Hair Evolution: From Roaring 20’s To Modern Days

Everyone has already heard about the trendiest hairstyles of 2016. How about we time travel into the past and take a look at the evolution of hairstyles throughout history. Not all of history of course, that would take forever. How about we just look back over the past 100 or so years, shall we? We might learn a trick or two along the way, or see how certain eras influenced the modern hairstyles. After all, vintage hairstyles are very popular these days.



The roaring 20’s were a great time to have short hair. The bob and all it’s variations were at the peak of popularity. It was a real turn of the century, and women were ready to say goodbye to long Victorian hair and chop it all off. You could wear it straight, or go for that famous Coco Chanel hairstyle of cropped curls. Finger waves, of course, were the most popular hairstyle in the 1920’s. Hair accessories also became very popular, to add femininity to the short hairstyle.



The thirties were all about waves. Tight ringlets and short bobs were becoming a thing of the past. Women started wearing their hair a bit longer, the overall look was much softer these days. You know, less helmet hair – more soft waves. It was popular to wear your hair in the side part, and quite a lot of women went for that “deep side part, hair slightly covering the side of their face’ look. This hairstyle really stood the test of time and can still be seen in modern days, at red carpets and other glamorous events.

Forties were a challenging time for women. The war influenced women’s fashion and hairstyles. Since a lot of women had to work, they had to keep the hair close to their head, so it wouldn’t get in the way. I imagine that’s the same reason we don’t see any fringes in the 40’s. Most women kept their hair at a relatively short length. The maximum hair length was long enough to just touch the shoulders. Waves still prevailed, but new hairstyles appeared. Victory rolls became popular throughout the 40’s. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that Victory rolls were invented in the forties – they’re the perfect solution for women of that time, they keep the hair out of your face, which makes them practical, yet they look incredibly glamorous at the same time.

Post war fifties were a decade of experimentation. A lot of different hairstyles were popular at the same time. Curled bobs of the 40’s were still around, yet pixie cuts and rockabilly hair were rapidly gaining popularity. We can also see fringes starting to appear in the 50’s, albeit very short ones. The poodle cut, was the hairstyle that introduced the short curly fringe. Audrey Hepburn’s pixie cut introduced the short baby fringe. A lot of these hairstyles are still popular today. I mean, when you think of pixie cuts, isn’t Audrey’s haircut still a point of reference for us?



Ah, the swinging sixties. What a time for hairstyles. You could go two ways in the sixties: a lot of volume or very little hair. The beehive hairstyle was invented in the 60’s and was hugely popular thanks to Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin. Everyone tried to emulate their hairstyles. If your hair wasn’t long enough to put up in a beehive, you could always rock the voluminous bob, like Diana Ross and the Supremes. On the other hand, you could also emulate Twiggy by cutting your hair short but keeping a long side fringe.

The seventies were a weird time. The closer we get to modern times, the more there is to borrow from the past. The hairstyles become more varied and it’s difficult to pinpoint which ones were the most popular. We finally see some straight hair in the 70’s, blunt bangs, center partings and natural looking tresses were quite popular. Wearing flowers in the hair was also popular, after all, it was the age of hippies. At the same time, feather layers and lots of volume were a staple for many. Afros, platinum blonde bobs, the shag, mullets and long hair with big voluminous waves were all popular at the same time. So much choice and variety, am I right?

The eighties were a bad time for hair. Let’s just all agree on that. The styles were weird, that’s for sure, but the amount of harm and damage women did to their hair was extraordinary. Naturally curly women were lucky, it was their time to shine. The ones who had straight hair, tortured it to the max. The perm became very popular in the 80’s. Everyone left and right wanted to get their hair permed, hoping that it will make their hair look amazing and fashionable once and for a long time. But at what cost? Some people chose crimping over perming, which, to be honest, wasn’t much better. If you ask me, everyone just looked like they had their head stuck in a waffle maker and decided to just rock it. Another thing that was of utmost importance in the 80’s was volume. In addition to all the perming and crimping women teased their hair too.



The nineties, on the other hand, were all about straight hair. You would still occasionally see the unfortunate crimped hair or some curls, but for the most part, everyone wanted that super straight shiny shampoo commercial hair. Feathered bangs were popular for a bit, but we all know that wasn’t going to stay, it was a reminder of the 80’s. If you want to remember what 90’s perfect hair looked like, just watch an episode of FRIENDS. Everyone wanted that Jennifer Aniston haircut. On the flip side, since 90’s hairstyle was so simple texture-wise, quite a few tried to stand out by having ridiculously spiky hair, or overdoing it with mini hair buns, or wearing way too many small hair accessories all at once.

Everything was happening all at once in the 2000’s. Beachy waves were very popular, while at the same time a lot of people straightened their hair into oblivion. The weirdest trends were probably the bleaching of random parts of hair and the colorful hair mascaras. Do you remember that? Just random strands of hair colored with a bright purple, pink, blue or green hair mascara, that made that specific strand of hair stand out and feel strangely thick? Yeah, that was the bomb in 2000’s. The people who just kept their hair simple, like Jennifer Aniston, were the lucky ones.



The rest is really history in the making. I’m sure we’ll thing today’s hair trends will look super weird to us in the 2020’s.