Hairstyles date back hundreds of years and generally reflected what was happening socially at the time. Hairstyles have gone through many changes over the past several decades. The one consistency has been that the hairstyles that were worn by icons of popular culture symbolized what was thought to be the ideal. To find out more about the inspiration for particular hairstyles over the last century, read on.
In the early 1900’s wealthy women set the standard of wearing hair jewels and hats with veils and lace. They dusted their hair with gold and silver powders for the nights. Antoine of Paris created a look of hair parted in middle and swept back in smooth bands over the ears. In 1907 the Marcel wave swept the United States and Europe. In 1910 American nurses in Europe cut their hair short to avoid a flea infestation and the women in America began to cut their hair short for fashion.
The Louise Brooks’s bob became the popular hairstyle in the 1920’s as women began to express their freedom. They also began shedding their corsets to enter the workforce and in 1931 Jean Harlow starred in the movie “Platinum Blonde.” This hair color then swept the nation. Also in the 1930’s, Shirley Temple’s ringlet curls had women of all ages pinning their own hair into tight curls.
During WWII when feminine was ideal, women began copying Hollywood hairstyles. In the 1940’s, Rita Hayworth began the hairstyle trend of side-parted finger waves the sexiest style of that time. Veronica Lake and her cascading blonde hair defined glamour.
The 1950’s brought a trend of highlighting and Lucille Ball’s flaming red hair was an example. Also Doris Day had a helmet like hairstyle that inspired her fans and Audrey Hepburn started the pixie cut.
During the 1960’s people were letting their hair down and the rock group The Beatles, wore their hair long. This ended the gender norm in hairstyles. The Beatle look became a very popular hairstyle for men of all ages.
In the 1970’s, the musical “Hair” came out during a time of sexual revolution. Angela Davis’s afro became a symbol for black pride. One of the most copied hairstyles of the 1970’s was the Farrah Fawcett feathered back hairdo.
The 1980’s were an economic boom and women began the mall bang trend. Big hair and poodle perms were the big thing.
The 1990’s found many women heading to the hair salons looking for the Jennifer Aniston hairstyle. Her hair at the time was an angled, layered, shag haircut. And the millennium brought Sarah Jessica Parker’s flowing curly look back into style.
There have been many hairstyles over the last 100 years. They seem to cycle in and out with some variations.