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No heat and still hot

Volume curlsIf the blow dryer, straightener, curling iron and other heat products are your best friends, you can be assured that your hair will not really be a crowning glory. Contrary to popular belief, you can still look your glamorous best without these heat-producing, and therefore, hair damaging gadgets. Go all natural for a change with some of the hippest head-turning styles.

Hair experts believe that hair can be naturally manipulated without the use of tools to create good styles. From gorgeous waves to messy buns, follow the simple steps to bring out your hair’s natural texture (whether it’s straight, wavy or curly) and get a totally natural, un-fried look. Try any of these no-heat textures and finishes.

Leaving it loose
For functions such as the sangeet or ring ceremony, hair can be let loose. Flat wrapping is the healthiest way to get hair straight. Stylist use flat wrapping all of the time to achieve a smooth, straight texture on hair. Brush any tangles out of wet hair then divide it down the middle. Take one section and clip it up. Comb the other section around the shape of the head and smoothly pin it in place. Take the first section down and repeat in the opposite direction. Once the hair is dry all you have to do is unpin it and brush it.

Crossed braid bun, Image Courtesy: Anisha Wagle
Crossed braid bun, Image Courtesy: Anisha Wagle

Braiding for texture
Braiding is a great way to get really cool texture. Tight Afro braids are best because you get even texture from your roots all the way to the ends of your hair. They may be time-consuming, but for the biggest day of your life, the effect could be spectacular. Wash your hair an hour before you’re planning to go to bed, give it about 30 minutes to dry naturally, and then braid it into a lot of thin, tight braids. For best results, separate the hair into sections – about 5 at the top of your head, three in the middle and three at the nape – the crimped look will last longer. Leave the braids overnight, undo them in the morning, to get salon-style crimped hair.

Curls have that instant-glamorizing property. You can use a stretchy headband to create a head full of luscious curls. Start with dry hair. First part your hair where you want it the next day. Then take a stretchy headband and put it on top of your hair. The front should be on your hairline, the sides, just above the ear, and the back should be right above the occipital bone. Take one inch vertical sections and loop them through the band on both sides till you get to the back. In the back, take the length of your hair and twist it around the headband until all of your hair is up. Hairspray it before sleeping. In the morning after your done with your make up, etc., pull the headband backwards and gently loosen your hair. The headband might have gotten tangled in the back, but it should be easy to get out. Fluff your hair into the shape you want by pulling apart some curls and using your fingers to lift at the roots.

Volume can also be easily created for curly hair using bobby pins and some patience. Part wet hair into three by three inch squares. Hold an individual section straight out from your head and then begin twisting it until it coils in on itself – just like you make a jooda. Pin the miniature bun in place – with u-pins or bobby pins and move on to the next section. Once everything’s pinned your hair will be covered in little buns, spray them with spray gel or hairspray and go to bed after wrapping a cotton scarf.

In the morning unpin the buns, flip your head over, and use your fingers to gently massage out the buns. Adjust the curls to your preference, and flaunt your no-heat hair do. So there, your hair has done itself while you sleep.

Image Courtesy: Niki Brennan
Image Courtesy: Niki Brennan

You can enhance the natural texture of wavy hair by the simple method of twisting. And, without heating it. “After taking a shower towel dry your hair and part it where you like it. If your curls tend to loosen out quickly, lightly run some styling foam or mousse through it,” says beautician Shahnaz Hussain. Then all you need to do is twist your hair. “Begin by twisting your hair away from your face. Every few minutes twist your hair away from your face in a wringing motion. Continue twisting until hair dries. The finished product will be an enhanced version of your natural texture,” adds Hussain.

Most Indian brides go with knots to hold up their dupatta on the wedding day. The best thing about knots is that your hair need not have that unreal volume to create a bun or a twist or a knot.

A braided bun that can be worn for any wedding function. Part your hair on one side and braid a section of hair along the hairline on the wider side – right till the end. Now braid this braid along with the remaining hair at the nape of your neck. Roll into a bun when you are done. For added variety, you could thread some ribbon or a string of beads.

A ‘doughnut bun’ is another hairstyle that is very in this season. You get a doughnut ruffle from any accessory store. Simply thread the ponytail through this and wrap your hair around the doughnut creatively and accessorize with flowers or a string of gota. This hairstyle, if piled right on top of your head gives the illusion of height as well.

Choose hairstyles depending on the shape of your face

Diamond and oval: Your face looks good with any braided hairstyle. So make the most of it.
Rectangular or oblong: A centre parting makes your face look longer. Choose a hairstyle that gathers up on top for a much more flattering look.
Round: Go for any styles that make your face look oval, like the French braid, or pull hair away from your face to the back of your head.
Square: Any style that leaves a fringe or bangs at the front to frame and soften the sharp contours of your face is good. Avoid slicked-back styles.
Heart: While styling, leave some nice wisps around your face.
Triangular: Leave some hair open at the nape to balance your face.


Text by Aarti Kapur Singh