Hair Trends through the ages

June 8, 2022 No Comments News

200 years of Hairstyle

During the 20th century, hairstyle trends were mostly set by socially influencing figures, hair became a symbol of freedom of choice of personal style, and significant social movements and subcultures were expressed through distinctive hairstyles.

Into the 21st century, hair fashion is much more “democratic”, people adopt hairstyles according to their personal taste, lifestyle, and personality, and societies are more tolerable to previously extreme hairstyles such as a shaved head in balding males.

Hairstyles from the 19th to the 21st Century

A shortage of flour to powder the wigs in 1795, combined with the introduction of a hair powder tax to raise state revenues, brought the fashion for wigs and powder to a downfall. The French Revolution meant the end of the extreme fashions in wigs. Men protested, and a new, more natural hairstyle became fashionable. During the French Revolution, both men and women cut their hair short, and this style remained for decades across Europe. The Bedford Crop became a hairstyle introduced by the Duke of Bedford, who abandoned his wigs in favor of a short and unpowdered hairstyle in protest to the tax. He influenced his friends and followers to do the same.

The Victorian Hairstyle- Natural Hair is the trend


hair through the ages womenhair through the ages

The puritanical Victorian era (1837–1901) advocated a modest, natural beauty, restrained and without makeup for women. Men’s hair was short and simply parted on the side or in the middle or worn in a crew cut. Most men wore a variety of mustache, sideburns, or beard. Natural-looking waves came into fashion as well as Greek knots, with standing rolls or loops on the crown, held by ribbons and combs. Victorian hairstyles aimed to create a sweet, feminine look, and long, thick hair was admired. By the 1890s, a unique type of wide pompadour known as the Gibson Girl hairstyle arose, with women piling their locks high in the front.

The “Roaring Twenties”-Hair (R)evolution!

The Victorian era left a deep mark on early twentieth century hairstyles, but the era’s rigidity gave way to more flowy styles during the early 1900s. During the 1920s, the “Roaring Twenties”, societal trends reacted against the puritanical Victorian standards of beauty. New, short hairstyles for women appeared after World War I, reflecting women’s evolving roles. In the 1920s, the new “emancipated” woman demanded to be recognized as man’s equal in all aspects of life, and a more masculine look was adopted by women, who started bobbing their hair. That decade also marked an increased interest in hair accessories, like felt and wool hats, jeweled pins, hair bows, and headbands.

The most popular Haircuts in the late 1920s

The “Bob” haircut that emerged on the fashion scene in the late 1920s was a major breakthrough compared to the long, pretentious styles of the past. Women of all ages cut their hair shorter as a symbol of the new political and social emancipation. Celebrities and the media started having an increasingly more significant impact on fashion trends. Soon, it became fashionable to have very short hair, fixed to the forehead, inspired by movie stars, such as Greta Garbo and her youthful, boyish haircut. Some years later, the classic movie “Gone with the wind” inspired a new look, according to which hair was pulled back.

Hollywood begins to influence and create the hair trends

While short hair has remained the mainstream hairstyle for men till today, women’s hair fashions changed markedly after the Great Depression. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Hollywood starlets would still set the trends in women’s fashion. The 1940s was a decade of social changes, and hair fashion dictated curly hair or hair styled up. Women styled their hair in various styles, including soft, romantic curls and half updos, made famous by actress Vivien Leigh. In the 1950s, the invention of curlers made feasible Italian-style hair, cut in layers. Marilyn Monroe became a legendary “blond bombshell” and a cultural icon. The soft curls of the 1940s took a more dramatic direction. During the 1950s, signature styles included the velvet curl, often recognized by the sweeping curl over one eye.

First Ladies Hairstyles

Popular First Ladies became models for American women hairstyles, i.e., the Mamie Eisenhower hairstyle, known as “Mamie Bangs”. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made the “bouffant” (hair raised up and back, forming a large, round shape) a popular hairstyle. (Fig. 1).

hair through the ages first ladies

Fig. 1: Hairstyles of Mamie Eisenhower and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mamie Eisenhower was the wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961 (, courtesy of the “Eisenhower Presidential Library”. All rights reserved). Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was the wife of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady of the United States from 1961 to 1963 (, under Alamy License Agreement. All rights reserved.) Two first ladies during a single decade, very different in everything, including their hairstyles!

Elvis iconic hairstyle in the ‘60s

hair through the ages elvis

Men continued to wear their hair quite short, and they often slicked it back with oil or brilliantine. Facial hair also included skinny, trimmed mustaches that were popularized by stars such as Errol Flynn and Clarke Gable. Men’s hairstyles remained short until the 1960s. Elvis Presley popularized a slick pompadour hairstyle with sideburns, and a “ducktail” and millions of men and other singers copied the “King’s” hairstyle. In the 1960’s the major cultural shift that took place and reflected in hairstyling, which became its symbol.

Popular Hairstyles in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s

The popularity of Jamaica’s reggae music and musician Bob Marley (1945–1981) prompted international interest in dreadlocks. The Beatles, these four, young, “long-haired” men from the working classes of Liverpool turned their mophaircut into a trend in one night. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and others followed soon afterward, and eventually, long hair in men became a symbol of rebelliousness. (Fig. 2).

hair through the ages hairstyles

Fig. 2: Notable hairstyles of musicians and famous Hollywood actors. Each hairstyle and facial hair is so distinctive that we can name the artist without seeing the facial details (Courtesy of © 2021 Pop Chart. All rights reserved)

Hair as a symbol of the Social Revolution

The social revolution of the 1960s took root in the 1970s, and beauty standards reflected this upheaval. Humans often make personality attributions that relate to personality, intelligence, social aptitudes, or deviation, based simply on appearance. Therefore, hair became the symbol of this era in several ways, evolving into a powerful means of projecting an image or making a statement. Hair became a symbol of freedom of choice of personal style, embodied in the sense of individuality and personal identity. Long hair, especially in men, was considered signaled ideological opposition to the establishment. Cutting the hair is understood to indicate submission to social control, whereas long hair suggests intent to evade the rules and restrictions of society or institution.

Punk Hairstyle, Hippie Hairstyle and Skinheads

hair through the ages styles

The movements of Punk, Neo-Nazi, Hippies, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Heavy Metal are typical examples of the wide range of personal choices that were expressed, among others, through a specific hairstyle. Today, longer male hairstyles, while less common and popular as in the 1970s, are still quite popular among rock enthusiasts.

hair through the ages skinheads

As opposed to long hairstyles, skinheads were their heads close-cropped or shaven. The skinhead haircut originated in the 1960s among working class youngsters in London, England who were influenced by the British mods and the Jamaican rude boys, in terms of fashion, lifestyle, and music.

Throughout the last decade of the 20th century, there was no longer a uniform or universal appearance in male hairstyles, and many men had individualized hairstyles that required the use of several hair styling products. Care of men’s hair has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the hair care industry. Moreover, shaved heads became even more popular among men. Although conservative hairstyles were still the rule, one could see more and more shaved heads in public places and certain workplaces.

Hair Today

The variety of hairstyles throughout the course of History and the social impact caused by different trends and hairstyles allows us to appreciate the perpetual importance of hair as a social indicator or “messenger”. Views on what is considered attractive and acceptable concerning hair have been continuously changing throughout History. However, hairdressing was always a matter of ritualistic elaboration. Religion and social class were the two parameters with the most significant impact for millennia. In modern Western societies, religion has lost its influence, while political and social changes have gradually eliminated the differences among social classes. In Eastern cultures, religion and local customs still hold greater influence, but globalization and mass media are reducing the differences between nations.

The Hairstyling Globalization

Nowadays, hair fashion is much more “democratic”, and differences between social groups and nations have practically disappeared. According to their personal taste, lifestyle, and personality, both sexes may choose from any number of styles to adopt. While some follow fashion trends, others choose to maintain a conservative hairstyle, despite the changing trends. Celebrities, such as singers, actors, models, and TV personas, often influence the hairstyle trends hugely, and respectively, people are using hair as a means of self-expression and a means of gaining social acceptance.

Hair transformation – Surgical Hair Restoration

Many decades ago, someone who suffered from hairloss, had no other choice, but to get used to his thinning hair and only try to “cover” this unfortunate twist of fate. Luckily, the evolution of medicine and science, gave us weapons to prevent, combat and even reverse hairloss and baldness. Hair transformation due to hair restoration is possible for everyone. Why struggle with hair loss when you can have a head full of hair? The evolution of hair transplant techniques can offer a state-of-the-art
natural and dense result. Modern hair transplantation performed by an experienced hair surgeon can give amazing natural and dense results.

If you wish to have a medical consultation with Dr. Konstantinos Anastassakis M.D., Ph.D. FISHRS about your hair loss and whether you are a suitable candidate for hair transplantation, now is the time to book your free online consultation here.

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