Chennai: For lovers of beauty programmes on TV, Mahalakshmi Kamalakannan or Maha, as she is popularly known, needs no introduction.
She has appeared regularly in all leading Tamil channels, offering beauty tips and home remedies for skin and hair problems.
For the womenfolk of Anna Nagar, in the city, her 15-year-old salon near Roundtana – Mahas Beauty Parlour – is a household name.
Recently, she released a book – Maha vin Iyarkayum Azhagum – which has a collection of home remedies and tips to maintain one’s beauty the natural way.
‘News Today’ team approached Maha to know more about her book to get a few beauty tips.
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW:
Q: Why did you write the book?
A: Many of my TV shows viewers who wrote to me and who have met me personally, asked me to document the tips that I offer on TV and release it as a book. This is my first book. Instead of writing it like a normal ‘tips’ book, I’ve tried to make it interesting by using Tamil colloquial words like ‘vari ku ini worry vendaam’, ‘pimpleai pokka simple vazhi’. I took one year to write the book and the content is concise. I’ve written only about the natural treatments that have yielded the best results based on my 30 years experience in the field.
Q: What is the book about?
A: I have mentioned natural beauty tips and home remedies that you can practise on yourself. I’ve offered beauty tips for maintaining healthy hair, skin and body. It caters to both males and females. I’ve listed out healthy food that one can take according to their taste and preferences to maintain a healthy body. I’ve also listed out age-based tips. For example, between ages 10-20 there will be a lot of hormonal changes, and from ages 30-40 and during menopause, there will be some more changes in the body. I’ve offered beauty tips based on that. Finally, I’ve answered all the common questions that one might have on maintaining his/her beauty.
Q: How did you get into this industry?
A: My father Isari Velan was a film actor and deputy minister in the Tamilnadu Cabinet when MGR was Chief Minister. When I was young, he acted in a movie, ‘Sri Kanchi Kamakshi’ as a ‘Vellakaara Durai’. He came home with his full makeup to surprise us and I couldnt recognise my own father. That was when I decided to become a beautician. I did a short course and started a small 200 sq ft salon in 1989. Now, I employ 120 women and also run Maha International Academy for Hair and Beauty which has a presence even in Malaysia. It was the first government recognised institution offering multidisciplinary beautician and wellness courses in Tamilnadu.
Q: What do you wish to tell people entering the industry?
A: It is a flourishing field with a lot of opportunities. An engineering or an MBBS course will take lakhs to study and will take many years to complete. But here, a full-fledged course is just 3 months long and costs less than Rs 50,000. There is a demand for beauticians and they earn handsomely now. Sometimes, even more than an engineer or a doctor. Contact her for beauty queries at 9840094466.
MAHA’S BEAUTY TIPS
For strong hair
Make a paste with shallots (sambar vengayam) and mix it with egg white. Soak vendhayam (fenugreek) in water for some time and grind it smoothly with curry leaves. Mix all of this together and apply the paste layer by layer as a hair mask. Let it be on for 45 minutes. Wash it off with shampoo.
Benefits: This will promote hair growth. Weak hair will fall and it will be replaced by stronger, darker and thicker hair.
To check dandruff
Apply a mixture of poduthalai keerai, nannari powder, amla powder, white pepper and cows milk and apply it on your hair. Wash it off after a few minutes.
Removing dark circles
Take white nandhiyavattai flower and dip it in water. Cover it in mulmul cloth and gently press it on your closed eyes. This ensures excellent reduction in under-eye dark circles.
For good complexion
Grind a mixture of sandalwood oil or powder, kadal paasi and saffron and apply it on your face. After 20 minutes, wash it off with cool water.