Berhampur: From Silk City Berhampur to Mumbai, the city of dreams and fashion capital of India, it’s been quite a journey for hairstylist and makeup man K Raju.
Abreast of the latest trends in haircut, hair care and styling, Raju has unique solutions for all customers.
No wonder the 29-year-old has become a favourite of several celebrities.
His impressive list of clients includes Tiger Shroff, Malaika Arora, Varun Dhawan, Karan Patel, Aditya Seal, Meezaan Jaffrey, Kirti Karma and Anusha Dandekar.
Talking to Odisha Bytes during his visit to Berhampur, Raju said he was driven by a desire to make a name for himself and become famous.
He picked up hair-cutting at the age of 14 from his father K Rambabu, who had a salon called ‘The Hairline’ at Bijipur in Berhampur.
Financial constraints forced Raju to leave studies in 2006, when he was in Class X at Matrushree Anglovedic School, Hillpatna in Berhampur.
“From that time, I was determined to help my father in this profession and the family,” Raju said.
“I remember earning Rs 7 as my first income, including Rs 4 for hair-cutting and Rs 3 for shaving,” said Raju, who now charges his high-profile clients lakhs of rupees.
He has opened two more branches of Hairline Salon with modern equipment, at SNT Road and Old Bus Stand.
He introduced hair weaving – which was available in Bhubaneswar only — in Berhampur 3 years ago. A non-surgical procedure to treat baldness and thinning hair, it is yet to become popular in Berhampur, Raju informed.
The key to his success, he feels, is his knack of learning new techniques and knowing usage of latest equipment from the beginning.
“I saved some money after working hard for some time. During the initial stage of my professional career, I participated in a workshop on hairstyling and makeup at Bhubaneswar for a fee of Rs 2000. Then I did a 3-day course at Hong Kong which cost Rs 1.25 lakh. I spent Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh to go abroad every year for four years to learn about new techniques. It yielded results… I learnt all the new trends in hairstyle and makeup,” Raju revealed.
Attending workshops in India and abroad helped him come in contact with Bollywood celebrities like Tiger Shroff, who depends on Raju for his hairstyle and looks. It was Bikram Swain of Ganjam, the personal choreographer of Tiger, who connected Raju to the young Bollywood star.