10th March 2002

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Nayana offers total hair care

By Esther Williams
Not many of us are born with beautiful, lustrous hair. Today, pollution, the sun and oily food together with stress have affected hair so much that more and more people are seeking professional help. 

For Nayana Karun-aratna, one of Sri Lanka's most successful women entrepreneurs, hair-dressing has been a very rewarding career. Her unisex salons (Salon Nayana) have gained wide popularity. What better way to pass on her knowledge than in the form of a book? 

'Matter of Hair', the first Sri Lankan book to be published on the subject, is her attempt at putting together her experiences in the field over the years. Having been in the hair dressing profession for 32 years, 22 of them as a salon owner, the book is a result of her hard work and commitment.

Nayana's obsession with hair dressing since her school days led to her initial training at Janet's. She then joined the Alan International School of Hair Dressing for extensive training. She also attended seminars with Wella, Schwar-zkopf, Lançome and Elizabeth Arden, among other leading names in the industry, to keep abreast of the latest trends. 

The training offered in hair dressing in Sri Lanka, Nayana feels, is not organized, and of low quality. "Every person who picks up a few facts about hair or beauty opens a school the following day and begins teaching or practising. Most of these trainers do not possess even the basic knowledge, such as the correct way to hold a pair of scissors," she says. Having met with hairdressers all over the country, she feels the need for formal training in the field. "Hair dressing is now a world recognized profession and can be an exciting career choice," she says. 

Essentially a workbook on hair-dressing, the book covers all aspects of hair dressing and the untapped market it represents. Several chapters have been set aside to deal with personality, grooming and attitude of a hairdresser as it is absolutely essential for professional hairdressers to look the part. Tools of the Trade, Glossary and Salon Management describe the technical aspects of hair dressing. 

The book is especially relevant for those wishing to set up shop as the author has dealt with salon management and setting up a new salon. There is also a brief mention of advertising, PR, staff training, licensing, salary structures, etc. that are essential for success.

It is also a guide to better hair. Various ways to dress up hair, hair care treatments, a step by step guide to all procedures for hair dressing- shampooing, conditioning, cutting techniques, styling, colouring, perming and straightening have been described with easy to follow instructions given that would enable readers to master the techniques involved. Her advice on how perming, colouring and straightening interferes with hair, altering its structure, a process that cannot be undone, needs mention. 

Nayana Karunaratna is also the Founder President of SLAHAB (Sri Lanka Association of Hair Dressers and Beauticians) and also the current President of 'Hair Asia Pacific.' She also runs Image Consultants, a school of hair dressing and a training institute for personality development. 'A Matter of Hair' and the Sinhala version of the book called "Kesha Karana" were released on March 4. 

One stop shop for mother 'n' baby

The new one stop shop for mother and child products is a brand new store on Sea Street. 'Mother 'n' Child' which opened in January this year, caters to all needs of infants, toddlers, children, mums-to-be and mothers.

Fine quality garments made locally such as party wear and casual wear in trendy patterns together with underwear are available in comfy cottons, just right for our humid weather.

In addition, baby gear like strollers, prams, walkers, nursery bedding, toys and shoes in different sizes complete the exciting range of baby care products.

"The prices are attractively low, guaranteed to suit every budget," says the Store's Managing Director, A. S. R. Cardoza. "With prices starting as low as Rs. 15, we provide a comprehensive range that others cannot match," he adds.

Josephine Cardoza, proprietor said that they also specialised in baby accessories. The shop has feeding bottles, diapers, bath time sets, grooming sets, quilts, carry bags and sleeping gear in attractive designs. Bright colours and nursery prints that form the decor of the shop create an atmosphere that is both child-friendly and welcoming. Expecially attractive to the children who walk in are the rocking chairs, tricycles and bicycles. 

Mrs. Cardoza spoke of their plans to extend the floor space in a couple of months to make room for maternity apparel. This new section would carry nursing and lingerie items, the latest in maternity trends.

- EW

A journey to fulfilment

By Ruhanie Perera
"We can't wait to get on stage!" says DK of Alien Accent. Alien Accent: Remember them? Suresh, DK and Ricky who have just recorded their debut album, which is best described as the quintessence of the trio and former lead singer Husni. The album is a collection of original compositions featuring characteristic 'alien accents', with some of the arrangements being over a decade old. Also featured in the album are two of Thilan Wijesinghe's compositions, one of which he sings. 

'Rites Of Passage' marks a "journey to fulfilment" embarked on by two sixteen-year-old boys. Today, years and some changes later, they admit that each of the twelve songs on the CD can be identified with a stage in their music career. Thus, marking Alien Accent's milestones, 'Rites of Passage' encompasses not just their growth but also their distinctive identity.

When the trio originally started to record the album, "We never thought that we'd end up recording our album in the US with musicians of the highest calibre, although that is naturally any musicians goal or dream," they say. But by February 2001 Alien Accent was in Los Angeles and for seven weeks (magical is the word they use to describe it) they lived the musician's dream spending days on end in the studio working on their recording.

Renowned bassist Hussain Jiffry, one of our own who has made it to the ranks of the finest session musicians in Los Angeles, took the lead in getting things organised in that part of the world. Within days of their arrival, the trio were rehearsing and recording their original material with the likes of drummer Joey Heredia, whose performance credits include acts like Tania Maria and Chaka Khan, keyboardist Bill Brendle, the musical director for Latin legend Sergio Mendez and of course, Hussain Jiffry, who has played with the likes of Michael McDonald, Sergio Mendez and Jonathan Butler. Sanjay Divecha and Allen Hinds of Randy Crawford's band played guitar. Other stellar performers included percussionist Kevin Ricard, saxophonist Eric Marianthal (GRP artiste), flautist Steve Tavaglioni and Robert Kyle.

The experience was for Alien Accent, a real eye opener; there was so much to observe, so much more to be aware of, so many little things to pick up. The musicians all professionals were willing to discuss the trio's plans for their music, were fully focussed on their project and had a definite plan for the song they were about to play, one in keeping with the composer's objectives.

That they were impressed with the material presented to them was a tremendous source of encouragement for the trio. The experience has, they emphasise, made quite an impact on their lives and thus augurs well for their future work. 

Alien Accent live

'Rites of Passage' will be launched with a three-day live performance that promises to be a "spectacular display of talent and musical skill". The backing musicians for the concert, who have been described as some of Sri Lanka's finest, include Aruna Siriwardhana on drums, Kumar de Silva on keyboards, Shobi Perera on bass, Shane Berenger on guitar and Jude Thiagarajah on percussion. Guest artistes will be Sureka Amerasinghe (flute and keyboard), Ratnam on oriental percussion and performing his song on the album will be Thilan Wijesinghe. The concert, which is produced by Jerome de Silva, will be on at the Bishop's College Auditorium on March 22, 23 and 24. Got that! Write it down somewhere! This is not a show to be missed! 

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