Before V-Day, it's salon visit for women

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 11:00 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Nupur Sharma is 20 and wants to celebrate the Valentine's Day in a nice pub at Pitampura. But to look stunning on the special night, she will first visit a Kaya Clinic or VLCC centre.

Likewise, a recently married young girl has taken a Lakme Salon's package that includes facial, hair spa, manicure, pedicure etc. for her first Valentine's Day after nuptials.

"Who would not like to look pretty in front of their boyfriends?" asks Nupur, who plans to have a cleansing treatment at the beauty and wellness centre.

The desire to look attractive and be admired propels women to pamper themselves at salons on the occasion of Valentine's Day. "Wanting to look special for that day has pushed the demand for special treatments in the past 5-6 years. We have seen a 15 to 20 percent yearly increase over the past four years among women coming for special Valentine's Day treatments," says Dr. Abha Kashyap, dermatologist at Med Spa.

VLCC founder Vandana Luthra believes that is also due to the financial independence that has come to women.

"Growing economic independence along with increasing awareness about beauty and wellness is driving more women to seek skin treatments. Given the high stress levels and pollution (which does take a toll on the skin), women want to look and feel good and are taking professional help to have a glowing and healthy skin," said Luthra, who has built up the VLCC brand.

Though a majority of women go for salon treatments, many women are also opting for mild clinical treatments like botox, laser, medical peel just a week before the D-day.

"Medi-facials (which cost between Rs.1,400-6,000) are becoming popular among women and parlour treatments are taking a back seat. They are more effective than salon facials as they use active ingredients which regenerate skin. And the trend is more prominent among independent women who have the money to spend on these relatively expensive treatments," says Dr. Deepti Dhillon, cosmetologist at Appleskin Clinic.

Identifying this as a good business opportunity, beauty salons are targeting the market with less deeper pockets and coming up with attractive packages to lure women.

Kaya Skin Clinics are offering up to 30 percent discount on some beauty services, while VLCC centres are offering a 25 percent discount on facials, hair spa, styling and colouring, which otherwise are priced between Rs.1,500-2,700. Lakme salons too have come up with a special head to toe package for Rs.1,299 until Valentine's Day.

"We are seeing an increase of 20 percent clients across our chain of 165 centres in India," confirms the VLCC's corporate office.

Interestingly, the trend is catching up with single women too. "I would go for a day spa, massage, hair do, make-up, everything to pamper myself," says an elated Rituparna Dutta.

"Even if I do not have a Valentine, I still want to go for beauty treatments because they make you feel good. One should not just love their partners but themselves too," says Rituparna.

Vandana agrees. "Women do want to look good on Valentine's Day. Partly, they are trying to impress their partners. But most of them think of it as an opportunity to pamper themselves," she told IANS.

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