Style's just a snip away

HAIR AND LOVELY Preity Zinta displays a new cut and colour

HAIR AND LOVELY Preity Zinta displays a new cut and colour  

Do you simply submit to the `latest' cut and colour? Or go for what suits you best? APARNA KARTHIKEYAN on today's hairstyle-struck world

Would you like burgundy with red streaks or would you prefer deep purple with pink highlights? Do you wish to `iron' your hair or go in for `corkscrew' curls?' If you had only walked into a snazzy salon for a `practical, manageable' haircut, with a coat of colour to conceal the salt that's rapidly outnumbering the pepper, you're forgiven for going `d-uh'. Seriously, with all the dizzying, glitzy array of hair-care products and the jargon-rich `advice' peddled at every beauty-parlour, most people go all glassy-eyed and dazedly submit to the `latest' cut and colour. And deeply regret it the next few months...


Two decades ago, every schoolgirl was an ambulatory oil well, with long double-braids tied up with ribbons. Boys parted the hair neatly to one side, patronised the `family' saloon and naively believed that liberally oiling the hair could possibly prevent male-pattern baldness. "The solution for all hair troubles then was a tonsure. Since I had light-brown hair, which, for some strange reason, also grew straight up, I've had 16 mottais before I turned 15!" laughs R. Ramesh, manager at a nationalised bank. Any kid will tell you that pigtails are positively passé and ceremonial oil-baths are so `ugh'. Women aspire for silky-straight hair that `falls like a sheet', and hair products that promise the panache and poise of Aishwarya Rai in one wash, simply fly off the shelves.Guys, meanwhile, yearningly dream of nonchalantly tossing their tangle-free mane about, while the sexy model draped on his arm seductively runs her fingers through his hair - to check for dandruff. "Since your hair-style is almost the first thing that anybody notices about you, it's important that it looks good," says T. S. S. Ganesan, project manager at a software company. "It literally defines the personality and speaks volumes about the person," says Shoba Ravishankar, event manager."Hair and nails are the only things one can confidently experiment with and I've often advised models to change their hair-style before they shoot a portfolio," says Shoba. But she warns against blindly opting for what's in vogue. "Curly hair is my identity. I wouldn't want to trade it for the `uniform' straight-hair look," she says. As for colouring, she recommends browns and reds as suitable for the Indian skin. But dyeing is tricky business - what starts off as an attempt to colour the hair red, might end as a shade hitherto unknown to mankind! This is, of course, any day better than the ubiquitous `black hair-dye', which can give one very shiny, very `crow', very indigo-black hair! And though it might instantly knock off years, the `after' picture is highly diverting to family and friends, mirthfully reducing them to tears!

Hair-raising styles

For the sad minority who go through life like they've just stepped off the electric chair, life is one elusive search for a stylist or shampoo that can tame tresses. A software professional spoke about his porcupine-quill-travails. "I've visited salons in several countries and have pleaded with them to do something different with my hair. After staring at it sombrely for a few minutes, they usually shake their heads sadly and give me the usual close crop," he reminisces. Ramesh also admits trying out several remedies for his prickly-hair. "Gels, oil and shampoos work for a short while. And then, the hair just springs straight up," complains Ramesh. To counter it, he and his two like-haired sons, opt for a `crew-cut' every three weeks.

The unkindest cut

Hairstyles can certainly make or mar the persona. What looks ultra-chic on one can look downright calamitous on another! A lot, therefore, depends on the stylist. "Unless the hair-dresser inspires confidence in me, I generally don't give him a free hand," says Ganesan. "Even in my usual salon, I have a say on the style, and generally discuss the `look' with him before he picks up his scissors," he maintains. Hair grows back, no doubt, but till it does, one might have to take refuge under a toupee or lie that a rat gleefully chewed it up while one snored away to hairless-glory! HAIR FACTS

  • Colouring is tricky. Consult an expert
  • Browns and reds suit the Indian skin
  • Experiment, but don't lose out on your identity
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