“Indian women now want styles that last longer, does not require maintenance and are relatively less expensive,” Bina Punjani, the creative head of one of Delhi’s oldest unisex hair styling salon, Looks, said.
Punjani also gave the stars and models their coiffures at the recent IIFA awards in Macau.
“However, the Indian styling industry has not been affected as much as in Europe and the US. The effects of meltdown are just trickling in. July is a dull season for hair stylists in general; but the trends are apparent going by the demands of the women, who come to me despite the fact Delhi hates to scrimp on hair. Women in the capital want a new hairdo for every occasion. Delhiites hate to be spotted with a bad hair day unlike other metros,” she said.
Punjani, who styled most of the participants at the IIFA Awards in Macau, is the first stylist from the capital to have been hired for the job.
She has a wide clientele that include socialites from across the country, expatriates (both men and women), young professionals, leading models and showbiz personalities.
“The look for the hair this season is individualistic, structured, textured and natural. Women and actresses want more natural wave, volumes and colours instead of elaborate coiffures and complex layers that were in fashion five years ago,” Punjani said.
Long hair for Indian women is still in vogue.
“For instance, Neha Dhupia, who wears her hair naturally long and lustrous, said she would like to have more volume at the IIFA. So I straightened one section of her hair and crimped another for more fluff. I kept the last layer of her hair clean for more texture and structure,” she said.
Raima Sen, said Punjani, wanted “more defined and heavier curls”.
“I gave her the classic American look with softer and bigger barrel curls,” she said.
Asin wanted natural waves rather than “defined curls” while actor Madhavan wanted “textured spikes”.
“I made sure that the styles suited their faces because Bollywood is now paying more attention to hair than before,” she said.
For the models, who walked the ramp at IIFA, Punjani had a “clean front with centre parting and a textured back of fish plaits and multiple buns for an Oriental look”.
Switching back to the current hair trends in the country, she said colours were the “in-thing”.
“Indians are experimenting with colours in a big way. The common hair shades in the capital were maroon, deep browns, orange, autumn leaves (russet), mulberry brown and vintage gold.”
Hair colours, explained Punjani, should ideally match the skin tones. “For the dusky Indian skin, I recommend the caramel hair shades, for the wheatish skin, I advise gold and for the fair skin, colours like blue, grey and ash. Colours must always be used to enhance hair cuts,” she said.
Howewer, the bob still remains the classic cut across the world and in contemporary working India.
“Block colours (colour highlights in alternate layers of tresses) look great with bobs – but one has to have a petite face to carry it off,” said the young stylist with blonde-and-blue hair tints.