10 Popular Hairstyles from Yesteryear

6 min read
Hair Salon

Sit back and relax as we take you on a stroll down memory lane. Here are ten popular hairstyles from the past, along with the year they were the most popular.

10. Beehive (1963)

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Jason Mouratides from San Diego, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Chicago-based hairstylist Margaret Vinci Heldt invented the beehive in 1960 in an effort to prevent hat hair. Early adopters of the do included Jackie Onassis, Dusty Springfield, and Brigitte Bardot. The hairstyle remained popular over the years, however, and many stars (Adele, Amy Winehouse, Marge Simpson, etc.) have sported some variation of the beehive.

FUN FACT: The beehive was inspired by the shape of the fez hat. For those of you who are wondering ‘What the heck is a fez hat?’, it’s those cylindrical hats with the tassel on top that you see the Shriners wearing.

9. The Bob (1964)

Source: Wikimedia Commons By BrittReneePhotography [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Getting its initial start back in the 1920s, this is just one style that refuses to die. In the mid-1960s, Vidal Sassoon decided to reinvent the bob. And, it’s been popping up everywhere ever since then. Let’s see, there’s the punk rock bob from 1978, the side-swept bob Princess Diana wore in 1981, the curly bob worn by Whitney Houston in 1988, and the flipped bob that Drew Barrymore wore in 1996. And, then there’s the strong bob, which is currently popular in San Francisco, the softened bob, which is a hit in St. Louis, the shattered bob in Las Vegas, and the curly bob (once again), which is popular in Atlanta. Did we miss any? LOL!

8. Mop Top (1968)

Beatles Mop Top
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This iconic hairdo, sported by the British rock band known as the Beatles (pictured above), was said to be inspired by two German photographers who were donning the do when they met the Beatles in Hamburg in 1960. The style quickly caught on in England and soon made its way across the pond to the United States. By the end of the 60s, the band traded in their mop look for much longer locks.

FUN FACT: The audience on Dick Clark’s popular dance show American Bandstand laughed at the Beatles’ mop top hairdos when Clark held up a photo of the group just before playing their hit single “She Loves You.”

7. Afro (1972)

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Moses [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

More than just a fashion statement, the Afro was also an outward expression of dignity and pride. The style first emerged in the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Prior to this, blacks felt compelled to fit in with mainstream white culture, and so, would style their hair accordingly. But, as they began protesting against segregation during the civil rights era, the assertion of black identity exploded and thus the Afro and the fist comb, which had a handle in the shape of the black power salute, was born.

6. Feathered Look (1976)

Farrah Fawcett Feathered Lo
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Mention the feathered look and the first person who comes to mind is Farrah Fawcett (pictured above). When she debuted the do on 70s TV show Charlie’s Angels, females all over the country began adding blonde highlights and sweeping waves to their hair. The trend continued through the early 80s and was a popular style among men as well.

FUN FACT: “Feathered hair tutorial” is a very popular Google search term. The phrase returns dozens of results, including YouTube videos that show you how to get 1970s disco feathered hair using a flat iron.

5. Asymmetrical Cut (1982)

Asymmetrical Cut
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Maria Morri from Tampere, Finland [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Though this look was one of the most popular in 1982, it continued well into the 90s and beyond. In fact, the most popular hairstyle in Boston this year is the asymmetrical undercut.

FUN FACT: According to an interview conducted by The Guardian, Salt-N-Pepa member Sandy “Pepa” Denton said their trademark asymmetrical hairstyle came about by accident. Denton’s sister was attempting to get her beautician’s license and wanted to test out her skills on Sandy. So, she permed her hair but didn’t thoroughly wash it out on one side, and it left her partially bald. Cheryl “Salt” James suggested shaving it down and cutting some lines in it while leaving the other side long. They both thought it looked great, so Salt did the same thing to her hair. The look soon caught on among fans.

4. Mullet (1984)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t include the mullet on this list. And, if you were born in 1984, chances are your dad probably had this iconic haircut.

Although we associate the mullet with the 80s, it actually dates back much further than that. According to Men’s Health magazine, the mullet, or at least some form of it, was being worn more than 1,400 years ago. “Byzantine scholar Procopius wrote of a craze among young Roman men in the 6th Century BCE, who sought to emulate the look of Hun barbarians by growing their hair long all around the head except across the forehead, where they kept it cut short,” the magazine wrote on its website. And, Alan Henderson, author of Mullet Madness!: The Haircut That’s Business Up Front and a Party in the Back, said in the same Men’s Health article that there’s archaeological evidence supporting the likelihood that some citizens of Syria, Mesopotamia and Asia Minor wore mullets to keep their hair out of their eyes while keeping their necks warm and dry at the same time.

FUN FACT: In 2010, Iran banned the mullet because it was part of a “Western cultural invasion.” As a result, barbershops were raided and anyone found breaking this law was issued a steep fine.

3. The Rachel (1995)

The Rachel
Source: Wikimedia Commons

This cut was named for the hairstyle worn by Jennifer Aniston’s (pictured above) character Rachel Green on NBC’s hit sitcom Friends. The cut, which Aniston debuted in 1994, was perhaps just as iconic as Fawcett’s feathered look.

Celebrity stylist Chris McMillan, the man behind the haircut, told The Telegraph how he came up with the look: Back then Jennifer had a really long fringe, and I suggested she grow out her fringe and add some highlights. So, we cut the length and added in layers to blend the bottom to the bangs, and that’s how the Rachel was born. And, although it’s an easy cut, it’s also a high-maintenance once. “If you aren’t someone who wants to put effort into your hair, this isn’t the cut for you,” he said.

FUN FACT: Jennifer Aniston hated the Rachel. “I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen,” she told PEOPLE magazine.

2. Highlights (1998-2000)

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Denise Mahoney [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

According to Seventeen magazine, it was the orange and blond accents in Ginger Spice’s fire-engine red hair that spawned the chunky highlights trend of the early 2000s.

FUN FACT: Last year, Allure magazine reported that chunky highlights were making a comeback–at least on Instagram, anyway. “Last month, a picture of chunky highlights that a New Jersey-based hairstylist posted on Instagram went viral and simultaneously tore Instagram apart,” Allure wrote on its website. “She’s not the only one giving her clients’ hair the zebra treatment in 2017, though. Nayara Bezerra, a hairstylist, has been getting thousands of likes on her chunky highlight creations. That doesn’t include all the likes the reposts of her pictures are getting, either,” the magazine added.

1. Pompadour (2007)

Source: Wikimedia Commons By Liton Ali [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

This was the most popular hairstyle in 2007, but it was first introduced by Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France. Shortly thereafter, members of his court began donning the hairstyle. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “dressing the hair with a pompadour was favored in the early 20th century. Men brushed the front hair back, and women used pads or other devices in order to create the raised pompadour, thereby creating the illusion of a mass of puffy hair.”

Modern-day celebs who have worn a pompadour:
-Paris Hilton
-Janelle Monae
-Conan O’Brien
-Bruno Mars
-David Beckham
-Adam Lambert


Did you wear any of the styles on this list? Are you still wearing any of these styles? C’mon, you can tell us. We won’t make fun of you, LOL! Thanks for reading!