For all the hyperbole Indian women excel in while holding forth on 'experimenting' with their style, here's the plain truth: Most of us chicken out of dealing with the unconventional when it comes to our hair. Don't believe us? Here are the numbers.
At least 55% of the 887 readers who took part in an online poll conducted on HT.com between April 22-30, said they tweak their hairstyles "only once in nine months". The next best-another high 29%- said they wait for at least "six months" before going for a different look. And guess how often does the bravest of this lot-16%-ask their stylist to give them a new look: Three months!
Did you just say India's fashion scene has taken a 360-degree turn?
Ideally, says Suraj Godambe, owner of Mumbai-based salon Bharat & Dorris, and also the hair and make-up HOD of Arbaaz Khan Production, "One should get a haircut every eight weeks". He adds: "In India, the consciousness level is still very low. A haircut once every two months helps maintain the hair's texture, its quality and also the volume. The college-going crowd may be enthusiastic about it, but most women in the 40-45 years age bracket don't take it seriously."
There's more: A high 60% of the respondents said they stick to same boring style with their long locks, rather than opting for a nice short crop!
Says Zingranwon Shatsang, creative director of Mumbai's Zido Salon: "85% of Indians are open to change, but they are very apprehensive in the beginning. A lot of women have second-thoughts as they've never seen themselves in shorter hair. It is just like getting a tattoo right? You either love it or hate it! It is always advisable to take it step-by-step. Don't get it too short the first time."
Adds Ami Mahale, regional trainer of Lakme Absolute Salon in Mumbai: "Shorter hair makes you look young, but most Indian women are too scared to experiment. Their biggest fear is whether the hair will ever grow back to the original length once it is chopped."
Simply put, Indian women don't experiment with their hair on a regular basis, but they sure know what suits them best. 68% said that they will never go for the latest trend in hairstyles just for the heck of it if it doesn't accentuate their features, 23% said they might or might not give it a shot and only 9% are ready to take the plunge.
And like everything else in our life that's dictated by the film industry, B'town's beautiful women are the biggest inspirations for hairstyles as well. About 48% of the respondents said they copy Bollywood celebs while looking for newer styles. Now, this is a telling commentary on where we are going wrong: Except for a handful, most Bollywood divas stick to the same-old layered-hip-length or shoulder-length hairstyles.
Says Mahale: "Most of my clients are inspired by Bollywood beauties. If you notice, most of the B-Towners have long hair except for a few like Anushka Sharma, Sonakshi Sinha and Mandira Bedi. Women are not really comfortable with experimenting with their hairstyle as they don't really have someone to look up to."
The quirky hairstyles that you see on the go and admire on the sly constitute only 33% of the female population. They are the smart ones who derive inspiration from both worlds to re-create something new.