Monday, 1 April 2013

Bollywood’s 5 Most Iconic Hairstyle Trends: Then


Bollywood’s always been the greatest source of inspiration for hairstyles. Way before we had fashion weeks or even famous fashion designers of our own, Bollywood actresses were the source of trends and style statements.

Hairdos those days ranged from classy and understated to unbelievably outrageous. Take a look through some of Helen’s songs – her hairstyles were so out there at times, some of them were obviously wigs. But it’s some of these seemingly flamboyant hairstyles that set the pace for years to come.

Sadhana Shivdasani popularized bangs in India, apparently inspired by Audrey Hepburn, one of Hollywood’s legendary stars. The super short, straight cut fringes shot to fame across the country, becoming known as the ‘Sadhana Cut’. And so India was first introduced to bangs.

The Sadhana Cut, inspired by Audrey Hepburn

Also a popular hairstyle choice was the side flicks that many actresses went in for, framing the forehead in little flicks on both sides. Seen on Hema Malini and Parveen Babi who both shot to fame in the 1970s, the side flicks softened faces and added infinite charm to any hairstyle. Take a close look and you’ll see a number of actresses sporting an evolved, longer version of the side flick even today.

Hema Malini and Parveen Babi with side flicks


A look through pictures from the seventies will have you find one hairstyle that cropped up everywhere. The hairstyle that was injected with volume at the top and a little flip at the bottom was immensely popular all over the world, not just in Indian cinema. Often paired with a head tie, the trick was to keep the hair straight but full at the top and give it a dramatic outwards curl at the bottom.

Saira Bano

Ah, and then there's the bouffant - we’ve spoken volumes about it. Er, pun intended. Almost every Bollywood actress of the olden days put her hair up in a bouffant at some point or the other. And it doesn’t look like the trend will die down anytime soon, wouldn’t you agree? Check out our ‘How To’ article on the bouffant and learn how to do it yourself!

Sharmila Tagore wears her hair with a bouffant

Unlike the others, there was one hairstyle trend that died down with the years. You’ll notice many actresses used to wear their hair with a side partition, then sweeping the parted hair across the forehead to tuck it in on the other side. This little trick worked with any hairstyle of any length, adding that bit of character to frame the forehead. Now we just use side swept bangs to create a similar look.

Asha Parekh

You’ll notice that every trend mentioned here has evolved in one way or another over the years. Even so, these hairstyles are the icons of our favourite actresses, the trendsetters of yesteryear that we continue to emulate in our own way even today. As the phrase goes, old sure is gold!

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