Hairstyles date back hundreds of years and generally reflected what was going on socially at the time. Hairstyles have gone through many changes in recent decades. The only consistency has been that the hairstyles worn by popular culture icons symbolized what was thought to be the ideal. To learn more about the inspiration for particular hairstyles over the last century, read on.
In the early 1900s, wealthy women set the standard of wearing hair jewelry and hats with veils and lace. They dusted their hair with gold and silver powders at night. Antoine de Paris created a look of hair parted in the middle and swept back in soft bands over the ears. In 1907 the Marcel Wave swept across the United States and Europe. In 1910, American nurses in Europe cut their hair short to avoid a flea infestation, and women in America began cutting their hair for fashion.
The Louise Brooks bob became the popular hairstyle in the 1920s when women began to express their freedom. They also began to shed their corsets to enter the workforce and in 1931 Jean Harlow starred in the film “Platinum Blonde.” This hair color later swept the nation. Also in the 1930s, Shirley Temple’s ringlet curls had women of all ages pinning their own hair into tight ringlets.
During World War II, when the feminine was ideal, women began to copy Hollywood hairstyles. In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth started the trend for parted-finger-wave hairstyles, the sexiest style of the time. Veronica Lake and her cascading blonde hair defined glamour.
The 1950s brought a trend for highlights and Lucille Ball’s flaming red hair was one example. Also Doris Day had a helmet hairstyle that inspired her fans and Audrey Hepburn started with the pixie cut.
During the 1960s, people let 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 among men of all ages.
In the 1970s, the musical “Hair” came out at a time of sexual revolution. Angela Davis’ afro became a symbol of black pride. One of the most copied hairstyles of the 1970s was Farrah Fawcett’s feathered-back hairstyle.
The 1980s were an economic boom and women started the mall trend. Big hair and poodle perms were the most important thing.
The 1990s found many women heading to beauty salons in search of Jennifer Aniston’s hairstyle. Her hair at the time was a shaggy, layered, and angled haircut. And the millennium brought Sarah Jessica Parker’s curly and flowing look back into style.
There have been many hairstyles in the last 100 years. They seem to go in and out with some variations.