A self-proclaimed happy-go-lucky person, Parul Gulati hasn’t let naysayers dampen her entrepreneurial spirit as she builds a hair care brand along with pursuing her acting career.
Actor Parul Gulati, who has appeared in shows such as the TV series P.O.W. – Bandi Yuddh Ke and the web series Haq Se, says she has always dreamt big. “I wanted to build something bigger than myself and leave my legacy behind,” she tells HerStory. After nearly six years in the movie industry, she decided to enter the world of entrepreneurship while continuing her acting career. This passion to create a legacy led to Gulati starting Nish Hairin 2017. The company offers a diverse range of 100% human hair extensions and other hair accessories. Its products include wigs, hair toppers, extensions, colourful strands, and clip-in bangs. Nish Hair recently also launched a hair perfume.
“Hair is a vital part of our identity and confidence. For many women, hair loss can deeply impact their self-esteem,” she says, “ Just as makeup conceals dark circles, our hair extensions are like a ‘concealer’ for hair thinning, providing instant coverage and instilling confidence.” The big dream
A rebel at heart, Gulati didn’t let her family’s inhibitions come in the way of her ambitions. In class 12, she was selected for the TV show- Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam. “I come from a lower middle-class family where people do 9-to-5 jobs. So to convince my parents to let me pursue acting was challenging. They were shocked initially but in the end, they agreed,” she tells HerStory. In 2010, she moved to Mumbai to pursue her acting career.
She juggled between modeling, and acting while continuing her studies at the University of Mumbai. Later she studied acting at the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London. After working for a few years in the film industry, Gulati, despite lacking a background in business, decided to venture into entrepreneurship with the launch of Nish Hair in 2017. “I learned how hair extensions are made and realised it wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. I decided to give it a try, and with some effort, I managed to crack it,” she says. She emphasises that apart from the styling aspect, many people struggle with cancerand alopecia which leads to hair loss, thinning, and damaged hair. This can lead to insecurity or self-esteem issues.
The beginning Gulati says she has always been passionate about haircare. The idea to start the venture came in 2016 when she was watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ and heard Khloe talk about hair extensions. She started the company from her living room where she and her mother used to sew pieces together. She recalls that initially, it took her three months to sell three pieces. The entrepreneur, however, didn’t give up and spoke to hairstyliststo spread the word around about her work.
At times, she went to customers’ doors to sell the products. “I remember selling a Rs 6,000 product at Rs 3,000 to a friend during the first few sales,” she adds. Eventually, Gulati started making video content on her Instagram page and personally interacted with her DMs to build trust with her followers. This garnered traction and soon their sales started increasing.
Gulati says her journey to create a brand has so far been challenging yet interesting. She says that initially, most people did not take her seriously, believing Nish Hair to be a mere hobby. In addition, the fact that many people found it uncomfortable to discuss hair extensions, also posed a problem for her. “I remember struggling to simply build awareness about how normal it could be to use hair extensions,” she says. Gulati adds that she didn’t let people’s perceptions dampen her spirits. “I have been a happy-go-lucky person who perceives the glass to be half full and that is how I address all challenging situations,” she says.