Women who walk through hell, survive and evolve from it, are rare creatures. I say this from experience, a spiritual “knowing” and deep inner self confidence. Nothing breaks us if we don’t allow it to break us. Anchored as we get by life’s lessons, an unshakable faith in a power higher than “me,” and who we are, that roots from an understanding of inner purpose.  We are WOKE women, though frankly women have been `woke’ even before the word became fashionable to throw around in millennial circles.

This faith also drives the life force of Malaysia based Beauty Artist, Maham Chaudhary. A sparky 27-year-old woman-of-the-world, and mother of two from Pakistan, who came to Malaysia in 2012 to build a dream for herself and her family. Chatty and bubbly making me comfortable on arrival, I watched her asserting assuringly with a visiting client on a business negotiation. While beauty is her calling, Maham also navigates multi-entrepreneurial work sets that keep her fingers in pies she likes. “Beauty is the opposite of Perfection. It’s about Confidence, Charisma and Character,” is Maham’s work philosophy. As we got to know each other over matters of shared interests, I settled into the studio chair for her expert inspection on hair care.

Maham was an easy conversationalist. “I loved the country at first sight,” she shared as she got into my hair following a lengthy discussion on colour trends. Patiently navigating through my tricky curls, complicated hair twists, turns, and textures, speaking effortlessly about her early hiccups settling into Malaysia, and finding her groove. We had met online through a social group as women reaching out to each other for support systems during the lockdown. A few missed meetings had finally led to “Yes, let’s do it today,” and I had packed and taken myself to her beauty abode at Queens Beauty Salon, B-1-3A, Plaza Damas 3.

“This is a beautiful canvas,” she said staring at my hair in the mirror. “Are you really a mother of two daughters?” she retorted in disbelief. “We rarely see curly long hair in Malaysia. What shall we make of it?” Maham suggested a touch up to the greys she had spotted. Surprised that I was very comfortable not to be intimidated by them, and instead celebrate the wisdom of my years self-assured in my skin, Maham laughed heartedly, “I wish more women thought of wearing their greys as an empowerment statement like you. I have to tell them about you,” she jested. We decided coming out of lockdown to take our life back was best expressed in pink and blue highlights. Subtle but sexy. “It’s bold,” Maham laughed, “Let’s go with it.”


Self trained under the watchful eyes of her mother who owned her own beauty studio in Pakistan, Maham knew it was what she wanted to do as well. After a couple of jobs and cosmetic certifications, she took the plunge to go on her own in 2019. “This way you are your own boss. Malaysia has been kind to us as the country and her people are friendly, the food is great, and we make a life that is comfortable,” she shared. By now the preparation for the highlights almost in place and applied, Maham inspected her work. “I love the company of people from whom I can learn. Most of my close friends have all been people beyond my years who have moulded me into a woman. I have so much more to learn in my work and business, that I am constantly teaching myself how to be a grown-up,” Maham giggled, sharing anecdotes of her friendly bossiness at work on her journey towards womanhood and entrepreneurial confidence.

On Saturdays, her beauty studio turns into a fashion pop-up showcasing fashion and accessories from Pakistan to her canvas of clients. Her vibrant social and business circles coming in to feast on the curated collection, reminiscent of cultural traditions that tie together people, irrespective of where they relocate to build their lives.

With a little help and styling mousse. Hair products available at Queens Beauty Salon

My glorious curly bed head mess

As the highlights came off and a back-bending hair washing ritual to accommodate my long hair ensued, I watched her expertly and patiently go through the motions of dry and set, admiring the work of her hands. “I still can’t believe you are a mother of two adults,” she shuffled her head still in disbelief. “You must find and Insha Allah you will find a great man for yourself,” she giggled again with her heart felt blessing. “Happiness will come to you,” Maham said solemnly. Though I’ve always believed happiness is an internal quest, and not an external journey. As you are inside (internal), so are you out (external). Same rule applies to beauty and wellness.

More cups of green tea later, my hair shining and runway set, the highlights adding edge to the halo. “Curly heads are hard to find. They are also very special women. One of my favourite actresses in Pakistan in a curly head. She’s something too,” Maham shared proceeding to show me a photo. “We have to do a photo shoot with you. It will be awesome,” her eyes dancing in a face lit by prospect.

While most of her straight hair clients have been a normal norm for hair colour services, curly hair is a challenge with a potential to curate specialised services. “You have been my first. I have to train myself for it now, since curly hair requires a different skill-set to handle its personality and texture needs. I think I should create specialised services for curls,” Maham then proceeded to give me tips on my hair management. “Natural beauty requires extra care,” she reminded me with a twinkle in her eyes.

Adhering to all SOPs as required by health safety and protocol, clients go through the motions of body temperature and app registration before entering her studio. “Business will pick up,” Maham is confident, given that Malaysia is now opening up business establishments, and badly hit entrepreneurs go back to work. Queens Beauty Salon also provides home beauty care services on prior appointments only, and is a natural huge hit for wedding makeovers. DO NOT MISS Father’s Day special packages over this weekend.

By appointment only: contact Maham on call/whatsapp at +60128710061

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mahamthebeautyartist/



DO READ: How To Care For Your Curls https://www.glamour.com/gallery/curly-hairstyle-tips-and-techniques

DO READ: Hair Color Trends 2020 https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/g29960124/hair-color-trends-2020/

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