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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Bouffants, Beehives and Bobs - Hairstyles of the past 60 years!

If you haven't yet seen the fabulous Timeshift episode on BBC4 last night (Wednesday 13th November 2013) called Bouffants, Beehives and Bobs, then you should catch up on the BBC iplayer as soon as you can!

This episode documented the changes in both Men's and Women's hairstyles over the past 60 years, from the 1950s up to the Kevin Keegan mullet of the 1970/80s. It was amazing to see how much style changed in such a short time frame. The hairstyle through the decades reflected a social revolution on what was happening socially and politically. Your hair wasn't just who you were but how you lived as well.

Just in case you don't or didn't have a chance to catch up on this amazing look back in time, here is a picture library documenting the changing hairstyles through the last 60 years. Enjoy!

1950s Perfectly Coiffed

Raymond Besson aka Mr. Teasy Weasy

He was the first TV Hairdresser and Celebrity Stylist, known not only for his precision cutting and ornate up dos but his larger than life personality and flamboyant style. Although hailing from Brixton, he spoke with a faux French accent!

Hair in the 1950s resembled the optimism of the decade. It was very neat and tidy, voluminous and smooth. It was controlled and restricted. Women had to go to the hairdressers once a week and spend hours under the hooded dryer to come out looking like the perfect housewife.

 1960s Bouffant - The Beehive

As the younger generation started to come through in the early 1960s, they began to experiment with Big Hair and the pinnacle of this style was the Beehive.

The Elephant's Trunk

Meanwhile, Men's hairstyles of the early 60s coined the names of The Boston or Duck's Ass, The Quiff and The Elephants Trunk, so called named because it had a hairpiece down the centre to give the front of the hair that 'trunk' look and was seen as a status symbol. Big hair = more power.

The Bob

Then came along Vidal Sassoon who started a one man campaign to move away from the solid coiffed structures and wanted to cut hair rather than create these complicated up dos. His crowning glory was first with Actress Nancy Kwan who had to have her long hair cut for a film role. This was where the Bob was created. After Sassoon finished the cut, he got his friend Terence Donovan to take some photos of Nancy and within a few weeks, this haircut was gracing magazines and the Bob was born.

In 1963 Sassoon collaborated with Fashion Designer, Mary Quant. He believed hair could be cut the same way as cloth and wanted to be known as a Designer rather than a hairdresser. Mary Quant was the Creator of the mini dress so she wanted a geometric hair style to complement her garments. Thus, the 5 Point Cut was born and worn by Mary.

The transition from hairstyling to haircutting also made cause for a new revolution of the Blow dry, which allowed for the hair to be styled to fit the head and suit the face.

These revolutionary haircuts also mirrored what was happening in society at the time with the Fashion revolution, sexual liberation and represented people experiencing freedom. Hair was free of product and women were free of the weekly session to the hairdressers. This was early feminism.

The Eton Crop

This iconic hairstyle was made famous by Twiggy. This haircut literally changed her life and launched her career and symbolises the power a haircut can have.

Street Style

By the mid to late Sixties, hair began to get longer for both men and women. Cathy McGowan, TV Presenter of Ready Steady Go started a trend of the Long Bob which was seen on women on the High Street. The Hairdresser, Leslie Russell opened the first unisex salon called Smile on the King's Road which was the antithesis of the Mayfair salons and high fashion. Their influences came from the high street and music.

The Hippy Movement

In the late 60's long hair was the trend particularly amongst men, which did not go down well with the older generation who called it disgusting, effeminate and dirty. It also became synonymous with dropping out and rebellion in the Hippy Movement where neither male or female would have their hair cut.

The Feather Cut

Into the 1970s Men's hair, whilst still long, becomes more tamed and groomed with regular trips to unisex hairdressers over the barbers and highlights. The Feather Cut was popular at this time for both men and women and was also known as The Shag and The Budgie.

The Afro

In 1969, model Marsha Hunt appeared nude on the front cover of Vogue with an Afro. For the first time it showed the natural untamed locks of Black people. For years the Black community had been straightening their hair or wearing wigs to follow the fashion trends and never was their hair seen naturally.

It also took a political stance as a symbol for those at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement by Kathleen Cleaver. The hair in it's natural form was symbolising those who were denied basic civil rights and how they were different from those in control.

It later became a fashion statement however and lost its message in the early 70s, becoming part of the celebrity culture.

The Perm
From the popularity of the Afro came The Perm. White people wanted curls and height too... It was also the time when Footballers created crimes against hair thanks to the infamous Kevin Keegan Mullet!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down hair memory lane. Haven't we missed out on some corking styles! And if you wish to recreate any of these hairstyles from the 1920s to the 1980s, come and see The Powderpuff Girls at Paper Dress every Saturday where we can coiffure, curl and comb to your hearts content xx

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