As peer pressure mounts and reel life spills into real life, weekly trips to the salon are now the order of the day for city tweens who “can’t be seen without perfect nails and perfect hair”.
“The trend of young children wanting to get groomed at beauty salons has definitely caught on in the city,” says VLCC’s Vandana Luthra. “Children demanding treatments start at age 11, though expats’ kinds sometimes start as young as nine. We give them kiddies manicure and pedicure.”
A reason for this trend could be the “early onset puberty among girls and the accompanying hormonal changes,” says Dr Shivani Sachdev. It’s not just body fuzz that the hormones set off, but acne and pigmentation as well, Seema Malik, MD Eleganza Skin Clinic says, “We get kids aged 11-15 years wanting a cure for skin problems as well as laser hair removal.”
But, if you go by what these “well-groomed” children say, it’s clearly a case of peer pressure. Says 13-year old Minal*, who has been going for regular fruit facials, bikini waxing, manicures and pedicures for the past year and a half, “boys in my class call girls with hairy legs bhaloo”. And 14-year old Niharika’s* “trademark” for the last two years has been the red coloured fringes of her rebounded hair. She loves the “cool look” it gives her. She’s recently added a pierced navel and nose to enhance her “cool” quotient.
In addition to treatments, there are also special grooming sessions for tweens where they are taught about hairstyles and skin maintenance. What comes as revelation though is that most of these treatments are being done with the consent of parents. It’s rare to see kids who come on their own.
This trend is a worldwide phenomenon. According to a recent report in the The Guardian, more than six out of 10 girls aged seven to 10 wore lipstick and more than two in five wore eye-shadow or eye-liner. And three in five wore perfumes.