BENGALURU: When was the last time you got a makeover in just five minutes and there was a cause attached to it?
Chennai-based content manager Sushanth Shyamsundar travels to different cities to give people short, edgy hairstyles. He calls himself The Travelling Stylist.
When clients are willing to chop off 10 inches or more of their hair, he donates the hair for the benefit of cancer patients through Cope With Cancer, an NGO. The hair is made into wigs and given to cancer patients who lost their hair to chemotherapy.
Sushanth’s tryst with hairstyling happened by accident. When he was 16, he went to Georgia, USA as part of an exchange programme and befriended a woman who ran a salon there. “She wanted to learn how to cook Indian food. So I offered to teach her in exchange for lessons in hairstyling,” he says.
Later, he went back to pursue a degree in mass media and management at a university in Miami. There, he got to experiment different hairstyles on his dorm mates and friends.
In August 2014, Sushanth set up a Facebook page called The Travelling Stylist to make spreading the word easier. Today, apart from meeting clients at his beachside apartment in Palavakkam, Chennai, he frequently travels to Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune to practise hairstyling. He charges Rs 1,000 per haircut.
While short styles are his specialty, he has also convinced several women to go bald. “In India, women are still very scared to think outside traditional long hairstyles. I’ve managed to talk a lot of women into getting the look that they want. And they almost always love it afterwards,” he says.
Working independent of brands or companies has given Sushanth a good deal of freedom. “Big salons tend to discourage women from cutting their hair too short. Often, they only want to push their expensive hair products and treatments. The shorter your hair, the less money they can get out of you,” he says.
Indian summers get really hot and short hair makes life a lot easier. Plus, it looks cooler, he reckons.
While he generally works from a serviced apartment in Bengaluru, he also does house calls.
The Travelling Stylist is in town this weekend. Call 99406 79317 for an appointment.