The hairstyles we loved… (though it’s hard to remember exactly why)

We’ve been talking about hairstyles from the 50s to the 90s – in the days before straighteners became a must-have for every woman! From bouffants to beehives, and a few doomed attempts to copy our style icons, we’ve combed the past for our favourites…


Style icons of the era influenced hairstyles – including Mary Quant, Mia Farrow, Twiggy, Brigitte Bardot and the amazing Audrey Hepburn:

The Bouffant

Backcombed to within an inch of its life, the big, smooth and rounded style would have flicked up or curled under ends set with a cloud of hair spray.


The Beehive

A symbol of the early 60s – the hive-shaped style was so well lacquered into place that it could stay fixed for days. Despite that, it was both elegant and very popular. Thank Audrey Hepburn.


The Page Boy (The Purdey)

Made famous by Joanna Lumley in her role as Purdey in The New Avengers, this was a bouffant bob, sleek and smooth, with curled-under ends. Once again, plenty of asphyxiating lacquer was needed to keep it set.


The Afro

Influenced by the American Civil Rights Movement and jazz musician, Nina Simone, black women let their hair grow longer and spent hours teasing it into the classic round Afro hairstyle using a wide-toothed Afro comb.



The Farrah Fawcett

The star of the popular TV show Charlie’s Angels had naturally curly hair, cut into thick layers and blow dried away from her face. The style appeared on millions of bedroom posters and strangely, our dads didn’t mind a bit!


The Stack Perm

This was not the easiest style to achieve, as only the middle and lower parts of the hair were permed but the crown area was kept straight – creating a halo of curls.


The Shag

Created for Jane Fonda’s character Bree Daniel in the 1971 film Klute, this was a unisex cut with evenly progressed layers and a full fringe. A much longer version of The Shag, often with waves, was called the gypsy cut.

jane fonda klute

The Wedge

Created by Trevor Sorbie in 1974, The Wedge consisted of short hair with steep-angled layers cut all around the sides and back – creating a triangular shape that was longer on top – going into a heavily-layered aspect at the back and sides with lots of movement.



Big hair

Long hair in the 80s was all about self-expression – big, bold and never boring! Most often it was crimped, permed or backcombed and adorned with numerous accessories, headbands and Madonna-inspired lace. If you don’t believe us you can watch old episodes of Dynasty and Dallas!


The Side Ponytail

The hair was pulled all the way to one side of the head and secured as tightly as possible and worn with or without a fringe. The ponytail was often crimped or curled to create the maximum volume possible and secured with scrunchies or banana clips and masses of hairspray, mousse or wet-look gel…


The Lady Diana

Nearly every girl in high school during the 80s had a variation of Lady Di’s iconic hairdo – similar to the page boy style with longer fringe flicks. It was a simple, modern haircut that was elegant and very feminine – and it was literally copied by millions!


Punk Rockers – The Mohawk or Mohican

Not for the faint hearted! There were many variations of the Mohawk but the most popular was when both sides of the head were shaved, leaving a long strip of hair in the middle. This was often dyed in bright colours and then spiked using copious amounts of hair gel and spray.



The Rachel

Created in 1994 for Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel Green in Friends, the style was achieved with razor texturing. The hair was then cut into several tiers of layering to balance the volume of the hair to create the soft, feminine style. Everyone loved it!


Spiral Curls

The Spiral Perm was huge in the 90s for women who wanted curls everyday but didn’t have the time or patience to curl their hair each morning. Julia Roberts had perfectly beautiful curls for her role in Pretty Woman which no doubt inspired women to reach for their curling irons.


The Textured Bob

Also fondly remembered as The Meg Ryan, it was a quintessential style of the 90s. The layered Bob was designed to remove volume while allowing the hair to be light enough for movement. Suitable for short and medium-length hair and all hair types, the style is still popular today and keeps evolving.


The Pixie Cut

It was ultra-trendy and looked fantastic on Winona Ryder in the 90s. Characterized by a short, layered back and sides with jagged bangs, it was also ideal for finely- textured hair and took minimal effort to maintain.



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