Glorious Big Hairdos of the 1960s: Mind-Boggling Hair Styles That Defined an Era


In the 1960s, the motto for hair was quite clear: "Go big or go home!"

Celebrities like Dolly Parton, Priscilla Presley, and Brigitte Bardot all sported voluminous hairstyles that made them look effortlessly fabulous.

But let's face it, not everyone took advantage of this trend. Some attempts at 1960s hairstyles are best left in the past.

To achieve those lofty styles, people drenched their hair in hairspray, turning bedtime into a nightmare.

Despite the struggles, these extraordinary hairstyles became very popular, symbolizing the rebellious and adventurous spirit of the time.

Extremely popular in the late 1950s and 1960s, the bouffant style (which comes from the French word bouffant, meaning puffed) was a hairstyle that was raised high on the head and characterized by a rounded shape.

The bouffant first appeared in the 1950s, marking the return of big hair for women after a period of plain wartime styles.

Two innovations of the late 1950s helped revolutionize hairstyling and paved the way for the bouffant era: the roller, which was used to lift and wrap the hair (which was then combed through the back to give maximum height; were combed or teased); and lacquer spray, a heavy hair spray that holds styles in place.

Bouffants began to gain popularity in the United States after a Life magazine article touting the "aristocratic" European look. The hairstyle, adopted by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the early 1960s, helped make it even more popular.

By 1964, hair spray had become the country's number one beauty aid, surpassing lipstick. Around that time young girls took the bouffant to new heights with a style called the Beehive.

Teens set their hair into large rollers every night using a gel solution called Dipty Do, and proceed to sleep in them.

People with extremely curly hair used large frizzy rollers in place of small rollers. Some women even wrapped toilet paper around their heads while sleeping to preserve the increasingly ornate, sculptural styles.

During this decade, Bouffant gained notable popularity among music celebrities, particularly members of girl groups performing R&B, bubblegum pop, soul, and doo-wop music.

Some of the groups that adopted the bouffant in the 1960s included The Supremes, The Ronettes, The Shirelles, and Martha and the Vandellas.

Although their popularity was high in the early 1960s, bouffants and beehives proved difficult to pull off, requiring extensive preparation and a large amount of equipment. Fashion trends began to move toward more natural hairstyles in the mid-1960s.

Another trend was the beehive hairstyle. It gets its name from its resemblance to an inverted beehive or cone sitting on top of the head.

Achieving this look involved teasing or backcombing the hair to create a large mound at the crown, while the outer layers were carefully smoothed and shaped around this higher base.

Maintaining this intricate hairstyle requires a generous amount of hairspray, ensuring it stays in place throughout the day.

What made the beehive so distinctive was not only its height, but also the smooth and polished finish decorating the outer layers.

Accessories such as headbands, ribbons or decorative clips were often added to further enhance the style, making it an extravagant yet elegant choice for a variety of occasions.

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