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

ASHGABAT — Several natural beauty salons in Turkmenistan are defying a ban by the authoritarian govt on specific fashion accessories — these kinds of as faux eyelashes and acrylic nails — and carry on to “secretly” give the forbidden companies to trustworthy consumers, Ashgabat resident say.

On paper, most natural beauty salons and women’s hairdressers only supply minimal services like trimming hair and simple manicures and pedicures that are not coated by the ban.

But for their loyal prospects numerous salons proceed to present their entire array of merchandise and products and services driving shut doors, many purchasers and salon entrepreneurs advised RFE/RL on ailment of anonymity.

Fearing random law enforcement raids on the salons, some beauticians have even began accepting buyers in their homes or those of their clients, they added.

Because April, Turkmenistan has efficiently banned women of all ages from donning “excessive” make-up, restricted-fitting outfits, bogus nails, and eyelashes as aspect of a broader established of restrictions on women’s freedoms.

Microblading eyebrows — which is hugely common amongst Turkmen ladies — has also been banned.

Gals 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 official announcement or rationalization and is remaining enforced by legislation enforcement organizations and women’s businesses.

Hundreds of girls have been stopped by law enforcement due to the fact they were suspected of having lip fillers or fake eyelashes. It is estimated that dozens of females have dropped their work at the countrywide airline and railway services for allegedly acquiring breast implants and/or lip fillers.

But the official threats have done small to discourage girls from pursuing their splendor routines, girls say. Quite a few keep on to have their hair and nails carried out, tint their eyebrows, and don hefty make-up even with the ban.

A smaller distinction is that some now opt for nail polish shades that are far more subtle, the salon owners claimed. Extra of those putting on false eyelashes are opting for medium duration to test to make them fewer visible.

Organization Is Booming

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

One particular Ashgabat resident stated the clients and salons agree in advance about the service and that the customers generally come by means of a again doorway.

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

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov (file photo)

Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov (file photograph)

The limits had been initial imposed shortly immediately after new Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov arrived to energy in March. He took around the presidency from his father, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, in a managed election extensively noticed as a mere formality in legalizing the transfer of political power.

As element of the restrictions, women were also banned from sitting down in the front seats of personal and public vehicles. Motorists with gals in the entrance seat of their motor vehicles have been threatened with significant fines for breaching the new rules.

In some cities, law enforcement have rounded up partners keeping hands in community. Various people today who have been briefly detained for this kind of a community display screen of affection instructed RFE/RL that they were being launched just after currently being presented a lecture on Turkmen traditional values and the woman’s position in the family and culture.

The partners had been threatened with unspecified harsh punishments for any repeat offense, eyewitnesses said.

When the ban 1st came into influence in early April, a lot of natural beauty salons ended up fined right after law enforcement raids or went out of business enterprise immediately after dropping so numerous of their consumers.

But many in Ashgabat say that the constraints have considering the fact that loosened and law enforcement raids are considerably less frequent.

In accordance to quite a few Ashgabat citizens, some officers are now utilizing the ban to extort bribes from the “offenders.”

Turkmenistan is a person of the most repressive international locations in the earth. It’s also plagued by common poverty, unemployment, and foodstuff shortages inspite of sitting down atop one particular the world’s premier reserves of purely natural gasoline.