She transforms actors and actresses with a few deft nips of her scissors – cuts their age so that they look tailor-made for their roles. Adhuna Akhtar speaks to Manju Ramanan on the great manes of the Hindi film industry.
Did you always want to be a hairstylist?
Yes I did. I wanted to be a hairstylist since the age of 14.
You won the under-21 National Junior Championship in hairdressing in the UK at 16!
Yes, I competed all around the UK, and the competition work offers another dimension to hairdressing. The disciplines are not easy and the work that needs to be put in to win is quite a lot. Like any other profession, you only get out what you put in.
Do you deal with a bad hair day ..ever?
I think everybody has a bad hair day once in a way! Mine usually happens when I’m due to get a cut, but don’t have time to get it done. But I believe that as a thumb rule, if one wishes to avoid bad hair days, one should maintain a haircut every 4-6 weeks, and stay looking sharp for 365 days of the year.
Who has the best quality of hair in the Hindi film industry and whose is well maintained and nourished?
I think SRK has great quality hair.
If you were to choose a hair icon in the Hindi film industry, who would it be?
Deepika Padukone I feel suits the position of a hair icon in the Hindi film industry.
Any yesteryear actress whose hairstyle you admire and why?
That would be Sadhana. The fringe was very daring for the time and made for a unique style statement!
Did you also get to do Dimple’s hair in Dil Chahta Hai – considering she s known to have a great mane?
Avan Contractor, my partner and a director at b:blunt did handle all the cast for Dil Chahta Hai. And yes Dimple does have wonderful hair.
Tell us about your first film and the challenges you faced in styling the actors?
DCH was our first film as a company, and Avan headed up this team. I worked with her very closely but was expecting our first baby at that time, so I was not working on the set. The film was a great experience for us, the challenges on any project are always many, but what is important is how we handle them. All the actors were very cool and open to our ideas, so this made life a lot easier.
Who among the actors have you found most mutable with hairstyles and why?
Aamir Khan has to have been the most experimental with his hair of all the actors we have worked with.
How do you arrive at a look of the character? Do you work closely with the costume and make up team from films you have done?
Yes, we first read the script and then we work closely with makeup and wardrobe departments and of course the director to determine the look of each character. The actors natural hair, and the clothes and age of the character are all contributory factors.
What hairstyle have you given Farhan now?
Farhan is currently wearing his hair short. It has been cut and styled by Walter from our company.
Can a good hairstyle take away a few years out of your face?
A good haircut can definitely make you look and feel younger. … Actually hairstylists should charge plastic surgeons rates!!
What is the best hair accessory you like to see?
I like lots of accessories, not worn all together, but the right one can definitely make a difference. I love hats and headgears. It can add a lot of fun to a look- it’s a change that is not permanent.
Tell us about b:blunt’s Dubai chapter?
Dubai b:blunt was born because we found the right partner! Of course, the most important aspect for us to open a new branch is to work with like- minded people and our team in Dubai is just that! In our expansion plan, Dubai is a logical progression. Finding the right location took some time, but we are finally ready to go!
Adhuna giving the finishing touches to Kareena Kapoor for Don
Adhuna styling Isha Koppikar for Don
Adhuna styling SRK for Don