The classic
Ray-Ban aviator

has never gone out of style

Celebrity hairstylist Ria Algoo has catapulted to success in a relatively short period of time. With a mission to inspire change, she heads the operations of GlamPalm Hair in two countries, namely India and South Africa. Philanthropy is close to her heart and she is passionate about helping the needy. She feeds hundreds of homeless people in Africa on a weekly basis. Vasuijt Kalia in tête-à-tête with the famous celebrity hair stylist asks her about her preferences in eyewear, passion for fashion and much more.

Italy is my favourite shopping destination for sunglasses. I definitely found the best pairs in Milan and at an amazing price

VK: Good brands often come with an expensive tag. How much are you willing to shell out for your favourite brand?

RA: USD 500 will get you a really nice designer piece, but I strongly don’t believe in forking out just for a branded piece. I purchase anything I like regardless of names. It should suit my face shape and structure.

VK: How many shades do you currently have?

RA: I currently have 35 shades. I have given away a lot of shades over the years as well. I found that my style and taste have changed and I gave away what I no longer fancied. I have kept all the classic pieces and, thankfully, they have made reappearance on the fashion front in the last decade.

VK: Which is your favourite shape in shades?

RA: I love oversized aviators. I found that an aviator suits my face shape best and oversized frames simply look sexy and stylish.

VK: What are the factors you keep in mind while purchasing sunglasses?

RA: Good fit and comfort are two major factors. I also prefer glasses that have ultraviolet or UV filters and are polarized. It’s very important that my sunglasses have both features and not just one. Just as sunscreen protects our skin from UV damage, UV glasses block out the harmful UV rays from reaching our eyes. UV damage is cumulative through your lifetime, so it’s important to make sure you wear the correct glasses from a young age.

Vasujit Kalia (VK): How has hairstyling as a profession evolved in India over the years?

Ria Algoo (RA): The industry has taken a complete 360-degree turn – from orthodox “play it safe” styling to completely “off the hook” experimentation! It’s an ever-changing industry and I love the fast-paced evolution. Stylists and their customers alike are no longer afraid to make a bold statement with their style.

VK: What is your biggest extravagance?

RA: I splurge on skincare – I am a complete skincare snob! I also have a huge collection of fragrances; I believe that smell has a way of transporting us back to a particular time. It’s fascinating! I also appreciate the packaging – regardless of minimalist or opulent – I just love the creativity!

VK: Which sunglass brands do you like? Can you list three hot favorites in order of preference?

RA: The classic Ray-Ban aviator has never gone out of fashion. Everybody should own a Ray-Ban aviator. I also love Tom Ford, Dior and Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses.

VK: A sunglass is considered to be an important accessory and many people wear it just to be in vogue. Do you agree? Why? Is it a key accessory?

RA: It’s vital to have a great pair of sunglasses to actually look trendy, as it is a classic accessory. Celebrities have always been associated with sunglasses.

VK: Have you experimented with your looks with shades or contact lenses?

RA: I have tried various styles of sunglasses and lenses. However, over the last five years, my vision has started to deteriorate, as I have a condition known as astigmatism. All objects have become out of focus and contact lenses are no longer an option for me. I used LASIK surgery to correct this condition two years ago and it was the best investment I have made to date.

VK: What’s your favourite shopping destination for shades?

RA: Italy. I definitely found the best pairs in Milan and at amazing prices; Even no name brands looked exquisite!

VK: Do you prefer metal sunglasses or acetate ones? Why?

RA: I actually like the combination of both acetate and metal. It looks very retro. I have a pair with round acetate frames and metal arms. It’s so gorgeous!

VK: Eyes are the most precious of the five senses. How do you look after them?

RA: As I mentioned, UV filters and polarized glasses are really beneficial for maintaining good eye health. Short-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation without wearing UV-protective sunglasses can cause damage similar to sunburn. The eyes may become red and puffy, or feel gritty, like you have sand in them. If you’re very sensitive to light, you may suffer from excessive tearing. Fortunately, these symptoms are generally temporary. However, if your eyes are exposed to long-term solar radiation, you stand a greater risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life.

I also try to include lots of carrots in my diet. Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes and vision. I take regular breaks from my electronic devices and my computer screen to give my eyes time out from the lights. I also use eye drops at night to prevent dryness and discomfort.

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