Meryam Asghar, the granddaughter of Razia Ashraf Badshah, inherited some genes to serve people in the world of beauty and now is a very famous qualified hair expert and a make-up artist. She owns a salon with her mother named Women salon and Institute; located in Garden area of Karachi.
She did hair sculpturing course and hair coloring course from Pivot Point International. This degree is considered in 23 countries where she is free to work as a hairstylist. She recently also was trained under the hair guru Mounir. She did her internships and advancement classes from Dubai; many from Loreal Paris, Schawrzkopf, Keratin Complex, Keune etc. She learned her make-up skill by her mother and grandmother. Apart from that, she took makeup classes from Natasha and Anum Falak as well.
NM: What should be a women’s hair care routine for longer, healthier and shiny hair?
MA: Hair care routine varies from person to person. Oily and dry scalp are two problematic situations to deal with. For oily hair, I would suggest using diluted ACV (apple cider vinegar) on damp hair before shampooing and using a hair mask afterward. THIS IS A MIRACLE GUYS. It not only removes the dirt and sweat from your scalp, also it’s acidic content closes up the hair follicles that literally stops hair fall, gives shine/luster to hair and its anti-bacterial nature prevents germ build-up. I would seriously recommend this to ladies who wear hijab. Now for the dry hair types, for best results, combine egg yolk, mayonnaise, olive oil, yogurt and apply roots to tips. And thrice a week, use a teaspoon of hair mask and apply from beneath the shoulders.
NM: How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart from other make up and hair artists?
MA: Well, I believe that the perfect bride isn’t just layers of makeup on her delicate skin. It’s also a combination of the grooming routine she carries out. Exercise, cleaning and most importantly treating her hand and feet the same way she treats her face! Coming back to the makeup. We create signature brides with soft Contouring that compliments the face shape with a natural glow instead of heavy highlighting techniques. Using high quality makeup like Laura Mercier, Este Lauder, Kat Von D and a promise that the makeup will last up to 8 HOURS without smudging! Yes, that is possible.
NM: There is a dizzying world of skin care and beauty products available. Which is your international and local favorite products?
MA: Talking about skin care. I highly request everyone to use a 50+spf sunblock if they want to keep their skin looking fresh and glowy.
Talking about international favorites, they would be the foundations from Laura Mercier, lipsticks from Mac, Kat Von D, Swaleha abbasi, NYX, Contouring kits by Anastasia and Kat Von D. And the all-time favorite Urban Decay’s NAKED.
For cleansing and everyday exfoliating, I would recommend a universal all-time favorite suitable for every skin! The Neutrogena Mulberry Foaming face wash. If you have more of an organic approach, then THE PERFECT facial wash would be by Juice organics Powash from the U.S.A
NM: What about your favourite hair care products?
MA: My personal favorites in the hair care industry are Absolute Repair Lipidium by Loreal, Vital shots by K.C and Olaplex for preventing damage during harsh color processes. Shampoos by Tony n Guy and Boots Pharmaceuticals are my absolute favorites. I would like to point out the need for a good hair mask. Shampoo dries out your hair of moisture and hair masks restore that moisture and hydrates your hair removing the extra frizz. Oh, and ladies who do not use Iron Guard sprays or protective serums before ironing and blow-dries are likely to loose hair four times as much who does.
NM: Who is your inspiration?
MA: My grandmother, Razia Ashraf. She established this salon in the late 1960’s. She was a trained theater make up artist from London and a still life artist/painter herself. With pure Indian heritage, she painted masterpieces. Brides and paintings!
NM: What is one thing that anyone can do to be their most beautiful selves?
MA: Do everything you like so there won’t be any regrets! Everyone is different in this world and has different perspectives. They want to stand out of the crowd but still try so hard to fit in! Briefly, a universal manner everyone should possess is to be soft spoken yet bold. Kind yet has that inner fire, and no matter what, have pure and clean intentions.
NM: What are some newly introduced techniques and trends in the makeup world?
MA: Perfect Contouring has been at peaks for the past 2 years, Contouring requires Bronzing and Highlighting the face in certain areas. Inspired by the famous Kardaishans. Body contouring has also been a hit. A new trend in the lip world would be Kylie Jenner lips, lol, with dull shades of nude, pink and aubergine have been really good hits and are my favorites!
NM: The mistakes women should avoid while grooming themselves?
MA: Oh this will be good. Considering make up, use the foundation that matches your real skin tone and not the ivory ones. Because they would turn gray. Remember, makeup to hide your flaws, not to look white.
Considering hair. Please do not grow them to lengths that would be unmanageable. This will usually weigh down your hair follicles and hair will start falling out! If you wear hijab then please use a breathable material such as cotton and not fabrics like polyester and especially not using those jersey caps. They literally kill your follicles and they start falling out of your hair.
But the hair trend is changing a bit with ladies preferring bobs in this scorching heat and I salute them for such confidence!
NM: Any tips and advice you would pass along to others who are getting started in your field?
MA: I suggest them patience. It is very hard to attract customers when you are new in this field. I have seen talented people shutting their salons due to lack of customers and response. It’s all about patience, perfect advertising and a fresh talent to attract customers. As I was gifted with a saloon in inheritance, it’s been in my blood and since childhood, I’ve seen my grandmother and mother running the salon smoothly. At the salon, we are now a family of 30.
NM: How is your experience with our blog, Vogue Amour By Nageen?
MA: I love her blogs and Nageen herself is such a sweet lady! She’s compassionate about her work, dedicated and is helping others to grow which will earn her many dua’s inshaAllah.
We hope you enjoyed this interview as much we enjoyed working with the super gorgeous Meryam Asghar.
For her appointments and consultation message on her Facebook page: Womens Salon and Institute