Nabila brings the space to Islamabad’s salon culture

July 28, 2019

Nabila brings the space to Islamabad’s salon culture

Islamabad is mostly known for high stakes politics playing background to sleepy culture and heavy greenery lacing it’s streets; one can brag that unlike other major cities in Pakistan, claustrophobia is not an issue for Islamabad’s residents. Nabila’s newest flagship in a quiet market in the city’s E-7 sector reflects the vibe.

Nabila launched their latest outfit with a packed event in Islamabad where the city came out in full force to warmly welcome a new silhouette on the capital’s salon outline. "Truly, the response was overwhelming," Tabesh Khoja of Nabila told Instep. "Islamabad is certainly very welcoming and they have a very progressive approach to beauty culture."

Often dismissed as the more conservative of the bustling cities in Pakistan, Islamabad, particularly when it comes to beauty, tends to lean towards clean and sharp looks. A tailored aesthetic with enough edge to satisfy our more adventurous side when it comes to a look. Think understated, dare we say a natural, looking balayage paired with a sharp blunt bob.

At first glance, from outside and even when face to face with the front desk, you would have no idea what is hiding just behind the privacy of the front face of the salon.

Entering the space you are met with a no frills front desk in black and white aesthetic (monochromes being the stylish maven of Nabila’s empire go-to colour palette) flanked on both sides with black stairwells leading you towards the greater salon.

"Islamabad salon is my latest project and I’m very excited about the way it’s turned out," Nabila told Instep. "I’m a sucker for design and this property lands a very unique character. The ceiling height is 20 ft and has an industrial loft feel. The team is talented and charming.

This outlet has been long overdue but I feel this is an idea the time for which is right."

A short stairwell descent away is a massive, maximum impact space. Chandeliers (the only maximalist touch outside of the sheer size of the place) hang over the space of the ground floor, where the top floor’s inky black railings frame the ground floor’s rising lights from the vanity table setups. The floors are dark grey wood that match the salon’s over all aesthetic, one that transports you from Islamabad to an Instagrammable boutique hotel in (forgive us!) a much more happening city.

Privacy in such a large space is something Nabila knocks out of the park. In a salon culture, which tends to have technicians and clients falling over themselves with the amount of action they pack into one space, Nabila – whose spacious second floor overlooks the ground floor where the hair and makeup action takes place – prioritizes client comfort over using every nook and cranny of the space.

The salon is intelligently designed to reflect where Nabila and her team have spent countless hours over the years: backstage. Fashion weeks or award shows, Nabila has had her creative team behind the scenes of some of the most viral and well recognised looks and events and her salon reflects the ebb and flow known to create a productive space in a hectic time crunch.

As you walk down the second set of stairs to the ground floor you are met with another guest waiting area behind the stairs, out of the action but with a good view of what’s happening. Rows of hair and makeup stations with the aforementioned vanity lights are well spaced out, once again valuing the customer’s need to relax in the chair with some personal space.

Nabila offers beauty services for both women and men ranging from haircuts to styling, coloring (highlights, balayage and all over colour, oh my!) to texture addressing treatments including the keratin infusing Brazilian blow dry, hair rebonding and extension applications.

Your hands and feet can also get their expert care with a short, concise menu of manicure and pedicure options (go for the hydrating manicure for an extra boost in these dry summer months). Also, there are nail art options and investment services like gel manicures which last up to three weeks before needing to be touched up.

A maven of the makeup world, Nabila offers levels of makeup packages ranging from wanting to spice up a night out with a professional glam up to bridal make up – all of which can be done for you from the privacy of their screen rooms on the second floor..

The lay out of the salon has made it a focus to give the client privacy while in a busy salon, stations are not stacked close together, making it easy for one to escape and relax. There’s nothing worse than heading to get your look in order while trying to get your peace of mind and having to take in the conversation of other people. The outfit will be a welcome addition to the beauty scene in the nation’s capital, offering something a little different with the client’s comfort in mind.

Nabila brings the space to Islamabad’s salon culture