Also commonly known as hairdo or haircut, styling of hair on the scalp began as far as 30,000 years ago. As both men and women sported long hair, braiding was common during the ancient times, as depicted in the archeological findings from the era.
A major shift in male and female hairstyles was observed in Imperial Rome, when men began to crop their hair short and women started wearing their long hair in various styles. While Men from different cultures still continued to grow their hair long, short hair came in fashion during the neoclassical movement that was popularized during the 16th century.
With the emergence of cinema and television and the fashion industry, intricate hairstyles for both men and women became popular. Listed below are some of the most iconic and famous hairstyles of all time.
Originally, the hairstyle was worn by several Native American tribes such as the Mohicans and Iroquois, who hand plucked their hair from both sides, leaving only a square patch on the top.
While today the Mohawk is commonly worn by paratroopers and military men, it became a cultural symbol during the Punk movement in Britain during the 1970s. The punks renamed the hairstyle to ‘Liberty Spikes’ and often colored the hair in bright tones with upright spikes created using hair gel.
Although revolting, the Mohawk style became instantly famous for those who were opposed to the flowy hair popularized by the Hippy movement. If you don’t have enough time to dry your wet hair, you should get a flat iron as they make a big difference.
The hairstyle that defined cultural status of African Natives, the afro involves tight curls that stick all around the wearer’s head. The style was brought to the US through the immigration of African slaves who couldn’t maintain their hair.
With the popularization of African-American Civil Rights Movement during the 70s, the Afro became a cultural symbol for the Black population and a major driving force against the unruly long hair sported by the White hippies.
While this hair style comes naturally for the people from African descent, several whites also started sporting this unusual hairstyle including famous celebrities.
A mullet involves the hair to be cut short from the sides and front, leaving long hair at the back. The name Mullet is taken directly from the 1994 Beastie Boys song ‘Mullet Head’.
Nevertheless, the style was first seen in the Byzantine Empire, when young males left long hair at the back, inspired by the Hunnic warriors. But their popularity like most hairstyles rose during the 1970s, when the look was adopted by several musicians such as Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Rod Stewart.
The style soon rose to prominence in Europe during the 80s and 90s and has been sported by several notable actors and musicians.
4. Bowl Cut
Devised as a cheap and easy haircut, the Bowl Cut was achieved by putting a bowl or pot on the head and trimming off all the visible hair. The pot is placed at the ear level and all visible locks are trimmed off leaving really short hair on the sides and back and are mostly worn by children.
While it was considered as a sign of poverty during the older times, the bowl haircut has been sported by various celebrities such as Dee Dee Ramone, Jim Carey, and Leonard Nimoy and is extremely popular among the Skate Punk subculture.
Popularized in the modern world by the Rastafarian Culture, dreadlocks have been sported by various ethnic groups since the ancient times. Dreadlocks involve wearing matted locks of long hair to resemble ropes.
The dreads are also a cultural symbol of the followers of Lord Shiva, known as Shaivaite and ascetics in the Hindu culture. Nevertheless, the hairstyle came into fashion during the popularity of reggae music in the 1970s and was worn by famous musicians such as Bob Marley and is worn in several fashions by the natives of the African community.
As not many Europeans have naturally curly hair, the Perm technique was devised back in 1872 to make straight hair appear voluminous as curly hair. Known officially as the Permanent Wave, the hair style involves the application of lotions on the hair and then curling them with a perm rod, providing it with instant curls that resembled naturally curly hair.
Since then, perming techniques and devices have come a long way and the style is extremely popular among women all across the globe.
Made popular by various celebrities and famous people, the above hairstyles have certainly left a mark on the world of fashion and hairstyling. These hairstyles not only represented the changing trends in fashion, but also represented the wearer’s cultural identity.