The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crown colours

Daughters have taken up from where mothers left off. What was restricted to covering up the grey hair has become a glamour industry to reckon with today. Red, burgundy, blonde, blue, pink ' and you thought hair was black!

“When I first came to India about four years ago, women would only think of colouring their hair to hide the grey in it. There has been a sea change in the outlook since. It is very glamorous to colour hair today. I would say the market is very, very open now,” said Werner Robert, managing director Wella India Haircosmetics Pvt Ltd, in town on Wednesday to follow up on the company’s expansion plans.

“Calcutta offers a good market potential for us and we are planning to open a branch office and a technical centre here,” revealed Robert, ranking Mumbai and Bangalore highest in terms of fashion consciousness in India. Delhi is comparatively conservative in this respect while Calcutta is changing by leaps and bounds, according to Robert. “We’ve been growing by 100 per cent each year ever since we came to India,” claimed Robert.

The Wella range offers more than 150 hair colour shades, but there are only 57 colours in use in India. “Indian hair is more coarse and thick compared to European hair, so it’s not possible to use all the shades,” said Kavita Nalawade, deputy general manger, Wella India.

Intensive reds are the most popular range in the Indian market, but blondes and natural shades are also busy, according to Nalawade, who advocates the use of “more intense pigments with double base” for Indian hair.

The latest range to emerge from the Wella stable is grouped under four themes ' being naive, being in love, being constructive and being rebellious. “When a client walks into a salon, our representatives can gauge from the attitude of the person what colours will suit them,” said Nalawade.

Bright reds, pinks, blues and contrasting shades sit pretty on a rebellious head, while in sharp contrast is the ‘constructive’ look, achieved with formal brown tones. Love makes the head go round with deep reds and baby pinks, whereas naivete is a blend between the rebellious and the romantic!

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