If you look back through your old family photos, you’ll probably notice that your parents had some pretty awful hairstyles a couple of decades ago. Hairstyles change with the times, and they’re often influenced by the culture.
Cultures change as well though, being affected by society, politics, technology and a whole host of other things. There’s no telling how many cultural changes the world has experienced, but you can guarantee it’s caused quite a few shifts in fashion.
Fashion always comes back around too – at the moment we’re seeing a wave of 90s-inspired clothing on the runway, and hairstyles seem to be mimicking this era too. So, you never know, you might end up sporting your parents’ old hairstyles before long!
There have some particularly wild cultural hair statements made throughout history. Four of the greatest have included:
1) The Flapper
1920s USA was a decade of change. It’s often referred to as the Roaring Twenties because of the social, economic and cultural changes that went on through the years. The First World War had just ended and women were starting to be seen (or wanted to be seen) in a different light.
The first vestiges of feminism can be found in the 1920s, when young women started to have a more relaxed view on sex, music, clothing, makeup and every other aspect of their lives. One of the biggest physical changes they took up was the cutting of their hair.
Previously, it was considered ladylike for women to wear their hair long and to tie it up in intricate hairstyles. In the 20s though, women cut their hair short and wore it in blunt bobs that were quite boyish. This, it seems, symbolises the flapper style today.
2) The Mohawk
The Mohawk was one of the defining features of the punk movement, although it actually dates back further than this. Punk fashion emerged in the 1970s and 80s, but the Mohawk can be attributed to Iroquois people that wore their hair in a similar fashion. Most people know of the Mohawk because of punks though.
Punk fashion is grungy and rough. It’s designed to look shocking, and the Mohawk and other punk hairstyles are central element in this. The punk movement was all about breaking the rules, sticking it the oppressors and taking back control.
3) The Mullet
Not one of hair’s finer moments, but still a key part of hair history. The mullet dates back to the 1960s, but we all attribute it to the 80s. Their most famous wearers have included Billy Ray Cyrus, David Bowie, George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Patrick Swayze and Hulk Hogan, along with many other ladies and gents.
The mullet put the ‘fun’ in functionality. The saying ‘business in the front, party in the back’ really does describe it perfectly. The popularity of this style shows just how powerful pop icons can be though, as it wasn’t until it was worn by famous musicians and actors that it started to catch on properly.
4) The Rachel
Another excellent example of the power of the celebrity. In 1994, the hit sitcom ‘Friends’ aired for the first time, and it wasn’t before long that it garnered a massive following.
Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green on the show and happened to have a bouncy, layered haircut that, once the show was popular, every girl in the world seemed to want. Aniston, on the other hand, reportedly thought it was the ugliest haircut she’d ever seen.
Even today, when celebrities step out sporting a new haircut, people are desperate to follow in their footsteps. Take Victoria Beckham’s bob, Cheryl Cole’s tousled waves, Amy Winehouse’s beehive and Kate Middleton’s wispy fringe.
What other famous hairstyles can you think of? Do you know of any others that have come about through cultural change?
This article was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of Hershesons, a hairstylist with Blow Dry Bars throughout London. For more information visit www.hershesons.com now.
Images courtesy of Hair Archives, Shutterstock, Wikipedia, Babble.com.
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