Exploring the History of Indian Hairstyles and Trends

Hair has always played a significant role in Indian culture, reflecting beauty, tradition, and identity. The rich history of Indian hairstyles is a fascinating journey that unveils the diverse influences and evolution of hair trends throughout the centuries. From intricate braids to elaborate adornments, Indian hairstyles have been shaped by cultural, religious, and social customs. Join us as we delve into the captivating history of Indian hairstyles and explore the trends that have stood the test of time.

Ancient India: The Era of Ornate Hairstyles:

In ancient India, hairstyles were considered a symbol of status and beauty. The art of hairstyling was highly valued, and women often adorned their tresses with elaborate jewelry, flowers, and ornaments. The intricate braids, known as “jatas,” were popular among both men and women. These braids were adorned with fragrant flowers and embellishments, representing elegance and femininity.

Mughal Influence: Opulence and Elegance:

The Mughal era left an indelible mark on Indian hairstyles. The Mughal emperors and their queens introduced opulent and grandeur hairstyles that exuded royalty. Intricate updos, known as “jadas,” were adorned with strings of pearls, gold accessories, and jeweled hairpins. The hairstyles were further enhanced with embroidered veils and ornate headpieces, showcasing a fusion of Persian and Indian styles.

Traditional Regional Styles:

India’s diverse cultural landscape has given rise to a myriad of regional hairstyles, each with its own unique charm. From the cascading long braids of Kerala to the beautiful gajra-adorned buns of South India, every region boasts its distinctive hair traditions. In the North, the “juda” or “choti” became popular, a simple yet elegant hairstyle where the hair was tied into a neat bun at the nape of the neck.

Colonial Era: Western Influences:

The colonial era brought a wave of Western influences to India, including changes in hairstyling trends. Victorian-era fashion influenced Indian hairstyles, with women adopting Victorian updos, voluminous curls, and hairpieces. The sleek “gibson girl” hairstyles became a symbol of modernity and sophistication.

The Revival of Traditional Hairstyles:

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional Indian hairstyles. With a renewed appreciation for cultural heritage, brides, models, and fashion enthusiasts are embracing the beauty of classic Indian hairstyles. Intricate braided hairstyles like the fishtail, dutch braid, and the timeless “jada” have gained popularity, redefining elegance and grace.

Contemporary Indian Hairstyles:

Contemporary India is witnessing a fusion of traditional and modern influences in hairstyles. Women are experimenting with a variety of styles, from chic pixie cuts and sleek bobs to colorful hair extensions and creative braiding techniques. Bollywood celebrities and fashion icons are setting trends with their bold and innovative hairstyles, inspiring individuals to express their individuality through their hair.


The history of Indian hairstyles is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and evolving beauty ideals of the country. From ancient times to the present day, hairstyles have been an integral part of Indian identity, reflecting societal norms, religious customs, and fashion trends. As India continues to embrace its heritage while embracing modern influences, Indian hairstyles will undoubtedly continue to captivate and inspire generations to come.

Embrace the diversity and beauty of Indian hairstyles, and let your own locks become a canvas for self-expression and cultural celebration.

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