HAVE you got a cigarette on you? Asked Pop Queen Britney Spears turning her head towards local hairdresser Anare Tui.
He stares at her for a moment before replying.
Darling, these local ones would be too strong for you.
That’s okay, Ill take it. answers the star before lighting the cigarette and taking a long drag.
This was the moment that Kadavu hairdresser Anare, better known as Heina, realised that Britney was like any other ordinary individual.
The scene is not a dream but one which took place at an island resort in the Western Division during the stars recent visit.
This is what Heina would like to call his brush with fame.
While working at Dominion Hair Salon in Nadi, Heina received a call from a loyal client and friend Milika Evanson from the island.
Milika asked Heina to come and spend a week at the island and act as the stars local hairdresser for the duration of her stay in Fiji. At that time, Britney’s identity was still unknown to Heina.
At first the hairdresser was reluctant to go to the island with a list of clients waiting up on him on the mainland but gave in later after drawing up all the benefits of going.
He packed up his hairdressing gear and took off to the island along with his assistant Josefa Nakautoga.
Upon arrival, Heina was informed that his one week client would be the Pop Queen herself Britney Spears.
At that moment I was thrilled and speechless, then I started to get worried a little bit, he said.
I was thinking how a simply local hairdresser like me would be able to measure up to Britney’s expectations. I assumed she would be fussy about the products and equipment I would use.
Even though I had prepared the best products fit for a star, I was still a little worried about how Britney would react to having a local hairdresser handle her hair.
On the first day of Britney’s arrival, Heina and his faithful assistant were on call throughout the day to meet any of Britney’s hair demands, yet none came.
Still on call the next day, the hairdressers were finally called to meet the star.
She had just had her nails and face done by the hired beauty therapist Ini Gock and Makereta Rakai, the woman who was assigned to look after Britney and her husband Kevin Federline, came in the morning to tell us to go and meet Britney, Heina said.
Heina quickly followed Makereta and headed towards Britney Spears. She introduced him to Britney as her local hairdresser and the two began talking.
First she would talk only when I was saying something, but then soon she began to ask me how long I had been a hairdresser, where I had worked, how I got my training and so forth, Heina said.
Than she surprised me by asking Take a look at my hair, what do you think I should do with it? she asked and I had to look at her hair for a while before I gave an answer.
I suggested that we should add some highlights to her hair to add volume to it and she agreed.
Heina set to work and sent over his assistant to the mainland to purchase the items needed to highlight Britney’s crown of glory.
But Britney’s mood changed very quickly and soon she turned to me and mentioned that she did not want any highlights but suggested that she get a perm, said the hairdresser.
I told her straight up that I might damage her hair by perming it and she said that it didn’t matter because her hair was already damaged and it would not make any difference, she said she just wanted some curls which would give her that island wet and wear look and we set out in perming her hair.
The hairdresser and his assistant got their gear ready and made their way to Britney’s bodyguards bure where the star had opted to get the process done.
All the while, Heina kept thanking God for giving him the opportunity to be there to tend to the stars requests.
I was so thankful that out of all the experienced hairdressers in the West, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to tend to Miss Spears hair, he said.
And on the way to the bure I kept thinking of whether Britney would be fussy with the products I would use and whether she would be hard to please. But Heina found out that Britney was the total opposite to his assumptions. She even accepted a cigarette from Heina while sipping a glass of deep-sea water and red bull and humming some of her tunes all the while Heina was working his magic on her head.
After two hours of doing Britney’s hair, Heina found that while she was a world famous celebrity Miss Spears was very approachable and did not have an air about her.
He found an instant click with the star, who he had only seen on glossy magazines.
The adrenaline seemed to have worn off and this was substituted with respect for the star sitting before him.
She was so down-to-earth and we were talking like old friends, we were talking about almost everything and she was just so nice and humble, said Heina.
Britney was not fussy at all, but instead was very polite and easy going.
While in the perming process, Britney heard the sounds of African band Makoma from the nearby bure and was instantly drawn to it.
There were some local workers doing some repair work at the bure next to the one we were in and were playing a Makoma CD, when Britney heard it she said she liked it and my assistant and me went to get the CD and played it on the radio in the bure we were in, the hairdresser said.
She said that she liked the tunes from the CD and she even did a little dance in the bure to the tunes of Makoma but it was all for fun.
At the end of processing time, Heina felt uncomfortable and worried about telling Britney that there wasnt any proper professional washbasin to wash her hair in so Britney opted for the best next alternative.
She said she would take a shower and rise it off so that saved me a lot of hassle as well because but she was very understanding about the lack of facilities and we made do with what we had, Heina said.
After jumping out of the shower she took a long look at herself while Heina stood at a distance the worst.
She turned to me with a big broad million dollar smile on her face and said that she loved her new look and said the curls were nice and soft and she loved it.
Heina exhaled deeply and felt thrilled that the star was satisfied with his work.
It felt great that a star like Britney Spears would appreciate the work of a simple local hairdresser as myself after being through all the best salons in America, he said.
It was such a privilege and would certainly be one of the most memorable, exciting and famous three hours of my life, said Heina.
Once her hair was done and she was happy with the results, she turned to me and said thank-you very much and added that she would be seeing me around the island.
Time and time again the hairdresser would meet Britney at the bar or by the beach and she would continue to mention the great work Heina had done.
For Heina, doing Britney’s hair has been a boost in his career and he attributes everything to God.
You know during that time before the call while I was in Nadi, I was doing bible studies and was really praying to God about my career, he said.
Then when the call came and when I met Miss Spears, I was just thanking the Lord for being so kind to me.
This has certainly been a big boost for me and I asked Britney if I could have some shots with her because it would boost my career and she said Go ahead darling, take as many pictures as you want and that was exactly what I did.
With his recent brush with fame, Heina wou
ld like to thank all his fellow hairdressers for giving him the skills needed in attaining Britney’s island-look and he also thanked his parents for supporting his career.
I have had so many people support me in my career and I would like to thank them. Firstly I would like to thank God for giving me my talent, also Kinny, Johnny and Kalo who are some of the wonderful hairdressers who have helped me a lot, he said.
And also the owner of Catz Salon here in Suva Aqela Rakai-Bower for giving me an opportunity to work at a wonderful hair salon so I could develop my skills more.
Heina has one final message to upcoming hairdressers and that is to: Believe in yourself and youll fulfil your dreams but above everything else always put God first!
Source: Figian Times
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