Hair’s the Thing: Iconic Hairstyles Throughout The Years
Hair’s the thing. It’s featured in Greek myths, Biblical verse, fairy tales, and a Broadway musical. Framing the face, hair is a huge part of our appearance, an aspect to our look that we can adapt or shave off, but never truly eliminate. Changing our hair is one of the easiest ways to alter our image, but keeping it the same can cement a signature style.
Hollywood to choppy layers that take us back to the 90s, history is full of iconic hair moments that have made their lasting mark. Famous bobs, pixies, and bangs have found their way into salons as haircut inspirations that take over entire decades. Take a trip down memory lane with the most iconic hairstyles of all time.
Louise Brooks was the iconic symbol of the 20s flapper style—and the super-short sleek bob with bangs that were popular during the era. As a successful silent film actress, she inspired the country with her flawless hair and beautiful looks.
We can’t ignore the ultimate Southern lady herself: Vivienne Leigh in Gone With The Wind. Her middle-parted, pinned back curls are a symbol of Southern glamor and femininity. If we’re trying to feel a little sassy, we’re definitely trying to channel Scarlett O’Hara.
This peekaboo cut was the signature 1940s style with brushed-out curls and a deep side part that fell glamorously over one eye. The iconic style has inspired the Old Hollywood curls that stars still grace on the red carpet today.
If we could pick any 1950s style icon to emulate now and forever, it would be the elegant Grace Kelly, Hollywood starlet turned French royalty. Her swept-back, blonde curls never looked anything but classic. Zero frizz, perfect soft curls, and a flattering short length? We’ll never pass this style up.
Whether looking at her hair in 1960 or 2017, Diana Ross makes one thing known: volume, volume, and more volume! From long and wild to short and sky-high, she isn’t afraid to go for it. We always remember her iconic stacked curls from the 60s and early 70s with the Supremes as the beauty’s most confident, signature style.
The First Lady coupled her classy 60s bouffant with fantastic jewels, brightly colored dresses, and chic pillbox hats. She grabbed the world’s attention with her style and beauty, making the bouffant style the go-to for the 1960s.
It’s hard to name an iconic hairstyle that Audrey Hepburn has not rocked throughout the decades—any pixie, bob, or bang looks amazing on her. But her most iconic style might have to be the elegant high chignon from Breakfast at Tiffany’s that led to a slew of copied updos from the 1960s to the present day.
The French actress shot to fame after appearing in And God Created Women, but kept her spot as a worldwide beauty icon with her dramatic liner, pouty lips, and—of course—those center-parted bangs and volume.have made their lasting mark.
With her slick crop cut and envy-worthy lashes, Twiggy was dubbed a style icon after venturing to the United States in 1966. The iconic hairstyle was an experimental cut created by famed hairstylist Leonard of Mayfair and ended up giving Twiggy worldwide notoriety.
Marilyn Monroe was an icon in her own right, but her classic short hair helped her become a lifelong star. Her bouncy curls and blonde locks made her the flirty, fun girl everyone loved to watch on the big screen.
Farrah Fawcett was the girl to be in the 1970s. Everyone lusted over her famed feathered locks and effortless cool-girl style.
Cher has never been afraid of making a hair statement, from her curtain of sleek dark hair to her whimsical wigs. But no one will ever forget her signature waist-length raven black hair with a straight middle part that graced the 1970s.
Grace Jones started a movement with this flat top hairstyle, breaking down gender norms in its wake.
For much of the world, Princess Diana’s 80s hair with its shaggy cut and swept (almost feathered) bangs became the look of the decade. Paired with her blue eyeliner and show-stopping outfits, that cut was an iconic look.
This queen of melody couldn’t be more fearless when it comes to her hair, and she used it practically as a prop when performing, giving life to her songs with generous hair flips and swings. The most iconic hair moment for Tina Turner was the 80s, without question. Her mega-volume, mega-texture, and mega-layers made a grand entrance to any room. This was her “What’s Love Got To Do With It” era, which makes us love it even more.
This cut with its choppy layers and shaggy ends plagued the 90s after Jennifer Aniston rocked the style on Friends. She’s made it very clear that she despised the cut then and still does, but that didn’t stop everyone from bringing a picture to their hairstylists, making it the haircut of the decade.
Her famous 90s shag became an iconic cut that not even Meg Ryan herself could explain because it all started as an accident. When in France beginning to film French Kiss, her beloved hairstylist accidentally singed off a healthy chunk of hair with a curling iron—so cutting it choppy, short, and layered was an absolute must to cover it up, while attempting to look trendy.
Duchess Kate Middleton
Duchess Kate has stolen the title for royal beauty and grace. Her hair has rocked the world, appearance after appearance; and women follow her hair changes closer than we follow our mama’s biscuit recipe. Her hair is already iconic in its own right.
We couldn’t create this list without including Ariana Grande’s iconic ponytail. It speaks for itself.