Hairstyles Through History

Each decade has had its unique style in terms of fashion, makeup, and hair. We thought it would be fun to take a look back in time and comment on the various hairstyles worn by women in North America. 

Hair in the 1910s  

Hairstyles Through History 1910s Gibson Girl

For the early years of the 20th century, the Gibson Girl hairstyle was the one most popular amongst women of the middle and upper classes. The first decade of the 20th century is characterized by the transition from confined styles to looser top knots often held in place with barrettes and bows. 

Hair in the1920s

Hairstyles Through History - 1920s

The Jazz decade saw the first bobs ever. Irene Castle is responsible for creating a trend that would become a staple of the golden years. There were other varieties of bob styles that developed throughout the decade, but it was the short bob with straight bangs and curled sides that really stood out from the rest. Another famous actress that styled her hair in a super short bob was Louise Brooks. She managed to accentuate this hairstyle by adding feminine touches such as headbands, beads, hats, and even feathers attached to a hairband. 

Hair in the1930s

Hairstyles Through History - 1930s

Marcel waves were styled after french stylists François Marcel and it was Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy’s favorite hairstyle at the time. They way they’d create the look was by using an old-fashioned heat iron that would crease the hair into a wavelike pattern and then pinch it into an S-shaped curl at the crease. Back then, they would use a special pomade and bobby pins to keep the curls in place. 

Hair in the1940s

Hairstyles Through History - 1940s

The most popular hairstyle at the time was the “peekaboo” or “femme fatale” waves. The glamorous wave covering one side of the face became a trademark for Hollywood stars. This hairstyle encouraged women to feel more mysterious and sensual. 


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Hair in the1950s 

In the 1950s, short hairstyles were trending again. The “Italian cut” featured tousled pinned back curls and head scarves were also a popular accessory thanks to Audrey Hepburn. Other styles that were used during those years were the Marylin Monroe look, short fringes, sleek chignons, and the french pleat. 

Hair in the1960s

Hairstyles Through History - 1960s

For the first time in decades, an airy hairstyle became popular in the sixties. The sky-high bouffant became trendy amongst teens. It required a generous coat of hairspray to prevent from falling or deflating. This decade is remembered as one that brought important changes in many aspects with one of them being the sexual revolution. Women styled their hair in a boyish way with sleek sticked frames. 

Hair in the 1970s 

Hairstyles Through History - 1970s

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the rise of the afro: a popular hairstyle that became a symbol of black identity amongst people who decided to embrace natural styles and forget about white beauty standards. The afro was more than just a hairstyle, it was a form of expression and communication for the black community in North America. Also, hippie hairstyles such as the feathered look emerged and had both men and women styling their hair long and layered with bouncy waves. 

Hair in the1980s

Hairstyles Through History - 1980s

Big hair time! In the 1980s, women in North America were getting perms twice a year to achieve big curly hair. They would reverse comb to gain volume and then apply extra loads of hairspray. The pop-queen Madonna was one of the biggest influences in terms of hairstyles. 

Hair in the 1990s

Hairstyles Through History - 1990s Janet Jackson

New and different hairstyles made their way into the 90s. Braids, which have been worn by African women for centuries, became popular in the United States when Janet Jackson rocked them in the 1993 movie “Poetic Justice”. There were also the sleek straight styles that eliminated any kind of frizz or volume. There was one haircut that became popular after Jennifer Aniston’s character from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. wore it: “The Rachel cut”, which involved mid-sized bangs and some layering. 

Hair in the 2000s

Hairstyles Through History - 2000s

For the beginning of the 21st century, hairstyles varied like never before. We had the half-up half-down with a pouf and a side fringe. Bobs and pixies got back in style and emo looks made their way through as well. 

Hair in the 2010s

Long and luscious waves were the go-to style when trends started to shift towards a more natural look. We had lobs and bobs, which come back for short periods of time every now and then. Coloring the hair with ombré highlights was also a huge trend that replicated natural, sunkissed waves. 

Hair in the 2020s

Hopefully this decade is full of au naturel styles with women showing off their natural hair types. We’ll keep an eye on the trends to come, but in the meantime, we’d love for you to tell us what your bets are for the upcoming years.