Hair we go!

Hair we go!
A few snips here and there, a whoosh from the hair dryer, a drop of serum and you are set. Under Adhuna Bhabani’s razor-sharp gaze, an ordinary girl-next-door transforms into a complete stunner. “This is always good fun. This is what I enjoy doing,” she says at the launch of two new BBlunt salons in Bengaluru. One of the country’s leading hairstylists, Adhuna is known for creating iconic looks for films like Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya and Karthik Calling Karthik. Having been trained in the UK, she considers legendary hairstylist Vidal Sassoon as her inspiration. Armed with her scissors and comb, Adhuna engages in a conversation with us.

Tell us about your experience of working in Bollywood.
It has been a long journey. I started out with Dil Chahta Hai in 2001. Since then, there has been no looking back. In Bollywood, every project is challenging and I enjoy a challenge. I have a shoot crew that specialises in shooting work, whether it is for a film, a fashion show or an editorial. When it comes to films, it is interesting to create a character. It is a collaborative effort and the work is quite exhaustive. If you work with an actor who is involved in just one project at a time, it becomes easier to create a look. We don’t have to create multiple hairstyles for different shoots. Working with people like Aamir Khan is great because he chooses to do one film at a time.

And who has the best hair in the industry?
In terms of quality of hair and how it adapts to different looks, Deepika Padukone is my absolute favourite. I like the fact that Deepika doesn’t mind experimenting with different looks.

What inspires you to create a particular look in a film?
It is definitely script driven. There is a set procedure when I take up a film. The first step is to study the script, and then break it down and visualise what each character would look like in a particular scenario. Secondly, I consider the practicality of each look. There is also the director’s vision. Make-up and wardrobe are also critical when it comes to styling the hair. We use visual references, the actors’ hair texture and so on. Funnily enough, it always happens that the director might want long hair, but he casts an actor with short hair. These are challenges, but these are also the things that make the process more exciting.

What has been the most ‘hair-raising’ experience for you so far?
I think the most challenging film for me was Lakshya. I had to give Preity Zinta two kinds of looks. We had ordered a wig specially made in London and the shooting was taking place in Ladakh. When the wig arrived on the day of the shoot, I had to style it and fit it to Preity’s head. I hadn’t anticipated how different the weather conditions would be in Ladakh. Back in those days, we didn’t have our own range of products and nothing was available specially high up in those mountains. So when the camera started rolling and as the scene was being shot, I saw Preity’s wig expanding. That was really a disaster of epic proportions. I was in tears. But soon the situation was brought under control.

Who is that one person you really want to style?
Hands down, it has to be Madonna. Just because she is awesome!

From being behind the camera to being in front of the camera for your TV series ‘BBLUNT’ on TLC. What was it like?
I don’t mind being in front of the camera if I am doing what I know. So the show on TLC was just like being at work every day. But I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was. We did a lot of behind the scenes as well. It was a great experience and I am totally open to doing it again. I have this never-say-never attitude.

Which is the craziest look you have created so far?
When I was 17, I created a daffodil out of hair for a competition.

As a hairstylist, what is your personal hair regime?
I like to keep things simple. I shampoo and condition my hair every other day. But I really enjoy the process of getting a haircut. I have always worn my hair short, and I am constantly changing my look. My staples are my shampoo-conditioner and a leave-in climate control serum that cuts the frizz, hydrates the hair and protects it from heated appliances like curlers and straighteners.

Can you give us some hair tips to combat the monsoon?
Controlling frizz in this humid weather is a major concern. You need to use a good climate control product that protects your hair from humidity and heated appliances. It is almost like using a sunblock for your hair. In the monsoon, your hair tends to become sticky and the scalp becomes itchy. In such conditions, it is better to tie your hair up into a bun or go for a high ponytail or a knot. Braids also give a neat and chic look and are extremely easy to maintain.

What are some of the hair trends this year?
We are in a different time and space where fashion and trends are much more individualistic. Earlier in the 60s and the 70s, there was a definite look and feel to hair, make-up and clothes. I think now, the poker straight look has become passé, and people are going in for different textures. Going for soft, wispy hair and embracing the hair’s natural texture in different shapes and forms, from long to short, is the focus this year. So the mantra is easy, breezy and uncontrived natural hair. Colours are also big this year. People are experimenting with pastels and rainbow shades. But reds are always a safe choice…the more vibrant the better.

How important is oiling one’s hair?
The thing with oils that it is more about the action of the massage that is beneficial to the scalp. So by using a circular motion on the scalp, you stimulate the blood flow, which feeds the root of your hair. The action of the massage is essentially good for the hair. Having said that, I always feel that once you use traditional oils, you have to aggressively shampoo your hair to get the grease out. So essentially after a wash, any benefit of that oil is gone. So the latest leave-in products work both ways, as they nourish the hair and you don’t have to bother washing them out afterwards.

Which are some of the low-maintenance haircuts one can get for any kind of hair?
I am all for layers. Layers in any form on any hair type is in vogue. Layers add texture and volume to the hair.

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