Beauty and the bouffant

What is common with hairdo of today's women and the hairdo of the stars like Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh, Mala Sinha and Babita during the ‘60sand 70s? The Bouffant. That style is back and is slowly making its way from the ramp to social gatherings and big family dos.

Bouffant or the hairstyle of the 60s which was catapulted to fame by Jacqueline F Kennedy is now resurfacing on the fashion scene in India.

However, even though Jackie Kennedy popularised the style, it took Hollywood's skilled hairstylists and an entire generation of glamour girls of that era to bring it to the pinnacle of eye-catching beauty as the decade progressed. Now, it is often seen on women who love to attend social dos in the most traditional attires. But what is a Bouffant? A bouffant is usually is characterised by hair piled on the head and hanging down on the sides. To know what we are talking about take a look at Khushi Kumari Gupta from the Is Pyar Ko Kya Naam Do .

Explaining the origins of the bouffant and where they came from, hair stylist Sachin Dakoji says, “The style draws inspiration from the beehive and the B52 bomb which was invented at that time. In the recent times movies like Om Shanti Om where Deepika sported a bouffant, led to a revival of the style. Though mostly suited for period cinema, I would do it for my clients if they asked me to, as it is a very personal taste.”

According to stylists it is around the mid 60s that the bouffant reached its peak popularity and almost became synonymous with intimate evenings, glamorous and star-studded events. But it isn't just the hairdo, it is also the pairing of the hairdo with the dress that makes the difference. “It was and is soon becoming the perfect style companion to a long, off-the-shoulder, sequined evening gown, but also goes fine when accompanied by shorter dresses. The bouffant also goes well with heavy traditional silk sarees and sleeveless blouses,” says actor and stylist Neetalie Das.

Neetalie who dresses up brides guesses that the bouffant might have resurfaced after Action Replay and or perhaps when Bipasha Basu and Preity Zinta was seen in that style in the song Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte in the Shahrukh Khan starrer Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi . “Everyone cannot carry the style. If paired with wrong clothes, bouffants can spell disaster,” cautions designer and stylist Asmita. According to doctor Monalisa Pyngrope it was her mother who initiated the style on her for a friend's wedding. “Mom wanted to style my hair as I was attending a close friend's wedding and as friends we all wanted to look special for her special day. I loved what my mom did to my hair. She did the bouffant and ended it with a tiny side braid.” It can be noticed there are a lot of variations to the bouffant. Women in the 60s also liked it big- the bigger the better. “Sharmila Tagore was the style icon as she would sport a bouffant with a flower neatly tucked on one side. Nowadays women come up with such requests as it adds to the Indian bride look,” adds Neetalie. Those with thin, scanty or short hair need not fret about the lack of volume that bouffants seem to show. Bouffants are actually a great way to boost the volume – a few bumpins from a store should do the trick.

Sachin adds, “The bouffant also makes a rounded face seem more elongated gives a voluminous look to thin hair.” So, will the bouffant fade as quickly as it did in the 60's? With actors like Aishwarya, Deepika and Priyanka sporting the style at award functions and parties, it looks like the bouffant is here to stay for a while.

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