Monday, November 29

Hair-razing tales sweep Kolkata homes

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Aritra De, a techie, had let his locks loose amid the lockdown when he had to attend an interview over a video conference. De, a resident of Ultadanga, who is working from home, had to quickly order a hair trimmer online as he did not want to look unkempt and tousled while appearing before his prospective employer.

The techie is among the scores of men and women, who, in the absence of salon and spa services, have resorted to visiting e-tail outlets for self-grooming at home. Electronic trimmers, as a result, have become one of the most sought-after ‘non-essential’ products over the past month, with lakhs of city residents forced to snip and shape their hair and beard while stuck in self isolation. Amazon India said it has seen a sudden spurt in demand for self-grooming products over the last 30 days.

A spokesperson for the e-market giant told TOI: “Initially, these products were not a part of the essential category, but as people started looking up for it, we tried to include them in our list of deliverables.” The company has been experiencing a tremendous pull for head shavers, hair clippers, trimmers and other hair-removal products.

The demand for hair care products during pre-pandemic days was mostly restricted to the non-metros, said a Snapdeal spokesperson, adding that clamour for the items has grown among customers in metros of late.

The reason why most people were scurrying to buy the grooming products was the urge to look prim and proper during video calls on Zoom, Google Duo and Whatsapp with friends, office colleagues and relatives. “It is almost same as hanging out with friends at a café or meeting my boss at the boardroom. Lockdown doesn’t mean you can be too casual about your virtual presence,” said Aparajita Majumder, a teacher in a central Kolkata school.

Snapdeal has witnessed a 12-fold jump in orders for grooming products since mid-March. “Personal hair care products are among the top-selling items on Snapdeal. The most popular ones are beard trimmers, multi-look hair trimmers and epilators for dry and wet use. Razors for men and women, hair removal creams, facial hair removers, wax strips, cold wax and beard oils are the other fast-moving products,” a spokesperson of the e-tail player said.

Navneel Shukla of Tollygunge, who had ignored a haircut challenge on social media during the first month of lockdown, was called out for his scruffy stubble by friends and colleagues.

“I had exhausted all my disposable razors, so it had to be bought online. All known brands, however, were unavailable. I had to make do with a product that had received average reviews,” he said. Flipkart, too, had been experiencing an increase in searches for consumer electronic products, especially in the orange and green zones. “In the past fortnight, trimmers continue to be one of the top-10 most-searched products on our platform. Across self-care, grooming and personal care products, we are witnessing an increased search for soaps, sanitary napkins, shaving razors, face wash, toothpaste and shampoo,” a Flipkart spokesperson said.


Source: Times of India

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