PIX: Bollywood's ICONIC hairstyles, over the years
If story, direction and performances are the mind of a film, music, songs, colours and fashion are its lustrous expressions.
Ultimately, significant or superficial, every tiny detail contributes in making a unique impression on its viewer.
For as long as one can remember, films have dictated the trends in style -- be it clothes or hair among both men and women with flourishing imagination.
Every decade of Hindi films bears a stamp of individuality and instant recognition because of these seemingly frivolous attributes.
Be it the timeless simplicity of the 1950s, dazzling flamboyance of the 1960s, free-spirited sleekness of the 1970s, kitschy excesses of the 1980s, exuberant vivacity of the 1990s or consciously chic approach of the 2000s and more, the imagery is copious, whimsical and super stylish.
Forget the clothes; hairstyle alone has undergone tremendous change from the vintage waves to statement braids.
Here's an extensive look at the changing hair trends of Bollywood actresses over the decades.
Keeping it short, wavy and classic
Blessed with intrinsic glamour, Hindi cinema's reigning beauties like Madhubala, Nargis and Geeta Bali didn't do many elaborate things for their hair to stand out.
Allowing their naturally wavy, medium-length tresses a slight curl or wave to render it a manageable look did sufficient to portray them as the liberated woman of the 1950s.
Image: Top to bottom: Geeta Bali, Madhubala, Nargis
One fringe to beat them all
Inspired by Audrey Hepburn's gorgeous fringe, Sadhana trimmed her front hair to create what would be known as the 'Sadhana' cut for the rest of our lives.
Several of her contemporaries tried to ape but none had the same effect as the star of Love in Simla, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena and Woh Kaun Thi.
There was huge craze for the puffed-up hairdo among the fashionistas of the sixties.
From the consistently elegant Sharmila Tagore to the unfussy Waheeda Rehman to the elfin Saira Banu, few could resist the bulky bouffant.
Image: Sharmila Tagore, Waheeda Rehman, Saira Bano
Getting wiggy with it
Heroines sported multiple looks in the same movie.
If in one scene, she boasted of Rapunzel's length, the next paid tribute to Marilyn Monroe.
How was this achieved? Simple, they wore wigs -- cute, wacky, tacky, flouncy, inventive wigs.
Whether it was dancing sensation Helen, classical beauties like Vyjyanthimala and Hema Malini or trendsetters like Asha Parekh and Babita, everybody embraced fake hairpieces like a sport.
Image: Hema Malini, Mala SInha, Asha Parekh, Helen, Vyjayantimala
The bun supremacy
Image: Mumtaz, Raakhee, Reena Roy
High rise hair!
Big hair, bigger curls also made its presence felt among the aspiring and established like Yogeeta Bali, Kaajal Kiran, Moushmi Chatterji and Bindu.
In this typically 70s look, a mound of locks are tied high while the overwhelming remainder rests pretty on her frail shoulders.
Image: Yogeeta Bali, Kaajal Kiran, Moushmi Chatterji, Bindu
Sleek and sexy!
Through the 70s and 80s, the sleek straight hair with side flicks was endorsed by both the glam girls as well as the powerhouse performers ranging.
From Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi to Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil to Padmini Kolhapure, Poonam Dhillon and Anita Raj till, perhaps, Bhagyashree, the aforementioned hairstyle has enjoyed quite a run.
Image: Shabana Azmi, Zeenat Aman, Poonam Dhillon, Parveen Babi
A slight variation of the earlier look involved sporting a middle parting and clips on either side to give the star a younger, endearing appeal.
Don't you think Tina Munim, Bindiya Goswami, Rati Agnihotri and Deepti Naval look fabulous in this avatar?
Image: Tina Munim, Bindiya Goswami, Rati Agnihotri and Deepti Naval
Double plaits, singularly awesome
At the same time, the long-haired divas like Rekha and Neetu Singh were more than happy to keep it uncomplicated tying those famously silky tresses in tidy pigtails.
It certainly boosted their youthful appeal even further.
Image: Rekha and Neetu Singh
Kaali teri chhoti hai
The 1980s witnessed Southern sensations like Sridevi and Jaya Pradha take over Bollywood with a series of successes opposite Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna.
And often they played the Bhartiya nari stereotype with her seriously long mane tied in single plaits, frequently wrapped in mogras.
Image: Sridevi, Jaya Prada
The side-swept steps -- curled or blow dried hairstyle of Madhuri Dixit is a distinct trademark of the erstwhile numero uno.
She continues to endorse it till date.
And her once arch-rival Meenakshi Sheshadri sported the same look with equal elan in quite a few films.
Image: Madhuri Dixit, Meenakshi Sheshadri
Return of the fringe
Meanwhile, the same decade (1980s) also accommodated the likes of chirpy Juhi Chawla and doll-faced Neelam.
Though their hair texture is completely different, both sported a cute fringe, a la Sadhana, and made it hugely popular.
Image: Juhi Chawla, Neelam Kothari
Perm and perky
Hairstyles got decidedly more hip in the 1990s after Pooja Bhatt debuted a frizzy perm in Daddy and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi.
Her Pehla Nasha co-star Raveena Tandon looked equally ravishing in hers.
Ditto for the late Divya Bharti whom Raveena replaced in films like Mohra and Laadla after her sudden demise.
Image: Pooja Bhatt, Raveena Tandon, Divya Bharti
Back combed hair, preferably gelled, with a tight bun at the back accentuates big eyes and goes perfectly with an halter neck outfit.
And who'd realise this better than two of the most beautiful women of Bollywood -- Aishwarya Rai and Kajol?
Image: Aishwarya Rai, Kajol
Lets get this straight
So popular was Karisma Kapoor's severely straightened hair look in Raja Hindustani, the actress decided to sport it in all her subsequent movies.
Though blessed with thicky, wavy hair Kajol too opted for the shiny, ironed locks in her comeback movies like Fanaa, My Name is Khan and We Are Family.
Image: Karisma Kapoor, Kajol
The big bangs theory
Wispy, feathered or blunt, nothing looks smarter than layered hair teamed with glamorous bangs.
And popular since Rani Mukerji's swanky turn as Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to its more playful versions sported by Lara Dutta and Prachi Desai, to name a few, layers are here to stay.
Image: Rani Mukerji, Lara Dutta, Prachi Desai
Bob, blunt and beautiful
Over the years, actresses have become adventurous about their hair and make-up.
Be it Manisha Koirala, Vidya Balan, Urmila Matondkar or Preity Zinta, neither has qualms about chopping off her velvety tresses for a short bob or nifty blunt cut.
Image: Preity Zinta, Urmila Matondkar, Vidya Balan, Manisha Koirala
The extension syndrome
Instead of awkward wigs, stars, nowadays, simply clip on a set of hair extensions to flaunt perfectly tousled/ highlighted/tinted hair in a jiffy.
Take a look at Priyanka Chopra or Bipasha Basu, can hardly tell the difference, right?
Image: Priyanka Chopra and Bipasha Basu
Bollywood hasn't been big on curly-haired hotties barring the briefly buzzing Suman Ranganathan (Fareb, Aa Ab Laut Chalein).
But Kangana Ranaut changed that perception with her furiously wiry locks since her breakthrough film, Gangster.
Image: Kangna Ranaut, Suman Ranganathan
Image: Esha Gupta, Genelia D'Souza
Ho ja rangeela re!
Priyanka Chopra in Love Story 2050, Katrina Kaif in New York, Kareena Kapoor in Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu -- all have one thing in common. Coloured hair.
From blonde to red, these girls have dyed their salon-like hair in shades of madness and marvel.
Image: Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif
After Jennifer Aniston's historic 'Rachel,' the other Jennifer, Lawrence caught worldwide attention with her chic braid as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Here's how it's influenced our desi girls from Deepika to Asin.
Image: Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Asin
And there are some, who more often than not, chose to keep their striking mane, real and beautiful, highlighting its lustrous appeal by merely letting it loose.
Meena Kumari, Nutan, Jaya Bhaduri, Dimple Kapadia, Tabu, Sonam Kapoor, the list like Rapunzel's hair is endless.
Image: Nutan, Meena Kumari, Jaya Bhaduri, Dimple Kapadia, Tabu, Sonam Kapoor