Fashion
Gone are the days of cheap hair dye, hair colour is now a form of self expression.
Bony Sashidharan

Long, luscious, flowing black hair has always been considered beautiful. The idea of trimming hair and styling it was alien to earlier generations. However, times are changing and they are changing fast. Post liberalisation, Indians have caught on to various fashion trends and one such is hair colour.

Back in the day, hair colour was limited to the standard black hair dye or henna red. Many of us have memories of our grandparents or even parents applying Godrej Kesh Kala at home or dyeing their hair with henna just before a wedding or special occasion.

Image courtesy: Bony Sasidharan talking about hair colour and styling.

These days, though, hair colour is considered to be an expression of one’s personality. Every colour speaks differently. The South is generally considered to be a bit conservative when it comes to fashion but hair colour is something that has caught on.

Bony Sasidharan of Schwarzkopf Professional, who has been the hair expert and stylist at many fashion pageants, says, “People are willing to experiment with their hair these days. It allows me to give a different look to my client every time they walk out of my salon. Trends in Southern India are unsurprisingly impacted by Bollywood, too. However, although influenced by the trends both local and international, my clients from the South often maintain a balance between being edgy and traditional.”

Image courtesy: Purushu Arie

Talking about the change in people’s attitude, Chennai based fashion designer and stylist, R V Purusothaman, who goes by the pen name Purushu Arie, says, “Several new style trends have come, gone and even re-entered the market.  Talking of hair products, a lot of new hues have come in and the quality of hair styling products has evolved over the years. The millennials are more individualistic and don't hesitate from experimenting with their look and personality. 2017 Chennai streets are definitely more colourful, experimental and trendy than the 2000s.”

Till a few years ago, hair colour was meant either for those who were on the other side of the 40s or students who had not yet begun their professional careers. Today, hair colour has become acceptable at the workplace, too.

Image courtesy: Bony Sasidharan; Shwarzkopf professional model sporting subtle brown hair colour.

To keep it professional, Purushu says, “I think the key is to not overdo the colours and instead keep the look subtle and elegant in a corporate environment. Dark hues of browns and coppers work well in a corporate ambience. Complete the look with layered highlights to reinvent yourself at the workplace!”

Bony concurs, “Chocolate brown or a combination of chocolate brown in the form of highlights is a safe combination which would appear both graceful and charming.”

Image courtesy: Bony Sasidharan; Shwarzkopf professional model sporting a bold colour.

From subtle golden or light brown highlights to burgundies and greyish blues, there’s a wide range of colours to pick from, says Purushu. Usually, people prefer to match colours with skin tone and the inputs of a stylist can help you figure out what will work for your personality.

For those who aren’t content with playing it safe, a great way to wear bold colours is to add hidden accents. Hidden rainbow hair colour is the hottest trend in Asia now – a layer of regular hair hides the vivid colours underneath. So be sober or go as wild as you please!

Pastel hair is popular, too. While these colours are guaranteed to grab eyeballs, perhaps trying them with temporary colours is a good option. Whoever said pastel colours don't suit dark skin tones has clearly not done their research!

Image courtesy: Screenshot/YouTube; Rainbow hair for the wacky. 

While pastel blues and purples may not be everyone's cup of tea and will also call for a certain amount of hair care, temporary colours and hair crayons are a great way to wear this to a holiday or beach party. You can also add pop colours only to the ends of your hair – roll it up as a bun or wear it down, depending on where you’re going.

A word of caution: it's important to use hair colouring products that are of good quality and to take care of your mane so you keep damage to a minimum. And don't overdo any hair treatment - colouring or otherwise.

From helping people who want to cover up their greys to becoming a form of self expression – hair colour has come a long way. Taking the plunge might seem like a big step for those who are conservative when it comes to exploring fashion but once bitten, this bug is unlikely to leave you!