From Sharmila Tagore's bouffant to Kajol's bob cut, trendsetting hairstyles in Bollywood cinema over the years
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From Sharmila Tagore's bouffant to Kajol's bob cut, trendsetting hairstyles in Bollywood cinema over the years

Jun 07, 2024

(L to R) Sharmila Tagore, Kajol and Priyanka Chopra

Sadhana’s fringe

Sadhana was quite the Bollywood beauty from the black-and-white cinema of the '60s. She flaunted her fringe hairdo – reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday, in films like 'Love in Shimla' and caused a stir amongst women at the time

The fringe made an appearance with pin-up buns and braids, creating a sensation amongst everybody who kept up with Bollywood trends. Soon, everybody was flocking to salons to recreate this iconic 'Sadhana bangs' look!

Sharmila Tagore's bouffant

In the '60s and '70s, bold hair and dramatic makeup were the hallmark styles for leaving an indelible mark on the audience. Sharmila Tagore embraced this trend and made a mark of her own with her iconic bouffant, where hair is voluminously piled atop the head in a rounded silhouette, complemented by cascading side tresses. This was perfectly paired with striking winged eyeliner for that extra flair

This hairstyle quickly gained popular currency across the industry. Other actresses like Waheeda Rahman and Saira Banu also followed in Sharmila Tagore's footsteps and sported this bouffant in many of their films

It was also known as the 'beehive' cut for its style and size - and was later further popularized by actresses like Hema Malini, Helen and Mumtaz throughout the early '70s. Flowers were often weaved through this hairtstyle - and at other times, it was adorned by side-curled flicks

Mid-parted long locks

In the 80s, whether braided or flowing freely, the sleek hair with side flicks became the gold standard, thanks to icons like Neetu Kapoor, Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, and Shabana Azmi. Once again, everyday women sported this hairstyle in a bid to look more like their favourite onscreen legends. Don't believe us? Just pull out your old family albums and you'll have ready proof of this '80s trend

Parveen Babi’s bangsIn the '70s, who didn't covet Parveen Babi's iconic bangs? Her free-flowing locks with those standout bangs showcased her as the epitome of a diva. It's no surprise that her hairstyle remains one of Bollywood's most memorable looks.

Wigs, wigs and more wigs!

Wigs turned heads (quite literally) in retro Bollywood. How else did you think Bollywood actresses switched their hairstyles multiple times in the movie with such ease? Wigs, of course! Flowing, flouncy, wacky and inventive - one could see the most over-the-top and exaggerated wigs in Bollywood cinema during this time. Asha Parekh’s stylish hairdo in the opening scene of Caravan had tight long curls, a side-tied white ribbon, and of course, a 4-inch high wig that added pizzazz to her character

These enormous wigs were made out of real hair and even '70s heroine is notorious of sporting a fake hairpiece in at least one of their films. Whether it was dancing sensation Helen or beauties like Vyjyanthimala, Hema Malini and Babita, every icon embraced this trend with much pomp

Dimple Kapadia’s layered blowout

In the '90s, Dimple Kapadia's voluminous layered blowout in the film 'Ram Lakhan' became an instant sensation. The hairstyle, with its captivating flow around the shoulders, inspired countless fans to mimic the look. Alongside this hair trend, glossy lips and rosy shades were all the rage

'90s fringe fever

In the '90s, fringes took center stage with style icons like Karisma Kapoor, Raveena Tandon, and Urmila Matondkar flaunting them. The feathered and choppy bang trends quickly became a must-have, with countless women emulating the look

Madhuri Dixit’s wavy hairstyle

Though Madhuri's enchanting smile was often the talk of the town, her wavy locks weren't far behind in garnering admiration. With films like 'Saajan' and 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun' showcasing her signature tresses, she truly set hair trends, cementing her status as a style icon for life

Karisma Kapoor’s poker straight hair

Karisma's look in 'Raja Hindustani', courtesy of the talented Manish Malhotra, was a total hit. Beyond her outfits, it was her sleek, straight brown hair that had everyone's attention. Those stunning locks remain unforgettable, don't they?

Karisma's very own wavy hair also deserve a special mention!

Kajol’s short bob

'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', a timeless classic, set the tone for fashion and beauty in the late '90s and early '00s. Kajol Devgn's portrayal of the tomboyish Anjali, with her distinctive short bob, inspired countless fans to adopt the minimalist hairstyle, accentuating their features and makeup

Rani Mukerji's hairbands

Another hairdo popularised by the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is Rani Mukerji's hairbands as go-to hair accessories for Indian women at the time. In contrast to Anjali, Rani Mukerji's Tina was a stylish diva who ardently followed all fashion trends of the '90s. She also popularised straight hair, sporting the hairstyle in many of her films - with a few of her loose hair strands styled at the front of her face

The perm

While perms were making waves in the West, Bollywood got a taste of it through Pooja Bhatt, showcasing the frizzy style in 'Daddy' and 'Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin'. Even though perms weren't the best for hair health, the trend caught fire. Stars like the ravishing Raveena Tandon and the late Divya Bharti embraced the style in subsequent films, giving Bollywood hairdos a uniquely edgy flair

Preity Zinta’s curls

In 'Dil Chahta Hai,' Preity Zinta made a case for highlighting the beauty of natural hair, inspiring fans to flaunt their authentic curls. Others turned to curling irons to achieve the look

Priyanka Chopra's layered haircut

Priyanka definitely set a new trend with her film 'Dostana' in which she sported a sultry layered cut with subtle highlights. The 'Desi girl' confidently rocked for an extended period.

Deepika Padukone’s sea-sprayed hair

Another one for the natural hair cause. Who could resist coveting Deepika Padukone's fierce salt-sprayed hair in 'Cocktail'? The bold, untamed style complemented her rebellious on-screen persona flawlessly. The hairstyle's impact endures, as Deepika rocks it even now – and yes, it's still absolutely stunning!



Updated on : Compiled by : Sadhana’s fringeSharmila Tagore's bouffantMid-parted long locksParveen Babi’s bangsWigs, wigs and more wigs!Dimple Kapadia’s layered blowout'90s fringe feverMadhuri Dixit’s wavy hairstyleKarisma Kapoor’s poker straight hairKajol’s short bobRani Mukerji's hairbandsThe permPreity Zinta’s curlsPriyanka Chopra's layered haircutDeepika Padukone’s sea-sprayed hair