Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Nov 04, 2008

Metro Plus Bangalore

Tress treats

BEAUTY Get to see your scalp up close and personal 
at the Oryza Spa

It was like something out of the X Files. The monitor on the
 spanking white counter to my right showed a vast expanse
 of pink, with serrated seaweeds sticking out in a woefully
sparse fashion. I turned a terrified look on the consultant
Sanjana, who hastened to reassure me that all was not as
dire as it looked. My scalp was dry, some damage had
occurred after years of glopping colour on my hapless
strands but all was not lost. Kerastase was going to come
to the rescue.

The Oryza Day Spa on Lavelle Road is a plushly done up
place, all soothing ambience, pristine white-on-tan colour
 scheme and smiling staff. It is backed by two veterans in
 the beauty business; first, owner Lata Mohan of Bounce and
 Kanya, who has proved the worth of her spas and salons
 in Chennai as well as Bangalore many times over, and
 second, the Kerastase brand of products for hair.

The spa is named Oryza after a variety of wild rice, which is
 used in many of the body and face treatments in-house.
This the only place in this city to retail Kerastase products.
 For those with perpetual good hair days, Kerastase is to
misbehaving hair what magic elixir is to youth. This French
 brand offers an array of heavy duty products, gels, creams,
 shampoos, serums, to tame the most recalcitrant strand,
make it gleam like it has just caught sight of Imran Khan
and behave like a decently brought up Indian belle.

After my head is examined minutely, the consultant draws
 up a detailed nourishment programme for me. This involves
 Rebalancing of the hair (better experience than explained,
 I assure you), Bathe, which is about finding the right shampoo
 for the elaborate rinsing procedure, the nourishing “Treat”
which is basically the appropriate mask, Revitalisation for
hair drastically damaged (and no, I’m thankful to report
I hadn’t reached that stage yet) and finally, Texturisation,
which is conditioning your thoroughly pampered hair to
 such an extent, it thinks it has died and gone to hair heaven.

My therapist is quiet and efficient, using firm strokes to coax
my hair into a submissive state before giving it alternate heat
 and cold treatments, both with iced and heated hand-held
 contraptions before putting my head under a machine
which kind of takes one back to the days of the 80s Hollywood
 hit film “Shampoo”. The side treats are a shoulder massage
 and another one, reflexology this time, for the feet.

Being the curious kind, I ask questions and am told that
Oryza is a unisex salon and frequented by regulars of the
 male species, too. I’m also told that sometimes our
Bangalore hunks ask for female therapists for their body
 massages, which of course, is strictly a no-no at Oryza.
Would I like a blow dry for the full effect to be on show?
 I think for a bit, then demur. I want my Kersatase-d hair
 to dry naturally, retain its new improved look the au naturel
 way. What can I say…the French always deliver on their
 beauty promises. This time was no different.

Oryza offers a wide range of Balinese and Thai therapies,
 hot stone treatments, Turkish Bath, body treatments
 (their Strawberry Back Facials are a big hit), wraps, facials
, hot and cold infusions to stimulate the skin, but my money
 is on the different Kerastase-backed hair treatments...you
 know, crowning glory and all that. The treatments don’t
 come cheap (Rs. 2,300 for the Nourishing one I took) but
as an occasional treat, it’s hard to beat.


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