30th April 2021
History of hair
Hair has evolved so much over the years, with trends from way back when continually resurfacing as the years go on. A good example of this is how the 70s shag cut & mullet have made a return this year. We’ve compiled a collection of different 50s hair, 60s hair, and 70s hairstyles, as well as the history behind some of them & how you can recreate them.
Above everything, hair is a fantastic way to express yourself. Whether that be through the likes of bright coloured hair dye, or a bold haircut that makes you stand out in the crowd. I think we can all agree that one of the main standouts of any look is the hair, it can elevate any look or aesthetic you’re going for. In a recent Instagram poll, 70% of our community said they love the hair over the makeup of a vintage look.
And if you’re like us, and love to bring a little vintage rock’n’roll style into your every day – you know that the right vintage hairstyle is a cherry on top of any look.
If you’ve always wondered how to recreate some of the most iconic hair from your favourite decade, you’ve come to the right place!
The 50’s was a time for experimentation when it came to hair. We see 50’s hair most frequently being shorter hairstyles rather than long. Shorter hair was quicker to cut and easier to style which is why a lot of women opted for it. But, shorter hair meant more frequent trims… So maybe not that great of a time-saver after all.
The most popular hairstyles in the 50’s
Pictured: Lucille Ball, Eartha Kitt, Audrey Hepburn
The Poodle / Curly bob – think Lucille ball or Jackie Kennedy on her wedding day. “For women who chose the poodle, bubble, or curly bob, they had to use 125 curlers to set the hairstyle after each washing. Hair had to be re-cut every two weeks as well.”
The “Italian” hair cut – an inch or so longer than the poodle cut with looser curls to frame the face and neck. This cut was easier to maintain than the poodle cut.
Side part – the side part was classed as a youthful cut.
Soft bob – blondes, redheads, and light brunettes opted for this as opposed to the Italian cut. This style is lighter and more flattering on lighter hair colours
Bouffant – the bouffant was popular in the late 50s, and was the predecessor to the beehive. The bouffant has a tousled look, like a shaggy Italian cut. Brushing the hair backward instead of around the face made for a super flattering look. Fun fact, this hairstyle was made from large mesh rollers and empty juice cans… Frugal, we love it!
Pixie cut + short fringes – seen mostly on the likes of Audrey Hepburn. This cut was actually criticised in the media for looking too much like a “man’s haircut” – can you believe that?
How to do hair: 50s hairstyles according to a vintage magazine ad
Looking back on pictures from the 60s, I think we can all agree that it was all about the volume. With beehives and huge voluminous waves being popular due to the influence of people like Bridgette Bardot and Priscilla Presley. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, long and pin-straight hair was also popular at this time, with influence from Sharon Tate and Jane Birkin. Having long and straight hair (usually paired with a full fringe or curtain bangs) was lower maintenance than styling a beehive look.
The most popular hairstyles in the 60’s
The bouffant (yep, during the 60s too!) – “bouffant” literally means a style of hair brushed into a puffy round shape. The look was created by “ratting” or backcombing the hair. Styled with hairbows sometimes for a cutesy look. Think Aretha Franklin – stunning!
The iconic beehive – like the bouffant, just… larger. “It took talent to create a beehive every morning, so few women did them at home.”
The flip – consisted of teased hair on top, smooth straight sides, and curled tips at the bottom creating the “flip”. This style was usually chin length or slightly longer. Often we see it styled with a simple headband, which gave a really youthful look.
Long and straight – think jane Birkin, French Parisian goodness. More towards the late 60s. This style was low fuss and no-frills. But the bouffant look was still incorporated. Half up half down was preferred in the evening times.
A little fun fact for you all… Due to shorter hair being so popular, faux hairpieces were often worn during the 60s for an evening look, as well as full hair wigs.
Pictured: Aretha Franklin, Priscilla Presley, Diana Ross &The Supremes
How to do hair: 60s hairstyles according to a vintage magazine ad
The 70s, like the 60s, was all about volume. But in a slightly different way this time. The 70’s saw the likes of the disco scene which really influenced hair, as well as super feathery hairstyles. This was also a time where men experimented with their hair more.
The most popular hairstyles in the 70’s
Pictured: Farrah Fawcett, Pam Grier, Cher
The iconic Farrah Flick – long feather cut and big flicked sides. We’re all aware of Farrahs AMAZING hair. Feathery, wide curls, and so full of volume.
The shag + mullet – this cut was made popular by actresses such as Jane Fonda. But was really popular with men, think Mick Jagger.
The afro – seen a lot in the disco scene. African American people were finally able to fully embrace their natural hair in the disco scene as a way of self-expression, tight curls, and a load of volume. A lot of actresses and singers actually permed their hair to get this look.
Pinstraight long hair – other than Jane Birkin in the 60s, another notable icon for this hairstyle is Cher. Her long, slick and straight hair is one of the most iconic looks by her.
Punk hair – the 70s was the time for punk, with spiky and flicked hairstyles being popular in the punk scene.