A fashionably-dressed Indian man has reportedly inspired fashionistas to create new hairstyles for him, including a toupe-tipped, hair accessory.
The news has sparked a backlash from those who feel the toupee haircut is too “modern” and “un-Indian”.
The man in question, known only as Ashok, said he started wearing the hair extensions when he became a father and realised that he could not grow the hair out of the tresses.
“The only thing I have left is my hair, so I wanted to make my hair look more like a toupée,” he said.
He decided to go the natural route, but not for fashion reasons.
“I have always worn a toupa in my life, and when I was a boy, I used to keep it on,” he told the NDTV channel.
“At the time, it was very important to me.
It was a sign of strength, and I felt strong when I put it on.”
The haircut, dubbed as the “toupee haircut” by Ashok and his friends, is based on the Japanese expression “toshi” meaning “hair”.
“My friends are so proud of me, they say ‘Why don’t you wear it?'”, Ashok told the channel.
“I do not wear it now, because I’m too scared.”
“The haircut has come to be synonymous with the Indian fashion scene.
Many people have said ‘I don’t know what to wear, so why should I?'”‘
I am an Indian, not a foreigner’The hair extensions, which Ashok said he has already tried on, are made out of plastic and come in a variety of colours.
He added that he has never felt ashamed of his hair, and was even proud of it when he wore it in public.
“My hair is the most natural part of me,” he added.
“It’s not just a hair extension, it’s the part of my body that connects me to the outside world.”
Ashok said that he started using the hair extension because he wanted to “get away from the way I looked”.
“I wanted to be free from the stereotypes of the Indian people, so in the last few years, I have been very brave and I have taken the right path.
Ashok’s haircut is one of the many examples of the “Indian-ness” that is being embraced by the fashion world.
In November last year, the US fashion designer Stella McCartney launched a range of products inspired by Indian designers and artists, and the likes of Aakash Chopra and the singer Anushka Sharma were among the celebrities who joined in.
This is not the first time Ashok has gone “totally Indian” on social media.
In 2014, he even wore a “birat kurta” scarf in a photograph of himself in a turban and wig.
Ashok has also been making waves in the fashion industry by taking a selfie with a giant snake on Instagram.
In May this year, Ashok took a selfie of himself and his two sons wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “Aam Aadmi Party” and with the hashtag #amadiparty.