In India, weddings are the most important social occasion of them all. Long considered sacred, Indian weddings are particularly extravagant and colorful. When it comes to hairstyling, these days Western influences mix freely with more traditional styles, infusing the country’s nuptials with a breath of fresh air and inspiration. To learn more about current trends, FAB talked to Melroy Dickson, a hairstylist partnering with Matrix in India.
Although Bollywood‘s films contain more than a little fiction, they’ve also helped real Indian culture to thrive around the globe. The rich sets and decorations, the fabulous outfits and the characters’ larger-than-life personalities can also be found in the real world, especially at weddings.
In the tradition of Hinduism, getting married is the most important rite of passage in a person’s life, which explains why weddings are celebrated in such an extravagant way. With around 10 million weddings held every year in India – that’s five times more than in the USA – the importance of a memorable wedding is as crucial as ever. In fact, according to the “Benchmarking Asia Pacific Wealth Markets” study carried out by Datamonitor, the wedding market is still growing by 25 to 30 per cent every year. So, there’s a lot of room for creativity and inspiration for the country’s fashion designers and hairstylists!
From Tradition To Modern
Brides’ wedding hairstyles in India, just like the different ceremonies and celebrations held across the enormous country, are very diverse. Indian women make the most of their wedding ceremony to show off their hair, which is renowned for its beauty, length and shine. This also means that there’s plenty of opportunity for hairdressers to create unusual, breathtaking styles, often with waves and big volume.
These days, more conservative, traditional styles inspired by the maharani can be seen alongside looks that have a modern or urban twist. Buns and different types of braids remain very popular and perhaps most important of all are the hair accessories, as Melroy Dickson told FAB: “Hair accessories form a very important part of embellishing the hair. The style of accessories is diverse and dependent on the region the bride is from. Hair accessories range from specially made jewelry to complex fresh flower arrangements created to adorn the hair.”
The Best From The West?
Although buns and braids still rule the roost, the most popular styles are increasingly inspired by the West. Melroy told FAB about the latest, most important emerging trend in Indian wedding hairstyling: coloration. “More and more brides are now open to using hair color to accentuate their hairstyles and to take it up a notch. With shades of gold, plum and red, color allows young Indian brides to express themselves with modern looks that are both bohemian and romantic.” However, although brides’ hairstyles are getting more and more modern, proper haircare remains the most important preoccupation of all styling professionals. “It’s always about the hair! Accessories only add to the overall look, but hair texture, volume and the hairstylist’s role in helping to accentuate the best about your hair is always the topmost priority for all,” Melroy happily told FAB.
All of these changes prove the point that Indian society is on the brink of a massive shift. For Melroy Dickson, “Thanks to increased exposure to global trends, more and more Indians are open to experimenting and newer styles.” The early signs of this are particularly visible in the worlds of fashion and beauty, but you can also see them in the evolution of Bollywood’s iconic hairstyles.