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Hairstyles through the decades

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

While many hairstylists claim that hair fashions change on a yearly basis, these changes are usually quite minimal. Unless you're in the hairdressing industry, it's unlikely that you'd be able to distinguish a 2009 layered 'do from, say, a 2007 one. But if you look at the changing hair fashions decade by decade, the evolution is really quite extraordinary! Like all fashions, the hairstyle changes are largely dependent on the pop culture of the time, as well as shifting societal values. Let's take a look at the hair fashions of the last sixty years, one decade at a time.Young women in the 1950s had no desire for the long, flowing hair that many girls lust after today. Hair was short, soft and neat, and almost always curled. Of course, there were no curling tongs back in those days: in order to achieve the neat curly hairdos, women would perm their hair, then use heated rollers on a daily basis, or pin the curls into place and spray liberally with hairspray. A huge amount of effort was put into styling their hair, as well as considerable discomfort - most women would actually keep their rollers in overnight while they slept! As feminism was yet to make a real impact in Western society, a woman's appearance was of huge importance, and so the effort was deemed worthwhile. Young women in the 1950s had no desire for the long, flowing hair that many girls lust after today. Hair was short, soft and neat, and almost always curled. Of course, there were no curling tongs back in those days: in order to achieve the neat curly hairdos, women would perm their hair, then use heated rollers on a daily basis, or pin the curls into place and spray liberally with hairspray. A huge amount of effort was put into styling their hair, as well as considerable discomfort - most women would actually keep their rollers in overnight while they slept! As feminism was yet to make a real impact in Western society, a woman's appearance was of huge importance, and so the effort was deemed worthwhile.Later in the 1950s, hair became big and bold: beehives became commonplace, as did the poodle perm (think Lucille Ball) and bouffant hair a la Brigitte Bardot. While these looks were far sexier than the overly neat styles of the early fifties, they still required a large amount of effort, not to mention can after can of hairspray.The bouffant styles remained extremely popular throughout the 1960s. The bob was by far the most popular style, and although fashion was becoming more modern, hair was still highly controlled, with lots of volume and lots of hairspray. The idea of hair being made to move was yet to come into vogue: in the sixties, the less it moved, the better. Some of these 'dos look like they would survive a tornado!If the ends of the hair weren't curled under, they were flipped out; a look achieved by using very large rollers. The roots and crown were backcombed and, once again, hit with the hairspray

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