There was an article the other day about how three of the top heroines of Bollywood have not changed their hairstyle at all in the past many years. They continue to have ‘long’ hair and have only experimented with colouring and maybe layering.
After studying hairstyles of Bollywood actresses on his recent visit to India, Hollywood hairstylist Sam McKnight said “…they’re stuck in the ’80s, as they don’t experiment”. Aishwarya Rai, Karina Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Sonam, Preety etc. continue to sport long stresses that help them to keep their hands busy during interviews—flicking it back, to the side or side to side.
Well! The Indian nari is classically picturised with long tresses. One of the samudrika lakshanams is long, black, beautifully thick hair. In fact the traditional pativratas like Sita, Draupadi, Devaki (Krishna’s Mom) had long and beautiful hair. When the bad guys like Ravana, Duryodhana, Dushasana and Kamsa grabbed their ‘scented hair’ their final fate was sealed and it was the cue for Yama to mark them down for the next ticket to his lokam.
Indian women are reluctant to experiment with short hairstyles and the blame can be laid at the door of Indian men who are obsessed with long tresses. Remember, hair was also associated with ‘sumangali’ status and the lack of it denoted widowhood. Even today Indian women do not have hair styles to please themselves, but kowtow to family and society. In fact women with short hair are labeled ‘bold’.
Indian actresses are also part of this tradition and very few have short hair. Those who do are generally the femme fatales types like Urmila and Mandira Bedi. When the stars have to sport short hair they resort to wigs.
Hair dressing salons used to be for men. A few years ago only beauty parlours had hair dressers as part of their services. Today in urban areas specialized hair salons are coming into existence.
If it is a bad man on TV or films they all sport long hair and unkempt beards. Many urbane men are now growing their hair! So finally there may be a leveling of sexes—at least in the length of their hair!