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Throughout history, interesting and elegant hairstyles have always been a priority for women. Dating back to the Ancient Egyptian women, who believed thick hair was preeminent and used hair extensions and wigs to obtain the beauty it held, to the popular hairstyles of today, where inspiration stems largely from personal preference. An assumption we can confidently assert is that hairstyles have been and will continue to be subject to change.
The hairstyles of the Victorian era were enthused by the French. The notion of parting ones hair down the middle, wearing ones hair in long drop curls or ringlets, and adorning the head with flowers was considered fashionable at the time. However, the transition from the Victorian era into the first decade of the 19th century inspired less refined hairstyles. The desire for fuller, free-flowing hair slowly became admired as the decade progressed. Regardless of the length of your hair volume was the desirable trait for your hair to uphold during the 1900s.
Once the hairstyle transition had been made into the first decade of the century, longer hair was revered as the finest. Accessories became increasingly popular ranging from hats and bows to headbands and jeweled pins. However, during this decade the short bob haircut became increasingly admired – shifting the focus to hair accessories.
The 1930s marked a huge shift in how women styled their hair. The hairstyles of this decade were affected by the events that were going on in the world. The great depression was in full swing and women couldn’t afford to have a stylist, so they became more creative. Finger waves became very popular because you were able to do this hairstyle with your fingers and styling lotion, and without the use of a curling iron. There was also an intense desire to be blonde during this decade due to the hot Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow.
The 1940s hairstyles were all about glamour. Many of the most fashionable looks at this time took hours to achieve because in order to attain the preferred hairstyle of class and sophistication you had to roll your hair. The hair rollers produced soft curls, which was worth the time it took because it appeared elegant and feminine. Two of the most popular hairstyles at the time were the Chignon and the Omelet Fold.
The 1950s hairstyle was all about showing our neck or long, soft curls no one wanted straight hair. Jackie Kennedy and Lucille Ball were two celebrities who inspired many women in the 50s. The bouffant was one of the most popular hairstyles during this time. Some of the basic styles of the 1950s were a pulled back bun with a scarf or a slicked back pony-tail. However, by the end of the 1950s big backcombed bee-hives, bouffants, and the French pleat became the trendy style.
The transition from the 1950s into the 1960s went from the ever-inspiring ‘big hair’ hairstyles to the stick-straight hair of the hippie age. At the beginning of this decade the popular style was still drawing from the beehive inspired hair. However, the style that became popular towards the middle/end of the decade was a more relaxed, natural look.
The natural, smooth straight-haired look is what women wanted during the 1970s. Everything was much more time consuming for women’s hair during the 1970s. No more sleeping in rollers or pinning the hair back. The desired look was a natural, free-flowing length of hair. The only negative about this decade of popular hair was that girls had to take turns ironing each others hair, since the ‘straightener’ had yet to be invented.
The popular hairstyle of the 1980s was on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to the decade before hand. 80’s hairstyles were the bigger the better, requiring the use of hairspray, mouse, and any hair gel that would make the hair stand up and out. Crazy ponytails on the side of the head, teased-to-the-heavens hair, and bangs were all trendy hairstyles of the 80’s.
The hairstyle of the 1990s was very different than the 1980s. A more relaxed look was what women strived for during the 90’s and at the end of the decade many women drew inspiration from Jennifer Aniston’s hairstyle. Shorter, looser, and layered hair was what women wanted during the 90’s whether their hair was up, down, informal or formal.
The present day hairstyles are driven from personal preference. Messy, waves/curls are seen as attractive as well as straight and refined. Hairstyles have plenty of room to experiment at this time because there doesn’t seem to be a certain style that women should stick to, rather an abundant amount of choices to consider.