A few months ago, Charanjeev Singh Salva, a Mumbai-based Sikh, found that he was the only man in his family’s current generation to retain his long hair and beard. All of his cousins had shaved their beards and cut their hair to adopt a ‘easier and modern’ style, but instead of following suit, Salva decided to stand a cut above the rest.
Unhappy with Fixo, a gluey substance that has been around since Salva’s grandfather’s time, he decided it was time for a change.
"It (Fixo) makes the beard hard, and I started losing hair," said Salva who came across several Sikh men who had the same complaint.
The man behind the label, Charanjeev Singh Salva, proudly maintains his beard
After six months of research and experiments (mostly on himself), the 33-year-old launched SinghStyled. This grooming brand offers beard oils, brushes, shampoos, salais (turban needles), turbans and other little accoutrements that allows Sikh men to maintain their facial hair and indulge their stylish side.
SinghStyled's collection of beard oils
“I wanted to help the community, and maintain my identity,” said Salva in an interview with HuffPost India. “Today, the most popular ways to establish your identity are through food and fashion. I chose the latter,” he said.
Salva joined hands with a friend who was in the business of manufacturing cosmetics, and experimented with different products to find the perfect formula. “I have sensitive skin, but that only encouraged me to try several combinations on myself till I got it right,” he said. His products contain natural mixes of jojoba, wheatgerm (for Vitamin-E that will keep your beard soft), citrus and honeydrop that keep the beard soft and clean.
Salva’s eclectic turbans are supplied from different states across the country – Mumbai, Chennai, Gujarat and Amritsar, while his grooming products are manufactured in Mumbai itself.
SinghStyled offers two types of carefully curated boxes: a SinghStyled Basic Kit that features a turban, and a beard wash and oil (Rs 999 -1,500 depending on the length of the turban), and a SingleStyled Lifestyle Kit (Rs 1,899 – Rs 2,500) that contains a few more accessories.
Salva said the brand creates a new theme every month to offer men advice on pairing different accessories such as ties, socks and pocket squares. This also allows them to have some fun, planning their own style statements. “We are also trying to move away from traditional black and blue turbans, by introducing quirkier shades such as chocolate brown and marsala, a robust earthy colour that has been named colour of the year,” he said.
Although SinghStyled is merely 45 days old, Salva is already delighted with the response the brand has elicited. "We’ve just crossed 100 clients, and what’s surprising to note is that 68 per cent of our buyers are from the non-Sikh community,” he revealed.
The custom salais that SinghStyled also offers are made of brass. Salva, who is experimenting with alloys to create his next batch, has lovingly christened them Montblanc salais, because they look as sharp, and carry the same air of class as the designer pen. “Recently a woman who purchased the kit for her father -– she calls him her superhero -- said she loved the salai, and wanted to know when they would be individually available,” shared the young entrepreneur.
Initially a broker, Singh left his job out of boredom, and invested in a startup, before SinghStyled came along. The brand was eventually formed because Singh wanted to do something that didn’t just aid his community, but also revived a dying part of his culture. “A Sikh’s beard, moustache and turban should be worn proudly, not shelved for easy maintenance,” he concluded.
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