Woman of the Week: Anushka of Aer Blowdry Bar!
Having lived in 5 different countries prior to London, Anushka has battled everything from humidity to dryness. Combining her passion for healthy glossy tresses, and her experience at L’Oréal – AER Blowdry Bar was born. Anushka reveals her secret to taming those tresses…and confirms our mantra that beauty really does start from within…
1. So tell us, what sparked your idea to set up AER? And what makes the AER experience different to other blow-dry bars?
When I moved to London in 2013, I found it really difficult to find a high quality, yet affordable blow dry that fits my own personal style. I love getting my hair done, and when I lived in the States, there were always a lot of good options to choose from. However, I felt that there was a gap in the market here in London. So I founded aer. Our goal is to deliver high quality blowdries that are truly bespoke. We wanted to create a space that was inviting, comfortable, and fun! And, our stylists create looks that are truly personalised for each client. We don’t have a predefined 'menu' of looks - we believe in individuality!
2. We love that you're a well-travelled lady - you have lived in 5 different countries! What, then, made you set up AER in London?
After business school I realised that I had lived in Asia, North America and the Middle East, but had never lived in Europe. After visiting London a few times, I just fell in love with the city! London has something for everyone and is home to so many different types of people! I love that our clients come from all over the world and do a whole bunch of different things. Just today, we had a client come in on her way to work in the City, and later in the day we had a group of mums who came in for some richly deserved pampering. The diversity of our clients makes living in London and working at aer so interesting!
3. What is THE beauty tip that every girl needs to practice daily!
A glass of hot water with lemon first thing in the morning is a must! Its’ a natural and simple cleanse to start your day right.
4. For so many of us, travelling abroad and on holiday can do weird and wonderful things to the appearance of our hair. How do you protect your locks from the sun, sea, and chlorine to prevent unruly frizz and damage?
I am obsessed with Kerastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur. It is a light weight leave in conditioner spray that has UV protection and anti humidity properties. It smells amazing too and leaves the hair feeling really soft. When I go swimming, I first use a conditioner before I shampoo my hair and then conditioner again if I still need it. As chlorine dries out my hair, a good conditioner works wonders without weighing down the hair.
5. Here at Inner Me, we are strong advocates that beauty STARTS from within. What foods do you eat to feed your fabulous follicles?
Fish is a key part of my diet. I particularly enjoy Salmon and Sea bass. My husband is a great cook and we have fish on the menu when we eat at home. I also make sure to eat plenty of leafy greens with dinner – lots of spinach and kale to keep the skin and hair looking fresh!
6. What hair products do you use on your customers at AER, and why?
At aer, we are providing a premium service and experience so it’s important that the products we use reflect that. We only use Oribe and Kerastase hair products on our clients. Oribe is our line of sulphate free, paraben free and vegan products that has a fantastic range to make your blowdry last. Kerastase is a leading premium hair care brand. It was important for us to partner with a brand that is at the cutting edge of innovation in hair care.
7. We love that you have fallen in love with London's restaurant scene (if you haven't tried Nama Foods in Notting Hill yet, it's a MUST. The raw cheesecake is to die for!). Where, in your opinion, is the best dinner date you have been on in London so far? Do you have a particular cuisine that you prefer over others?
I’ve recently been exploring London’s Peruvian restaurants. There are so many great options. I highly recommend Pachamama on Thayer Street. It’s a great space, and the food is amazing! Be sure to try the ceviches – so fresh and so good!!
8. Talk to us about hair masks - what would you recommend and how often should we use one?
The type of hair mask to use depends on your hair type and the condition of your hair. I’m a big fan of Oribe's Signature Moisture Masque as it’s a deep conditioning mask that doesn't weigh my hair down. As I blowdry my hair quite often. I need a mask that restores and hydrates my hair. Our hair is exposed to pollution and weather change on a daily basis, so I recommend this 10 minute treatment at least once a week.
9. As well as the perfect blow-dry, what do you predict to trend as THE hairstyle of 2015 A/W?
A loosely gathered low ponytail. This style is super simple and easy to create, I predict seeing this effortless yet chic style dominating runaways this A/W.
10. At AER Blow-dry bar you offer your customers a relaxing 10 minute scalp massage. But what's your fave way to relax after a hard day's work?
There is nothing better than a warm bath to de-stress after a long day at work. These days I am also trying out Yin Yoga. As it’s a more meditative form of yoga, it gives me the opportunity to switch off for an hour and focus on myself.
For more about Anushka and AER click here.