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History & Hair

In honour of Women’s Month, on today’s blog post we take a look at history defying hairstyles from 1910 to date. Let’s go!

1. Gibson Girl (1910’s)

Marjorie Magazine

“Gibson Girl” was the hairstyle of the 20th century amongst women of the middle and upper classes. The first decade of the 20th century is characterized by the transition from confined styles to looser top knots often held in place with bobby pins and bows.

2. The Bob - (1920’s)

Source: Pinterest

1920 aka the Jazz decade saw the first bobs ever! Irene Castle was the trendsetter responsible for a look that would become a staple of years to come. The bob came in many variants throughout the decade but it was the short bob with straight bangs and curled sides that really stood out from the rest.

3. Marcel Waves (1930’s)

Source: Pinterest

Marcel waves were named after French stylist, François Marcel. Actress Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy loved this hairstyle and wore it frequently! They would achieve this look by using an old-fashioned heat iron that would crease the hair into a wavelike pattern and then pinch it into an S-shaped curl at the crease. This classic hairstyle seems to have made its way back into the current decade!

4. Femme Fatale (1940’s)

Source: A Moment’s Peace

Femme fatale waves, otherwise referred to as the “peekaboo” waves rocked the ‘40s! This decade was all about glamour and this hairstyle was nothing short. The glamorous wave covering one side of the face became a trademark for Hollywood stars. This hairstyle was said to have encouraged women to feel more mysterious and sensual.

5. Italian Cut ( 1950’s)

Source: Glamour Daze

By the time the ‘50s rolled around, short hairstyles were trending again and the “Italian cut” was in. It featured tousled pinned back curls. This look was chic but edgy. The 50’s also saw head scarves becoming a popular accessory thanks to British actress, Audrey Hepburn.

According to the Hair Routine, other styles that were used during those years were the Marylin Monroe look, short fringes, sleek chignons, and the french pleat.

6. Sky-high bouffant (1960’s)

Source: Pinterest

For the first time in decades, big, airy hair was back in popular demand! In the ‘60s, sky-high bouffants became the thing, from teens to adults. To achieve this airy hairstyle, a generous coat of hairspray was essential to prevent hair from deflating. These hairstyles were all about glamour, class and self-expression.

The musical “Hairspray”with John Travolta was based on this era and featured these larger than life hairstyles.

7. The Afro ( 1970’s )

Source: Reddit

The late ‘60s and early ‘70s saw the rise of the afro! The afro was and still is a popular hairstyle that has become a symbol of black identity and pride. The afro was a statement hairstyle by black people who were embracing their natural hair and forcing white beauty standards to take note of the beauty that exists within black hair. The afro was more than just a hairstyle, it was a form of expression for the black community and has been so ever since.

8. Big Hair, Don’t Care (1980’s)


The big bright 80’s! In the 1980s, big, curly hair was in & women were getting their hair permed twice a year to get these curls. Reverse combing to gain volume was a thing and adding loads of hairspray to get their hair exactly how they wanted it was non-negotiable. Television shows like ‘Dynasty’ popularized the high volume bouffant and glamor attached to it.

9. Braids & the ‘Rachel Cut’ (1990’s)


90’s babies stand up! The 90’s was the era of variety and creativity! New and different hairstyles were very popular.First it was braids, a hairstyle that has been worn by African women for centuries, became popular in the United States when Janet Jackson rocked them in the 1993 movie “Poetic Justice”. Then we saw sleek, straight styles that eliminated any kind of frizz or volume that was popular in the 80’s. There was one haircut that became popular after Jennifer Aniston’s character from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. wore it: “The Rachel cut”, which involved mid-sized bangs and some layering.

Hairstyles like braids have continued to build momentum over the decades and today, braids are the number 1 got-to protective style.

10. Pixies Magic! (2000’s)

Source: Pinterest

The beginning of the 21st century saw the comeback of many hairstyles and the inclusion of new ones. For example, we had the half-up half-down with a pouf and a side fringe. Bobs and pixies made a real comeback and we also rode the ‘emo’ look wave.

11. Easy Breezy Waves (2010’s)

Source: Allure

2010 was the start of the great migration to more natural tones. Long and easy maintenance waves were the go-to style when trends started to shift toward a more natural look. Some hair styles would make brief comebacks like bobs but another huge trend was the coloring of hair with ombré highlights to replicate natural, sunkissed waves. Another key trend we saw in this decade was many black celebrities going wigless and showcasing their natural hair and advancing the natural hair movement.

As we can see, a lot of our hairstyles today are actually just hairstyles from past decades making a comeback. Hair has so much history to it and we hope you enjoyed going down memory lane with us.

Tell us, which decade was your favourite?

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