Some memories are etched in your consciousness forever. December 1997, a nervous, unsure college student was looking for a new hairstyle. With a cut out from a magazine, that flashed some “hair bangs” as the latest rage, she went to Innoxa 8 for styling. The lovely lady in Innoxa 8 was more than welcoming, putting at ease all her apprehensions and fears, suggesting what would work best but still deferring to the girl’s bang obsession. Today, 17 years later, the two often have a quick cup of coffee at the same salon along with some chitchat. That college student was me and the lady, Ms Neilu Grewal owner of Innoxa 8. Therein began my lifelong affair and association with Innoxa8. And no, thankfully,I did not get those “bangs”!
Today there are plenty of hair stylists and makeup artists, one better and newer than the other.But the ‘90s , when Innoxa 8 started, was the time when the MACs and Kerastase had not yet made their foray into the Indian market ( but for the by lanes of Karol Bagh and GK); when hair stylists and MUAs were rare and hard to come by, except in metros like Delhi. Chandigarh, as far as I can remember, really had no one outstanding. There were the usual Habib’s and Shahnaz Hussains but that’s about it. It was in such a scenario that Ms Neilu Grewal started a high end, yet very accessible salon, Innoxa 8. At a time when bridal makeup was nothing more than a flashy face and dots on the forehead, she used the largely unavailable and unknown MAC for her bridal makeovers, establishing Innoxa 8 as the one stop destination for all beauty related needs.
The first thing that strikes you on entering the salon is the welcoming feel that the place has to it. I don’t know about anyone else but the harsh lights, artificial ambience of the so called high end salons makes me uncomfortable. That many can also adopt a condescending attitude towards a first time visitor is a further put off. But you find none of that here. Even if Ms Neilu Grewal herself is not there, not only is the lady at the reception counter friendly and affable, so is the entire staff. And yes, the staff consists entirely of women! Yay for women power. In an industry marked with high attrition rate, it speaks highly of the work ethics of the place that very few of the staff, if any at all, have left to join work at another salon. There are staff members that I have been seeing since my first visit.
The USP of the place? Apart from the warm, congenial atmosphere and personalised attention, it is the extremely competitive prices that the place offers without compromising on the service provided. Be it basic services like waxing, manicure-pedicure or specialised services like hair styling, hair colouring, straightening and makeup, the prices and service quality remains unmatched. All hair styling and makeup are done personally only by Ms Neilu Grewal and now also by Rabia Grewal. This, I feel is the primary reason for the quality being maintained- what effectively matters is not the brand name per se but the hair stylist and the MUA. And here it is the two ladies themselves only who are the stylists and MUAs.
The achievements and accolades Ms Neilu Grewal has to her credit are many, having been featured in many national magazines and newspapers. Rabia Grewal , who trained under Paul Mitchell in Melbourne, has already made her mark having worked with fashion shows like Zara, Vero Moda. Indian Wedding site wedmegood.com has listed her as an approved MUA on their site http://wedmegood.com/vendors/profile/900# .
With ladies such as this at the helm of affairs, can the place ever go wrong? Think not. One may say that my views are biased since I know them personally. However, I got to know them personally after I began visting Innoxa 8 and not the other way around. My relationship began as a customer at Innoxa 8 and went on to become a personal one. That is what the place and lovely ladies do to you- make you a beautiful bride and a friend for life.
For more information on Innoxa 8 you can visit their website – http://www.innoxa8.com/ or their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Innoxa8/585871698116510.
Rabia also organises makeup classes occasionally. You can keep track on her Fb page- https://www.facebook.com/rabiaspage and Instagram.