Tarawah, in a middle-class neighbourhood of the sprawling southern port city, is owned and run by Haider, herself a transgender person who came to Karachi in 2003 from a small rural town in southern Sindh province with dreams of becoming a beautician.
It was not easy.
Even when the owner of one salon in a posh Karachi neighbourhood finally decided to take a chance on her, the clients refused her services — or to return her greetings, she told AFP.
It took two years before one salon regular finally returned her hello, she said — but the thaw, for that customer at least, was complete.
“After that day she would not get her hair and make up done by anybody else at the parlour,” Haider told AFP jubilantly, sitting in her hairdressing chair.
“Good manners win the world.”
Transgenders — also known in Pakistan as “khawajasiras”, an umbrella term denoting a third sex that includes transvestites and eunuchs — have long fought for their rights in the deeply patriarchal and conservative country.
Organised and politically active, in many respects they have made impressive gains.
In 2009 Pakistan became one of the first countries in the world to legally recognise a third sex.
Last year, Pakistan’s parliament passed a historic bill providing transgender people with the right to determine their own gender identity in all official documents, including choosing a blend of both genders.
A Pakistani TV channel put the country’s first transgender news anchor on air in 2018, while several have also run in elections.
But — despite these gains — many still live daily as pariahs, often reduced to begging and prostitution, subjected to extortion and discrimination or targeted for violence.
Haider fought hard to avoid that fate.
Once she gained a foothold with her first job, she began to grow politically active, joining transgender rights organisations and eventually becoming the president of Sabrang, one community group.
When a Dutch organisation said it wanted to finance a project to empower the transgender community, she and a partner jumped on the chance to open their own salon — which, they say, is the first transgender owned and run beauty salon in Pakistan.
“I never looked back,” Haider told AFP.