of time.” He admits they taught him to treat hair like architecture. “You have to look out for the height of the woman, length of the neck, face cut, shape of the body and the social aspect of her life.”
The stylist feels the right haircut helps create the optimal look for a particular woman. Whether it’s a socialite or a secretary, all women require a certain attitude and finesse. “A good hair dresser will sculpt your hair, not cut it,” Dar continues. “The mark of a good haircut is not whether it looks good after a blow dry — it’s that you don’t need to style your hair everyday in order for it to look fantastic.”
From cut to colour, it’s all about creating the ‘complete look’ for Dar. “Even colouring your hair is very scientific. The colour should not only complement one’s skin tone, but should also sculpt the hairstyle,” he explains. It’s thus safe to say that Asian skin is not made for blonde streaks and ultra-light shades. So ladies, switch to a colour that will complement your skin tone and bring out your personality.
“I feel that each woman is beautiful and her beauty needs to be accentuated and not hidden,” Dar says. Whether it’s long hair or short hair, it needs to be cut in a manner that is flattering to the body and helps enhance it, he adds.
It’s Dar’s individual style which has won him acclaim in the hair dressing industry worldwide. “I have always been about creating looks for tomorrow (the future),” he says. The stylist has travelled with Wella, Red Ken, L’Oréal and KMS, conducting seminars all over Europe.
For the next week, Dar will be available for appointments at Arammish Spa and Salon, offering his services for a subsidised rate of Rs12,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2013.