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3 Solid Reasons Why Indian Men Still Prefer The Local 'Salon Bhaiyya' Over Fancy Spa Treatments

Remember those Sunday mornings from your childhood, when the ritual was to visit the salon with your father/uncle/big brother and get a haircut done? 

Perhaps, the first brush with the concept of 'male beauty' that every Indian middle-class man has had, in its rawest, most rustic form, owes its existence to those rather perfunctory visits to the neighbourhood 'Naai ki dukaan'. 

Our 'Bunty Bhaiyyas' and 'Rashid Chachas' have shaped the concept of grooming for most of us, and no matter how far we have travelled or how much we have upped our 'lifestyle' in general, that bit stays - secure, wrapped in a blanket of nostalgia, deep inside the gullies of our childhood memories.

Why Indian Men Prefer Local Neighbourhood Salons Over Fancy Spas© Getty Images

But has much changed over the years for the grown Indian man? Does he still find more comfort, ease, and familiarity in the often cushionless, rickety chairs of the neighbourhood salon as compared to the plush recliners of fancy spas? Does he still prefer the resounding laughter resulting due to the terrible '90s movies playing on the little TV up on a shelf, as compared to the carefully curated background music from the concealed surround sound speakers? The answer is a resounding 'YES', and you know it.

Why Indian Men Prefer Local Neighbourhood Salons Over Fancy Spas© YouTube/OneIndia

However, why is that? Here's our take on it.

1. Let's get done with the crude reality before wallowing in nostalgia. The first reason is the simplest one - we can't afford spa treatments. Most men can't. Now, what we can afford and what we can't, is also extremely subjective. For 2-5 thousand rupees, most men can get decent spa treatments. 

However, in a country where financial woes define the norm, for a middle-class man, that's a lot of money. Why will someone spend Rs 2000 when the end result can be similar, with an expenditure of a mere Rs 200?  Most men visit the salon at least twice a month, so it can have a reasonable impact on finances overall.

Why Indian Men Prefer Local Neighbourhood Salons Over Fancy Spas© Getty Images

2. However, not everything is about money. Even financially well off men prefer the local salon, and the reason is extremely relatable. Spas and fancy salon chains can be intimidating - with their trained, mechanical welcome speeches, costumes, and plush interiors. For the average Indian man, subconsciously, that almost counts as a visit to a corporate office, despite the initial fascination with the glam and glitz. Men go to the salon to let loose, not to feel pressurized to be well-composed while having to pay a bomb for that.

Why Indian Men Prefer Local Neighbourhood Salons Over Fancy Spas© Getty Images

3. Local salons come with a lot of strange complimentary perks that spas will never offer you. Does your head massage in the spa come with a complimentary, rather vigorous body massage that makes you feel refreshed almost instantly? Does the spa include that vibrating generator like device that your local salon bhaiya wears on his sleeve before moving his hand up and down all over your head and upper body (and inserts a vibrating finger in your ear that feels like a Goa trip for your entire head)? Does the spa happily take instructions as per you make up your mind about what you want next right there on your seat? No. Only a local salon can, and does those things without ever making a fuss.

Why Indian Men Prefer Local Neighbourhood Salons Over Fancy Spas© Getty Images

Visiting the neighbourhood salon feels therapeutic to the average Indian man, not only because it's inexpensive and accessible, but also because it somehow brings him back closer to his roots - a place where he is constantly drifting away from. After all, in our heads, the rough, stinging touch of the Fitkari still somehow feels better than all the mildly fragrant, hydrating aftershaves of the world.

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