A Hair Smoothening Story

Prices and perception in India

Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh
4 min readMay 16, 2022


Me at Tanisha Beauty Parlour on Friday. Photo by the author.

I got my hair treated with some Keratin treatment which made it look straight and smooth. I wanted to look nice for a birthday party in my home the next day, and I have an upcoming trip to New Delhi — I didn’t want my tangled hair to rip out and make me look bald over the trip.

My hair after the treatment. Photo by the author.

The main reason for my visiting this parlor was that I developed some pain in the neck last month, and the parlor lady here managed to massage the problem out of my neck.

I thought that she deserved my custom for the hair treatment as well.

Me at a franchise of DC Salon, with the hairdressers who initially sold me on the keratin treatment for hair. Photo taken by the author in December 2021.

The treatment cost me ₹7500, around $100, compared to 2500, around $32 at the hair franchise.

The only reason why I chose my parlour lady over the male employees at the hair salon franchise is:


I sometimes develop a crick in my neck that makes me dizzy. The parlour lady is the only person who can solve that crick perfectly and painlessly. For that, she deserves me in her parlour… once in a while for hair as well, even if she is on the expensive side. By and large you get what you pay for.

$100 is horrendously expensive for a hairdo by Indian standards. If you want to compare it to something?

$100 would buy you a 8.82 lb/4 kilogram pack of whey protein.

$100 is the cost of my train tickets to New Delhi from Tatanagar. This is a nineteen-hour long train journey for three people (my husband, my daughter and me — and this includes a snack, tea, dinner and breakfast.

I must be crazy to spend that kind of money on my hair!

Well.. not entirely crazy. Just vain. My hair’s thinning awfully at the top, and seeing hair in my drain would make me want to weep. The keratin/botoplex treatments prevent hair fall, and it makes my hair resist fall.



Tooth Truth Roopa Vikesh

I don’t just create smiles, I inspire them! Dentist, mom—Jamshedpur, India.