ASHGABAT — Quite a few splendor salons in Turkmenistan are defying a ban by the authoritarian government on specified vogue equipment — these types of as faux eyelashes and acrylic nails — and carry on to “secretly” present the forbidden expert services to trustworthy shoppers, Ashgabat resident say.
On paper, most natural beauty salons and women’s hairdressers only offer minimal companies like trimming hair and uncomplicated manicures and pedicures that are not lined by the ban.
But for their faithful consumers several salons continue on to offer their entire array of solutions and providers powering closed doors, many consumers and salon house owners told RFE/RL on ailment of anonymity.
Fearing random law enforcement raids on the salons, some beauticians have even begun accepting customers in their households or those of their consumers, they additional.
Because April, Turkmenistan has efficiently banned females from putting on “excessive” make-up, limited-fitting clothing, false nails, and eyelashes as aspect of a broader established of limits on women’s freedoms.
Microblading eyebrows — which is hugely well-known amid Turkmen gals — has also been banned.
Females have also been requested not to dye or bleach their hair, get Botox injections, or cosmetically greatly enhance their breasts or lips.
The ban came with no official announcement or clarification and is getting enforced by regulation enforcement companies and women’s employers.
Hundreds of gals have been stopped by law enforcement mainly because they were suspected of getting lip fillers or false eyelashes. It is believed that dozens of gals have missing their work opportunities at the national airline and railway companies for allegedly getting breast implants and/or lip fillers.
But the official threats have finished tiny to discourage girls from pursuing their magnificence routines, females say. Several keep on to have their hair and nails finished, tint their eyebrows, and use major make-up despite the ban.
A little variance is that some now pick out nail polish colours that are more subtle, the salon proprietors claimed. Far more of those people sporting phony eyelashes are opting for medium length to check out to make them significantly less visible.
Business Is Booming
Organization is booming for beauticians and hairdressers who have taken a part of their organization underground to evade the draconian ban.
A person Ashgabat resident stated the customers and salons agree in advance about the assistance and that the purchasers typically come by a again doorway.
For bridal make-up, the spouse-to-be visits the salon with a number of pals who get turns strolling close to the salon looking at out for law enforcement who might be coming to raid the premises, quite a few sources stated.
The constraints were being initially imposed shortly after new Turkmen President Serdar Berdymukhammedov arrived to electricity in March. He took around the presidency from his father, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, in a managed election broadly witnessed as a mere formality in legalizing the transfer of political electricity.
As aspect of the limits, women have been also banned from sitting down in the entrance seats of personal and general public autos. Motorists with girls in the entrance seat of their autos have been threatened with significant fines for breaching the new policies.
In some metropolitan areas, law enforcement have rounded up couples keeping arms in general public. Numerous folks who have been briefly detained for such a general public exhibit of affection instructed RFE/RL that they had been unveiled immediately after becoming given a lecture on Turkmen classic values and the woman’s location in the household and society.
The partners were being threatened with unspecified severe punishments for any repeat offense, eyewitnesses stated.
When the ban first came into influence in early April, lots of elegance salons were being fined immediately after police raids or went out of small business soon after shedding so lots of of their buyers.
But many in Ashgabat say that the restrictions have given that loosened and law enforcement raids are fewer regular.
In accordance to many Ashgabat people, some officers are now applying the ban to extort bribes from the “offenders.”
Turkmenistan is 1 of the most repressive nations around the world in the world. It is also plagued by widespread poverty, unemployment, and food stuff shortages despite sitting atop a person the world’s major reserves of all-natural gas.