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    The only Paul Mitchell focus salon in town, Zique promises customised treatments

    A  great haircut, four years of friendship and a common dream went into laying the foundation of the city’s latest address for beauty, Zique Salon and Spa. Jointly founded by Devikala Gopalakrishnan, a delivery manager with an IT company, and Balaji Mohan, a former hair stylist with Toni&Guy and the go-to person for many Chennaiites, the salon opened its doors in Chetpet a month ago. “We wanted it to be luxurious and unique. That’s why we chose to name it Zique—a combination of Zi (Mandarin for beauty and grace) and unique,” smiles Gopalakrishnan, explaining that over a year of discussions and research went into setting up the 2,400 sq ft space.Zique salon for indulge. Express / R.Satish Babu
    The USP of the salon is, of course, hair. Upon entering, I find nine cutting stations ensconced in the space that has been done up in black and gold (as the latter “epitomises luxury”). “Wella, Schwarzkopf and its ilk are common here. But Paul Mitchell, a brand I fell in love with on my travels abroad, was rare—it was limited to a couple of five-star hotels,” explains the 36-year-old, talking about how they approached the hair care brand and got the go ahead to be its first focus salon (one that uses only Paul Mitchell products) in the city.
    Skin sense
    This is not to say skin care has taken a back seat. With two facial rooms, spa rooms and mani-pedi stations each, you can be sure of enjoying all the staples of a typical salon outing. And with Dermalogica and Bomb Cosmetics being used, quality is high. But while the facial—which begins with skin mapping, followed by a customised treatment—is expertly done, the mani-pedi experience is a bit clumsy (a few executional problems that the staff assure me will soon be sorted out). “We have a VIP room for those who want privacy and, while we currently offer a selection of Thai massages, we plan to expand the offering, maybe even open a stand-alone spa soon,” says Gopalakrishnan.
    Quest for quality
    We quite liked the kids’ section, too, with its bright wallpaper and three hair cutting stations.  Gopalakrishnan tells us that they plan to add an iPad or a gaming station to make the tots feel at home. “We also want to partner with a paediatrician to look into what else we can introduce for children—like massages,” she says. Though busy balancing her IT career and the salon, the MBA graduate is also putting together a core R&D team—including a dermatologist, plastic surgeon and a celebrity (“they can give suggestions about pain points”)—to develop customised treatments, makeovers and the like. “To stay unique is a constant process and a team like this will set us apart,” she concludes.
    Facials from Rs 1,000 and haircuts (for men) from Rs 400. Details: 43849888
    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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