Turkmenistan’s ‘Beauty Ban’ Forces Salons To Go Underground

ASHGABAT — Quite a few splendor salons in Turkmenistan are defying a ban by the authoritarian governing administration on specific vogue add-ons — these types of as fake eyelashes and acrylic nails — and go on to “secretly” give the forbidden companies to trusted consumers, Ashgabat resident say.

On paper, most elegance salons and women’s hairdressers only offer limited solutions like trimming hair and straightforward manicures and pedicures that are not lined by the ban.

But for their loyal customers lots of salons proceed to present their comprehensive array of solutions and expert services at the rear of shut doorways, quite a few clientele and salon owners explained to RFE/RL on situation of anonymity.

Fearing random police raids on the salons, some beauticians have even commenced accepting consumers in their houses or individuals of their customers, they extra.

Due to the fact April, Turkmenistan has successfully banned gals from sporting “excessive” make-up, tight-fitting dresses, fake nails, and eyelashes as portion of a broader established of limits on women’s freedoms.

Microblading eyebrows — which is hugely well known among Turkmen women — has also been banned.

Girls have also been requested not to dye or bleach their hair, get Botox injections, or cosmetically improve their breasts or lips.

The ban arrived with no formal announcement or explanation and is staying enforced by regulation enforcement organizations and women’s companies.

Hundreds of ladies have been stopped by police because they ended up suspected of having lip fillers or phony eyelashes. It is approximated that dozens of girls have lost their work at the nationwide airline and railway products and services for allegedly possessing breast implants and/or lip fillers.

But the formal threats have carried out little to discourage females from pursuing their magnificence routines, gals say. Several continue on to have their hair and nails performed, tint their eyebrows, and wear hefty make-up inspite of the ban.

A compact difference is that some now opt for nail polish hues that are extra refined, the salon entrepreneurs stated. Far more of individuals wearing false eyelashes are opting for medium size to check out to make them a lot less noticeable.

Small business Is Booming

Organization is booming for beauticians and hairdressers who have taken a portion of their business enterprise underground to evade the draconian ban.

One particular Ashgabat resident stated the buyers and salons concur in advance about the provider and that the clientele normally appear via a back again door.

For bridal make-up, the spouse-to-be visits the salon with quite a few friends who choose turns walking all-around the salon viewing out for law enforcement who could possibly be coming to raid the premises, several resources explained.

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov (file photo)

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov (file image)

The restrictions had been initially imposed shortly following new Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov arrived to energy in March. He took more than the presidency from his father, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, in a managed election commonly observed as a mere formality in legalizing the transfer of political ability.

As section of the constraints, ladies had been also banned from sitting down in the entrance seats of non-public and community cars. Drivers with gals in the front seat of their autos have been threatened with significant fines for breaching the new rules.

In some metropolitan areas, law enforcement have rounded up partners keeping hands in community. Several persons who were briefly detained for this sort of a public display screen of affection advised RFE/RL that they were released immediately after staying provided a lecture on Turkmen standard values and the woman’s spot in the household and modern society.

The partners ended up threatened with unspecified severe punishments for any repeat offense, eyewitnesses mentioned.

When the ban initially came into influence in early April, many natural beauty salons were being fined right after police raids or went out of business just after dropping so a lot of of their prospects.

But several in Ashgabat say that the constraints have since loosened and police raids are fewer repeated.

In accordance to numerous Ashgabat people, some officers are now working with the ban to extort bribes from the “offenders.”

Turkmenistan is one particular of the most repressive international locations in the entire world. It is also plagued by widespread poverty, unemployment, and food stuff shortages regardless of sitting atop one the world’s most significant reserves of normal gas.