Texture and voluminous hair is here to stay as India changes its outlook on how to treat the mane organically, says Chahak Mittal
Our hair is certainly like a crown that can never be taken off our heads. And it is very much a part of our identities and self-image. With the growing focus on sustainability in our lifestyles today, people are increasingly heading towards a more organic approach when it comes to hair management. They do not merely wash and style their hair anymore but also hydrate, protect and put efforts to strengthen it. And many of them are looking to do so with healthy and wholesome ingredients and products with few or no chemicals. A report from 2011 reveals that there has been a 15 per cent decline in the sales of hair care products after the advent of organic and green products in the market. Well, this does explain why the sales of everyday hair care products are falling flat after new products come to the fore, which appeal to the changing demographics in the country. The same approaches are being initiated in hair salons too.
In a bid to promote sustainability and create space for an eco-friendly business model for all global beauty brands and salons across the country, a luxury and premium beauty brand has introduced ‘Project Green Salon’ which uses hair colours extracted from “bamboo” sticks.
So how can we make salon spaces greener? Just alter the use of almost everything — from plastic, hair colours with chemical, and metal cans — to biodegradable options and natural ingredients.
The question of what the new, futuristic hair would be like in India is a deliberative one. Especially for international hairstylist Marcelo Pedrozo, who looks at the Indian hair type as bouncy and wavy. He points out that its future is just taking rounds like a merry-go-wheel. And this year, it went back to the Eastern way of experimenting with hair in the 80s. “Everything is going back and also getting accepted. The trends in those decades were quite ahead of their time. I believe, in every season, some of the decade becomes a trend. Previously, there was fluffiness in hair and so many finger waves in the 40s. Today, it has again become the top trend.”
Wavy, curly and straight hair types are the most common ones in the country. However, straight has been commonly looked at as the ‘ideal’ one. Women with curly hair had often been, due to the society’s perception and cinema projections of them, looked at as rebellious and wild. They are bullied through words like ‘noodles and poodles.’ Even men with curls are seen as felonious and undisciplined. However, Pedrozo points out towards how “curly, voluminous and texture” hair have also been taking the lead today. “The West has a wide market for curly hair. The global curly girl (CG) community has been very much appreciative of the curly trend. However, much to the surprise of Indians, there is an active CG community in the country as well, which is only growing,” he says. Well, yes, Instagram and Kangana Ranaut are evidence.
For him, it was only in India that he realised what the “beauty of hair” is. He tells us, “I started my hair styling journey 12 years ago. But I hadn’t understood what the beauty of hair was until I came to India. I observed how they take care of their hair here. Indian hair has huge waves and are shiny, healthy and bouncy. People want more volume and bounce in their hair to make it look alive. But in India, it is ever-present. The material of their hair is so perfect, smooth and strong. It’s great as a hairstylist to experiment with their hair and with more techniques. And now with no chemicals, their stuff would be even greater than ever.”
When advertisements go like, ‘In search of one of the most trusted, natural solutions for your hair?’ Pedrozo’s answer would be, “Keratin.” It is certainly one of the most sought after treatments for the hair. And it’s the reason why it’s becoming a growing trend here. “Keratin is very good and healthy for hair. It keeps their shine element intact. It works great even in different kinds of weather like India. For example, Mumbai’s weather can make your hair dry. So you also need some moisturising. And what better than keratin?” says he.
However, one of the most evergreen trends that have been followed, since hair experimentation first begun, is hair colouring, irrespective of the place it happens in. Pedrozo believes that hair colour has more to do with a person’s identity and self perception than just style. He points out, “It has a lot to do about our personal image. People colour their hair to feel new about themselves. For example, three years ago, I’d see my hair and say to myself, ‘Ah! I am tired. I want to see my hair in another shade! I want a change.’ So, it is also a part of your identity. Women change their hair colour because they want to look good and experiment with something new. It’s fun to keep colouring. Though you could also be harsh on your hair if you keep using colours regularly without moisturising it often.”
And this is why, he says, there is a need for more herbal and organic products for hair to be introduced in India. He adds, “It is very important, especially because there is no count of how many chemicals we consume on a daily basis, unknowingly. And for me, styling is important but breathing is more than that, for which we need to discard all plastic-based and chemical-infused products and shift to greener alternatives. It is very important to take care of the hair organically before talking about its styling.”
There would also be a special focus on “waste management” techniques at salons. “We are creating fume extractors in which we take all the toxic gases, harmful chemicals and fumes out of the salon infrastructure. We are also installing salon bins, which will have five-bin structure inside salons. Each one would be dedicated to different materials — metal, paper, hair, plastic things and cans. We will also be working closely working NGOs to educate more people about this to create a new future of hair in India,” says Arpit Jain, CEO of the beauty brand.
Thursday, 08 August 2019 | Chahak Mittal | in Vivacity
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