Bollywood Hair: A Feast For the Senses

Get ready for your closeup—and some serious lash-batting—with long, glamorously conceptual hair.

There’s no such thing as merely *watching* a Bollywood production. To see one—yes, even while just idly channel-surfing on late-night cable—is to be completely, utterly immersed in a feast for the senses. Everything from the jewel-dipped costumes to the undulating choreography set to vibrato music (hip gyrations of WIN!) drips with decadence, drama and a dash of some kooky fun. Oh, and can we also talk about all that Bollywood hair?

The archetypal aesthetic: Long, dark, luscious locks, at times left to loosely flow in the wind, acting as the perfect rudder to hurl yourself into the unbuttoned chest of your love. Other times, the look is one of regal luxury: Jumbo segmented ponytails drip with embellishments and are accessorized to the nines, as only virgin princesses are wont to be. Whatever the cheesy trope, the Indian film industry, world renowned for its highly visual (and quick-turning) productions, has never skimped on the ~lewk~ of its beautiful, glamorous female leads.

It seems like we’re not alone in this obsession either, as the Bollywood hair trend has also made its rounds on past runways. Scroll down for the standout details on this super conceptual trend, as well as a few tips on tastefully appropriating these Bollywood hair looks that you can try out:

Current Obsession: Haute Couture Bollywood Hair

Bollywood hair garlands
Extra-long side braids are editorialized further via some garland ropes. Photo credit: TONI&GUY Products

Trend #1: Fabric-Woven Braids

The trend for over-the-top braids and ponytails continues, and takes on an even more exotic twist backstage during Fashion Month. The stylish rope twist is elevated with some floral garlands woven through the lengths, with the entire ponytail segmented at each chain with some gold ribbon.

Bollywood hair top twist
A twisted top knot sits at the crown. Photo credit: TONI&GUY Products

Trend #2: Twisted Top Knot

A messy top bun, achieved by looping a high ponytail through its own base and tucking in the ends, is an easy look that doesn’t always need a tiara to be effectively stunning. The key to the look: positioning the bun at the crown, which lends an otherwise simple hairstyle a higher, more queenly vibe.

Bollywood hair static texture
Snap, crackle, pop: Not all frizz is created equal. Photo credit: TONI&GUY Products

Trend #3: Static Texture

Achieve some high-fashion backcombed texture by doing just that: Using a fine-toothed comb, tease your hair in the opposite direction in short, shallow tugs to loosen strands and create some deliberate frizz. Best worn around the nape and on the chignon itself, the staticky, electric-buzz feel modernizes your messy updo and gives it a sexier vibe.

Would you try your hand at a high-fashion hairdo like Bollywood hair? Check out more backstage beauty reports for inspiration.