Priyanka Chopra on Bad Hair Days, Vulnerability and Haircut Trauma
I always knew Priyanka Chopra had amazing hair, but I didn’t realize how incredible it was until I saw it up close and in person. Upon meeting the Quantico star at the Ritz-Carleton in Toronto during the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, the first thing I noticed was her hair, freshly blown out by hairstylist Matthew Collins, who — fun fact! — happens to be my hairstylist as well. As I was greeted by the Pantene Global Brand Ambassador, the first thing that popped out of my mouth was, “OMG, I love your hair.” (No chill, I know). But, when she replied, “I love yours, too!” and I told her Collins was my stylist as well, we instantly bonded over the Canadian hairdresser, before proceeding to talk about, what else? Hair.
Here are some highlights from my interview with Priyanka Chopra.
On bad hair days
“I feel like when my hair is having a bad hair day, I’m having a bad day. My confidence doesn’t feel as great; I feel a sense of ‘OMG something’s wrong.’ And maybe it’s because my hair has really been a source of confidence for me. I’ve been blessed with really thick, voluminous, awesome hair, if I may say so myself. I usually don’t have hair problems…unless I do. Then it really affects me if it falls flat, if it feels too dry, and doesn’t feel healthy.”
On learning to love her relationship with her hair
“When I was growing up, it wasn’t [my source of confidence] because I didn’t know how to tame my hair. My hair was waist-length and it was curly and frizzy and [there was] lots of it. I think it’s a very individual thing to sort of find what works for you and it took me a really long time to figure that out.
[I figured it out] when I started working in the entertainment industry and a lot of people started fussing with my hair. Over time I understood that my hair is dry so I need a serum or I need extra conditioning because I get a blowout almost every day. When that started happening, I started loving my relationship with my hair.”
On how she maintains her healthy strands
“You have to have a great conditioner, at least for me. Shampoo is just not enough. I love Pantene 3 Minute Miracle. I started using it a couple of months ago and I actually thought that it was a special treatment that you use once or twice a week like a mask, but it’s not, it’s a daily treatment. They call it a miracle because it really is. I’m pretty diligent with it.
I definitely oil my hair. This is an old Indian grandma thing that’s been passed down in tradition, but a scalp massage is so important because it increases circulation of blood in your hair and it makes the roots thicker. Your roots come out healthier and your hair grows back a little bit better. Or at least that’s what we’ve been told. It works tremendously as long as you don’t put it on all of your hair because it strips it of nutrients when you wash it. I usually go into a salon to do it because it’s a lot, or I sit down in front of my mom, I watch a movie and it’s great.”
On her hairstyles through the years
“[In] the ’90s, I had this strange thing about a bouffant ponytail thing that was going on with big gold hoops. Ugh don’t ask. [I didn’t experiment with colour] when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed to, or my parents would freak out, but later I did. I remember I went red. Like really, really red, as red as your mouth [Ed. note: I was wearing bright red lipstick] for a movie in 2005 or 2006 and I actually really enjoyed it.”
On getting a lob
“It really was [traumatic], but I loved it after a bit, and then it grew out. [It took me] about a month [to adjust]. She cut one side of my hair and I wouldn’t let her cut the other side, so [it was lopsided] for about a month and I rocked that I was all like ‘Yeah, I’m confident and it was all intentional!’ which it wasn’t, but after a month my hairstylist was like ‘I think we should just make it even now.'”
On which hairstyle makes her feel most confident
“I feel confident with healthy hair. It doesn’t matter if it’s short, it doesn’t matter if it’s long, it depends on what your mood is. Your hair should be a feeling, it should give you a sense of confidence with whatever you’re feeling in terms of your clothes, in terms of your makeup. If you’re feeling rebellious, do something rebellious with your hair. It doesn’t matter the style, as long as it’s healthy.”
On going grey
“I haven’t come to terms [with going grey] yet, because it hasn’t started. But I think that it will happen sometime soon. I think I would reach an age where I would want it to be salt and pepper, and I think that would be cool. But I do believe in aging gracefully, I think that it looks amazing on women, even though we have these strange standards of beauty [for men and women] which define the norm. I think when conversations happen [where people say] ‘It looks great! You can rock it!’ and you see people actually being able to do it, mindsets will change.”
On why strong is beautiful
“Strong is so associated with women as being bad somehow — it’s almost like feminism, how it has a bad name. [Feminism] is a good thing. Women’s problems are human problems. I love that Pantene stands to make strong beautiful, which is vulnerable, which is feminine, which is all of those things that strong is not usually associated with. I’m an extremely strong person, I look adversity in the eye. Yes, I get scared [and] at the same time I’m vulnerable, at the same time I cry. I’m super feminine, but I’m strong.”