Discovering the art of Indian hairstyling

Discovering the art of Indian hairstyling, Seema V. Jerajani debuts her book Art of Indian Coiffures

Leading hairstylist, make-up artist, educator and now an author, Seema V. Jerajani launched her book, Art of Indian Coiffures on 7th April 2018, in Mumbai.

Art of Indian Coiffures by Seema V. Jerajani beautifully brings together her decades of experience with the only one-of-its kind book in the industry. It is a trip through India’s finest hairstyling archive. In this book, Seema has drawn inspiration from art itself, from the masterpiece hairstyles found in various museums, temples and galleries she visited to study the conception of her debut book. These artworks and pieces of historic significance have been brought alive in the book, with several of the descriptions detailing the tradition and history behind the hairstyles.

In this state-of-the-art book, Seema presents a collection of 18 stunning looks that includes 6 Inspirational, 6 Traditional and 6 Contemporary Looks. Inspirational Looks have been inspired from the temples and museums that Seema visited to research for this book.

Then there is Traditional Looks which features step-by-step traditional hairstyling guide for the quintessential Indian bride and Contemporary Looks, which is a more modern take of wedding hairstyles. The looks are explained with elaborate instructions in English and Hindi, detailed photographs for each step and Seema’s guidance on creating each look. The book also features helpful tips that hairstylists can use for their clientele and bridal consultation guidance.

The book comes in three different variations, the original Art of Indian Coiffures book, and a coffee table book that includes all the looks but without the technical details meant for hairstylists and make-up artists to use to while consulting their clients and the limited edition book that comes with a special packaging and gold accents.

"This book is a compilation of my decades of experience that will create a strong foundation and set a benchmark to empower and inspire hairstylists and make-up artistsfrom all over the world  and continue to preserve this art of Indian hairstyling for the future generations." – Seema V. Jerajani

Art of Indian Coiffures is available for Rs. 5,500/- and the coffee table book for Rs. 2,800/-. The limited edition is available for Rs. 6,400/- and you can buy all three editions by writing to artofindiancoiffures@gmail.com

www.svjacademy.com

Behind the scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBm4DALQqGw&t=2s

Art of Indian Coiffure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHJ2nKj_5kI

 

About Seema V. Jerajani:

With an unbeatable talent for creating unconventional, avant-garde looks, Seema V. Jerajani is one of the most sought-after editorial, runway and celebrity hairstylist and makeup artists from India. She injects creativity, innovation and experimentation in every masterpiece that she creates and is an inspiration for young and experienced hairstylists alike from across the world.

Seema V. Jerajani has received innumerable awards that celebrate her talent and ability to push her unique talent forward including the industry’s prestigious ‘Hall of Fame Hair Artist of the Year’ Award at the Schwarzkopf Professional Estetica Hair Couture Awards. With a LCGI degree (Licentiateship) in Hairdressing from City Guilds and Teacher Training in Hairdressing from Vidal Sassoon in UK, she is an educator par excellence. Her creative expression of talent is through makeup as well as studying and working with the most talented hair and makeup artists worldwide.

 

She firmly believes in the importance of quality education and through her academy she passes on her unique talent to aspiring hairstylists. She regularly teaches at the academy that offers professional courses focused on building confidence, technical excellence and creativity.

At  SVJ Academy:

At SVJ Academy, Seema V. Jerajani brings her decades of experience to empower aspiring hairdressers to discover and foster their own technical and creative abilities. The academy is a creative hub that facilitates learning and experimenting to enhance skills and understand hair designing and crafts like never before.

The academy provides the highest standards of professional comprehensive courses that motivates and inspires, imparting career specific skills along with a strong foundation in professional skills that directly links to professional success. Focused on building confidence, technical excellence and creativity, the courses are constantly evolving to bring you the best in hair and makeup education.

 

My story

It all began a few years ago when I visited Chennakeshava temple, a 12th century Vishnu temple in Belur, Karnataka. I vividly remember the tour guide showing us around the temple and explaining how each sculpture had a unique and different hairstyle. When I returned from my trip, I was left inspired and I had some questions. I began searching for Indian hairstyles from older days on the internet and to my surprise there was nothing beyond simple three strand braids and a classic bun. If there are so many hairstyles on different sculptures in just one temple and when we have so many temples and even more sculptures within that, why are we not aware of it or trying to preserve this rich history in Indian hairstyling.

This realisation led me to begin my own research. To start with I visited the museum library in Mumbai. Then, I read about temples and sculptures and to help me understand my study better. I also challenged myself to capture these looks and recreate them back at the academy. I realised it was not practical to have a photographer following me on my quest throughout India. So I took a three months class on photography and picked up the camera myself.

For my first stop of the research tour I decided to revisit the temple in Belur that had inspired me to begin this project in the first place. In the temple, I saw exquisite sculptures on the exterior walls, most of them still intact showcasing elaborate hairstyles. Pin curls, bouffant, braids and asymmetric hairdos were set in and decorated with jewellery, flowers and accessories. It was almost unreal and I couldn’t help but imagine how exquisite women must have looked back then. And if they could create these looks without any modern tools, equipment or products, that was a fascinating feat in itself. Leaving deeply moved and inspired, I concluded my trip at Halebidu, where there is a 12th-century Shiva temple. I was glad that I had picked up on some photography acumen to help me capture the details of these majestic hairstyles.

Next I travelled to temples, museums, forts and ruins in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Rajasthan. I also visited an exhibition in Delhi on 'Kesh Vinayas' that was organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The exhibition showcased photos of sculptures and paintings of hairstyles over the centuries and gave me deep insights for my project.

In addition to my temple visits, I watched movies of the 1950s, likes Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, Amrapali, Mughal-e-Azam and Navrang with a specific aim to discover hairstyles from the old days. While doing my research, I found out that Mrs. Veena Purohit Shroff had created hairstyles for the actress in Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje and also written a book on it which was published in the 1960s. I managed to contact her family to see if I could get my hands on a copy and found out that Mrs. Shroff also has a beautiful collection of hair accessories that she has accumulated over the years which is now displayed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai.

All this research and work meant I had to take time away from my teaching and commit to this extensive study. And since this was my first experience in not only writing a book, but researching, photographing and editing, it has been an overwhelming journey. When I started, I had no idea on how to go on about it, I’m after all a hairstylist and educator with no exposure in the literary world. I only knew I had a story to tell but I didn’t know where to start. It was then when I met Georgiy Kot, (an ace Russian hairstylist twice world champion) on his trip to Mumbai. I spoke to Georgiy about my book and he inspired me to not only write about Indian hairstyles but also try to showcase the rich history and culture behind it. I knew I was on the right track, his explanation gave me clarity on how I can get started and present the book in a way that not only showcases looks from traditional India but also helps hairstylists across the world discover styles rooted in the Indian culture. 

For centuries, hairstyling has been referred to as an art. In the Sri Brahma-samhita, composed of verses of prayers by Lord Brahma glorifying the supreme Lord Krishna at the beginning of creation Text 37, there is a mention of the Chausath Kala or the 64 Arts. The word Kala, meaning art is used in a wide sense from dance and drama to literature and fine arts. Kesa-marjana-kausala: the art of combing hair is also referred to as Kala (art).

In Srimad Bhagvatam, Canto 12, chapter 2, 'The symptoms of Kali-yuga", verse 6, mentions " Lavanyam Kesa - dharanam" means beauty is thought of depending on one's hairstyle.

In this book I have presented hair and makeup looks namely, "Inspirational Looks" that have been inspired from the museums, sculptures and paintings. Apart from that there is “Traditional or Classic Looks”, a step-by-step traditional hairstyling guide for the quintessential Indian bride and “Contemporary Looks” which is a more modern take of wedding hairstyles. I have also tried to present the looks in the most authentic way. The Bengali bride look would have been incomplete without the ‘Mukut’ which I had to source all the way from Kolkata. For the inspirational look from Raja Ravi Varma’s painting I visited markets of Kerala to source a similar saree as seen in the painting.

Having decades of experience, I wanted to share something invaluable that will create a strong foundation to empower you with in-depth knowledge and clarity on how to style hair with ease and finesse.

This book will help reach education in hairstyling across the country and particularly in places where its often not possible for aspiring hairstylists to come to cities to study. This book will benefit and inspires hairstylists and make-up artist from all over the world and continue to preserve this art of Indian hairstyling for the future generations.

Source: Brahma-samhita, Text 37 Purport HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.