Remember the days when braiding your hair meant getting your mum to tug and pull at your hair until you had a braid so tight, it would take a crane to get your head to turn an inch to the side? And what for—so that you could look like the goody two-shoes {with a single braid, or worse, a pigtail!} that you so weren’t. While we’re no longer letting our mums fiddle with our hair, we’re super happy because Rod Anker Salon is here in town, and they’re bringing braiding back with the first braid bar ever in India.

Three of us from LBBD walked into the salon one fine day, to see what the fuss was all about. And boy, of boy, were we in for a ride. This place was transformation max! We all got braids of different kinds here, but the one thing common among all? They were supremely badass!

020716_shobnabraid-1 We Got Badass Braids At The New Rod Anker Salon

I went in blind, didn’t know what I was signing up for, and loved it. The process for me took a good 40 – 45 minutes of focussed braiding. The ‘braidist’ had hands that move faster than lightning, and was like a blacksmith working metal to make a sword—except the metal is hair and the sword is beautiful braids. Sometimes the hair was pulled and pinched, but it was a relatively painless process, with minor discomfort, that’s less than getting your eyebrows threaded, so it was definitely manageable.

Getting braided made me feel like a bonafide BAMF. I didn’t need no leather jacket, no combat boots, or bar-fight scars, I had me some braids. I loved that I was wearing a feminine, flowy dress, and little ballet flats and BAM, all my swagger was intact.

After seven hours in the braids I was ready to let my hair down, but it took me a long time to find where to start unbraiding them. I would suggest having a loving parent/partner/random stranger take the braids out for a much easier time.

020716_ipshitabraid We Got Badass Braids At The New Rod Anker Salon

As I sat in the chair and the lovely lady doing the braid asked me what I wanted, I opened my mouth to start explaining and then quickly shut up because I, frankly, had no idea what I wanted. So I let her go wild with my hair. And she did.

I’d gone in looking like a homeless hippie and came out a badass with an identity crisis. It took lots of smudged kohl around my eyes to project correctly what the hair called for — do not mess with me! My mane of curly hair was nowhere in sight because the lady had divided my hair into four sections and reverse braided it right from the front of my hair all the way to the back. I couldn’t believe it was me in the reflection.

There’s a tiny bit of discomfort as the hair is pulled and carefully twisted, but it’s nothing unbearable. Oh, and once you undo the braiding, prepare to be awed by most gorgeous crimped hair, that belongs rightfully on the beach.


020716_akankshabraid We Got Badass Braids At The New Rod Anker Salon

As someone who’s idea of a new hairstyle is limited to cutting it short by two tiny centimetres, the idea of a braid bar to me was strange yet fascinating. First, some fundamental questions – why is it called a braid bar? Is there going to be alcohol involved? Will we get to dance on table tops after getting our hair braided? {The answer to all of these was no, by the way. Hey, at least I’m thorough}.

The place itself is a tiny yet neat shop tucked in the hipster lanes of Meherchand. From the get-go, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my hair – Kylie’s Coachella French braids {sometimes I like to Keep Up}. After showing a reference to the lady who’ll be doing my braids, I was basically asked to sit down and let the magic happen.

My two cents on the experience: It’s good if you have a basic idea of what you’d like to get, but don’t be shy to experiment! The outcome will make you look badass, in the best way possible. Don’t be worried if your hair’s short – there are plenty of options for everyone to choose from. There will be minor discomfort and a lot of waiting, but it’ll be totally worth it.

And a side note – opening your hair up will be an experience unto itself; make sure you have plenty of time on you before you do so {for opening the braids up as well as washing all the product off your hair}. You’re going to look awesome, embrace that inner badassery and flaunt it!

Where: 117, Meherchand Market

Nearest Metro Station: JLN Stadium

Contact: 011 41010011

Timings: Friday and Saturday between 1 pm – 7 pm {By appointment}

Price: Starting at INR 750

Follow Rod Anker Salon on Facebook here and on Instagram here.


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