Dressing up ethnic can be tricky, especially when it comes to complementing the look with right accessories, right makeup, and, on top of all, right hairstyle. Whatever the occasion is, dolling up a designer saree, lehenga, or suit is never complete unless you get your hair business on point. But it does not necessarily mean that you have to settle for drab braids or land up with some salon help. While managing an oh-so-pretty hairstyle that goes perfectly with your desi swag may sound overwhelming, you can actually ace your skills to do justice with it. We give you a lowdown on some simple yet gorgeous hairstyles with Indian traditional outfits that will definitely create an impression.
What is ‘Hair Type’?
So, before we head towards the hairstyles that will make you look stupendously beautiful in your Indian dresses, it is crucial to identify your hair type so that your hair game can be on fleek every time. The type of hair is determined by the shape of hair follicles, which again controls the amount and pattern of curl in the hair. If the follicles are round and symmetrical, the hair is straight. The more they turn oval and asymmetrical, the curlier the hair strands become. However, the basic curl pattern in every individual is primarily influenced by genetics (1). While it gets altered to some extent with heat, chemicals, hormones, or medications, the basic characteristics in DNA are reasserted during each growth cycle of hair.
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Different Types of Hair
Based on the curl pattern, hair can be divided into four categories. They can further have subtypes, which indicate how loose or tight the curls and coils are. Given below are the details of different hair types (2):
1. Straight Hair
As the name says, this type of hair has no natural waves or curls from the root to the tip. However, the strands can be thin, thick, fine, coarse, etc. based on the density.
2. Wavy Hair
- 2A: It is fairly straight from the roots to the eyes and has loose, undefined curls from the eyes to the tips. This type of hair is also characterized by a gentle, tousled texture.
- 2B: The curls get a better definition and a slight ‘S’-shape as the pattern starts from the midpoint and continues to the tips of the hair.
- 2C: In this type of wavy hair, the pattern begins very close to the crown and tumbles downward, thereby creating the most well-defined ‘S’ shape.
3. Curly Hair
- 3A: Here, the ‘S’-shaped curls turn into loose loops, which look even wider than the large end of a taper candle.
- 3B: It has curls that are as wide as a marker and spring from the roots to the tips with ample volume.
- 3C: These tight and springy curls are not wider than a regular drinking straw.
4. Coily or Kinky Hair
- 4A: In this type, the hair strands form thin ‘S’-shaped coils that can be wrapped around a chopstick.
- 4B: The coils here get a zig-zag pattern.
- 4C: It is the tightest and the most fragile type of coils.
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How to Style Different Hair Types?
Your hair could be a combination of different types of hair, which makes it difficult to style. Once you understand the styling needs of each type of hair, it becomes effortless for you. Here we go:
1. Styling Straight Hair
As straight hair turns oily very easily, make sure that you do not trigger the overproduction of sebum in your scalp by washing it too often. Replace your heavy serums or hair butter with dry shampoos or texture sprays. A chin-length blunt cut goes really well with straight hair.
2. Styling Wavy Hair
For type 2A hair, switch to a light gel or mousse from oil- or cream-based products. This will stop the waves from flattening out and add definition to them. Straightening type 2B hair needs extra effort but you can always spritz a little salt spray to get a perfect beachy look or add dimension from the backside by sporting a balayage trend. Thick and frizz-prone type 2C hair needs anti-humidity products like lightweight mousses and a diffuser attached to the blow dryer. Alternating between daily straightening can damage this type of hair.
3. Styling Curly Hair
Brushing type 3A hair will ruin its definition and induce frizz. Wearing tight ponytails or buns will also deform as well as thin out natural curls. So, opt for products and styles that will define the curly hair and enhance its shape. Provide lots of moisture to the distinctive ringlets of type 3B hair. Also, prevent dryness and breakage by avoiding silicone and sulfates in your products. To maintain the type 3C corkscrew curls, apply a leave-in conditioner and run your fingertips through the wet hair. It is also recommended to air-dry this type of hair instead of blowdrying (3).
4. Styling Coily or Kinky Hair
Be extremely gentle with the delicate type 4A hair. Use deep conditioning treatments like creams, masks, and butters to preserve its health and definition. You should steer clear of protective styles like weaves and braids for it. Rather, wear it loose in wash-and-go styles. For type 4B hair, singling is the right styling technique that not only defines the shape of the hair but also accentuates it. Moisturize and condition each strand intensely with leave-in conditioner and apply curling cream or gel down the length. You need to nourish your type 4C hair frequently with rich conditioners like coconut oil or shea butter. Ditch the shampoo if you wish and be very careful while combing.
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10 Awe-Inspiring Hairstyles with Indian Traditional Outfits
So, here are some no-salon hairstyle inspirations for you that will appeal the best with Indian traditional outfits:
1. Messy Bun
This messy affair is a favorite of Deepika Padukone. But believe us, you can also rock this chic hairstyle like a pro! It is best paired with a saree and a sassy backless blouse. Moreover, it is absolutely suitable for all types of faces.
- Create large soft curls in your hair.
- Part it from the middle and make a small pouf at the crown area.
- Gather all curls at the nape of the neck and tie them into a slightly loose bun.
- Tease the bun a little to create that perfectly messy look.
- Let some of the curls fall on your forehead casually.
- Throw in a jeweled clip or some pins at the back to secure the bun in style.
2. Half-Up Curls
This pinned-back hairstyle is simple, elegant, and almost fuss-free. No wonder that it has been always in trend for decades. You can wear the half-up curls hairdo in just minutes and it will go great with a plethora of ethnic wear.
- Partition your hair at the center or from either side.
- Backcomb at the crown to get some volume.
- Take the front strands in thin sections from both sides and twist them up.
- Secure the twisted hair at the back with a few bobby pins or a nice hair accessory.
- Curl the rest of your hair softly and let it fall loose on your shoulders.
For a smart and classy look, straighten the rest of your hair and let it rest on your back to flaunt your personality.
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3. Sleek Chignon
While messy hair is in now, a slicked-back low bun also never goes out of style. The chignon plays just right and powerful to accentuate the cheekbones and the forehead while adding royalty to a designer saree or a heavy suit.
- Apply serum liberally to the hair to make it smooth, sleek, and shiny.
- Comb it backward to make it super straight.
- Make a tight low bun at the nape of your neck.
- Set with a good spritz of hairspray so that it looks flawless.
- Accessorize the chignon with ‘gajra’ or floral embellishments
To jazz up your look and be high in swag, go for a low side chignon by making the bun at one side of your nape.
4. Side Fishtail Plait
Ditch the boring regular plait for this quick, no-trick, side fishtail one. Be it messy or tidy, elaborate fishtail braids are the pure obsession that gels perfectly well with all kinds of less embellished ethnic outfits.
- Side-part your hair on either side.
- Backcomb at the crown area to add a little volume.
- Gather all your hair on the shoulder of the side opposite to the partition.
- Make a loose fishtail braid and let it rest on the shoulder.
- Pull out some hair near your temple area for a casual chic look.
- Spritz some hair spray to keep the look set in place.
If you are not comfortable with the sleek pleats of the fishtail braid, go for a simple side braid or a side French braid. Both of these will add drama and boldness to your desi look.
5. Side-Swept Locks
When it comes to adding oomph to your stunning saree or intricate lehenga, this hairdo never fails. Side-swept locks are not only low on fuss but also a hot favorite of red-carpet celebrities.
- Add soft, large curls to your hair from mid-length to the ends.
- Part it to one side.
- Gather all the curls on the shoulder to the opposite side.
- Set the style with hairspray.
Side loose curls itself will highlight your look enough. So, keep your accessories as minimal as possible.
6. High Ponytail
A ponytail need not be meant only for casual attire. You can go high on a clean-swept high ponytail while wearing ethnic outfits too. Keep the entire look clean and minimalistic as the ponytail adds a twist and quirkiness to it instantly.
- Iron your hair to give it a straight and sleek look.
- Backcomb some hair into a pouf on the top of your head.
- Pull back the rest of the hair and tie it into a high ponytail.
- Accessorize with a fancy clip or band.
Modify your ponytail in different ways to look drop-dead gorgeous in Indianwear. Some amazing options to choose from are curly ponytail, low side ponytail, bubbly ponytail, etc.
7. Traditional Bun
What else can be more perfect than a traditional attire teamed up with a traditional low bun? You can add even more elegance to the appearance by adding a stunning ‘gajra’ to the classic bun.
- Middle partition your hair.
- Secure it into a low bun at the nape of the neck.
- Tuck in all loose ends with hairpins.
- Hold the look down with a hair mist.
- Loosen a few hair strands here and there near the hairline.
8. Straight Layered Hair
If you have lovely layered hair that you want to flaunt, this is the hottest trend to follow for sure. It takes Indian outfits to a whole new level with its simple yet classy approach.
- Apply smoothening cream to your layers liberally.
- Partition the sleek and straight hair at the center.
- Blow-dry it and iron out the ends.
9. Puffed-Up Bun
This puffed-up bun hairstyle is charming and graceful. Try it with your designer dress to add sheer elegance to that and make your forehead look more striking.
- Use a volumizing shampoo on your hair.
- Curl it up slightly.
- Backcomb the hair at the crown to make that pouf.
- Hold it together with some bobby pins.
- Roll up the rest of the hair into a messy bun at the center of your head.
- Secure it with hairpins.
10. Curly Layers
If you have medium-length hair, these curly layers will complement your ethnic look the best. You can even amp up your mane game by adding a necklace headdress to the hairstyle.
- Treat your layers with a volumizing shampoo.
- Add small and defined curls to them.
- Make a side partition in your hair.
- Let the curls fall on your shoulders, framing your face.
It is crucial to identify your hair type to ensure that your hair game is on fleek every time. The type of hair is determined by the shape of hair follicles, which again controls the amount and pattern of curl in the hair. The basic curl pattern in every individual is primarily influenced by genetics and cannot be changed completely. But based on the curl pattern, hair can be divided into four categories – straight, wavy, curly, and coily or kinky. They can further have subtypes, which indicate how loose or tight the curls and coils are. Your hair could be a combination of different types of hair, which makes it difficult to style. Once you understand the styling needs of each type of hair, it becomes effortless for you. Some of the best hairstyles that you can flaunt with your Indian traditional outfits are messy bun, half-up curls, sleek chignon, side fishtail braid, side-swept locks, high ponytail, traditional bun, straight layered hair, puffed-up bun, and curly layers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Healthiest Hairstyle?
Some of the healthiest hairstyles include smooth chignon, braided ponytail bun, twisted ponytail, twisted headband, half braid, crown braid, half bun, etc. However, you should keep changing your hairstyles in order to keep your scalp as well as your hair healthy and beautiful.
What is the Easiest Hairstyle?
Braided bun, quick temple twist, scarf braid, knotted ponytail, halo braid, sleek ponytail, pineapple, side braid, etc. are some quick and easy hairstyles that you can wear in minutes.
What are the Least Damaging Hairstyles?
If you want to protect your hair from damage while styling, opt for hairstyles like braids, low buns, braided buns, low ponytails, slicked-back hair, etc.
- “The Biology and Genetics of Curly Hair“, OnlineLibrary.wiley.com
- “How to Identify and Style Your Hair Type“, Healthline.com
- “How to Stop Damaging Your Hair“, AAD.org