With a cult following of beauty editors and celebrities already established in New York, the luxe waxing and threading salon Shobha will test the Washington waters when it opens its doors at 1730 M Street, Northwest, the first week of June. The DC location—Shobha’s very first outside of New York city lines—will offer the salon’s signature brow, body, and bikini treatments, including threading, sugaring (the formula is the owner’s family recipe), and waxing, as well as an assortment of at-home hair removal and skin-soothing products.
“We have a surprising amount of clients in Manhattan from Washington that have been asking us to open here for years, so it really felt like a natural progression for us to come here,” says Shobha Tummala, the salon’s founder, who herself relocated to DC in recent months.
Read on to get the first scoop on the upcoming Dupont store, Shobha’s signature services, and Tummala’s plans for world domination.
Why did you decide to open a Shobha salon in DC?
this company 12 years ago in New York when I saw a need in the market—a
need I had myself—and we quickly grew to four salons throughout
Manhattan. When I came to Washington a few years ago, I saw the same
need, right as DC really started coming into its own on the
retail/fashion/beauty front. I thought then that the time was right to
start making plans. We’ve been so well embraced by the fashion community
in Manhattan, and I feel like DC is, in many ways, a kindred spirit on
the beauty front. This is a city full of gorgeous women who take
impeccable care of themselves, and yet this is a need that is barely
How is your salon different from other waxing salons?
the remarkable quality of our treatments and products to the immaculate
cleanliness of our salons, we believe in perfection—and in the
continual improvement of everything Shobha. We strongly believe in
educating ourselves and using what we have learned to evolve and grow so
we can provide our clients with simple and practical ways to maintain
their hair removal routine, because life can get hairy enough on its
As part of our company culture we have been committed to
furthering the lives of South Asian women and children. We have
sponsored the college education of ten women through Sarada Kalayan
Bhandar and have contributed to School-on-Wheels, which converts old
buses into mobile classrooms in Mumbai and Pune for street children,
offering them an alternative to begging and teaching them that education
is their way out of poverty. Most recently, we made a $100,000
contribution to Shobha’s Home for Girls & Women, which is dedicated
to my grandparents. The home supports 60 girls and young women who range
from preschool to college age. The home is run by two retired
professors who value education and are making sure the orphans are cared
for and able to attend school. It is our hope that these early
philanthropic steps will lay the groundwork for a full-fledged nonprofit
organization in the years to come.
What are some of Shobha’s signature procedures?
offer hair removal options for the face and body: threading, sugaring,
waxing, and trimming. Our focus is on providing the most effective
treatments with the safest and often most natural ingredients available.
like a mini lasso, where thread is twisted and pulled along hairs,
lifting them out of the skin from the root. The Shobha Method provides
the precision needed for brow designing. It also allows our specialists
to target even the tiniest hairs on the face (i.e., peach fuzz). We will
also thread any stray hairs during body treatments—there are absolutely
no tweezers at Shobha!
Sugaring is a form of hair removal that
resembles waxing but is gentler on the skin and all-natural, using only
sugar, lemon juice, water, and glycerin. Shobha Sugaring Treatments use
our exclusive line of products and our signature Shobha Method.
the tried-and-true method for getting rid of unwanted body hair. Shobha
Waxing Treatments use our own exclusive wax, consisting of a
proprietary formula, and implement the Shobha Method. Our formula, which
uses no artificial fragrances or parabens, contains azulene oil, which
is a natural anti-inflammatory derived from the skin-soothing chamomile
Trimming grooms body hair without removing it from the root.
The Shobha Method for trimming uses a buzzer to reduce the length of
excess body hair. The results are a neat and tidy appearance, without
being completely hairless. This is a pain-free alternative that offers
A lot of the Shobha waxing procedures can be done
in under 15 minutes, which attracts customers who want to stop by on
their lunch break. How do you manage that?
The path that led me to
create Shobha is a unique one—I have a degree in electrical engineering.
Because of that, I’m always striving to create processes that are the
most efficient and effective. For our clients, that translated to
figuring out how to create services they could not only fit into their
lunch break, but that also allow the time afterward to have lunch on
their break, as well. Each of our specialists is rigorously trained in
our specific methods, so regardless of which specialist you see, you’ll
have a consistent—and consistently great—experience. We also have quick
online scheduling so you can log in, book your appointment in real time,
head to our salon, and be seen right away.
Can you tell us about Shobha products?
we first started, I used to cook the sugaring gel for our treatments
myself, right in my tiny New York kitchen—the formula is my family’s own
sugaring recipe. When the business expanded, my mom started making it
and shipping it to us, and then finally, after a long search, we found a
manufacturer that could make it for us. So we really had a grassroots
Our product line began growing organically based on our needs
as well as what our clients were requesting. For example, our Shobha
Ingrown Relief Lotion was a product we created with a lot of client
research—what we created as a result is a formula that is effective
without being harsh or drying on the skin.
Do you have plans for more Shobha salons in DC or in other cities?
DC is our first of many stops outside of Manhattan, so yes, more
expansion plans are in the works. After all, our mission statement is:
We aspire to be the global destination in hair removal, continually
raising the bar on the experience.
Threading, waxing, and sugaring prices start at $11 for upper lip, $22 for brow, and $48 for bikini areas. For more detailed pricing, check out Shobha’s full list of services.