Women’s Hairstyles of the 1960s

Women’s hairstyles of the 1960s are by far my favorite. The decade of the 1960s was an exciting time for fashion, as many of us know. But have you ever thought about the cool hairdos that were in style during that time? When I get my hair cut these days, my stylist gives me the classic Vidal Sassoon asymmetric bob, which has never gone out of style and is as flattering as ever. Here are some of my favorite style icons and the classic women’s hairstyles of the 1960s that I associate with them.

Women's hairstyles of the 1960s, asymmetrical short hairstyle
Asymmetric short hairstyle, photo of Nancy Kwan by Terence Donovan

The featured photo is of actress Nancy Kwan (“Flower Drum Song,” 1961; “The World of Suzie Wong,” 1960) , modeling the Vidal Sassoon asymmetric bob, my favorite women’s hairdo of the 1960s. Vidal Sassoon became a household name in hair care products, but how many of us realize that he also designed hair for so many stars of the 1960s?


women's hairstyles of the 1960s, twiggy bobcut
Twiggy bob cut hairdo, photo by Barry Lategan


Iconic Women’s Hairstyles of the 1960s

Twiggy and the British “Mod” Bob

No one style is more iconic of The British Invasion than Twiggy’s sideswept bob hairstyle. This cut played up perfectly the tailored mod clothing that she modeled, as well her stick-like, androgynous figure for which she gained the nickname, “Twiggy.”

According to Vogue.com, when looking for a new hairdo to wear for some photo test shots, then 16-year-old Twiggy visited Mr. Leonard of the House of Leonard in Mayfair. He dyed her shoulder-length hair blonde and cut it short, making her already large eyes more prominent. (She later penciled in extra lashes to emphasize her eyes, which in itself became a trend among teenaged girls.)

With her close-cropped hair and boyish figure, Twiggy (real name Leslie Hornby) made quite an impact on the London fashion scene and subsequently became a household name around the world.

 


Bouffant flip hairstyle, Mary Tyler Moore, women's hairstyles of the 1960s
Laura Petrie’s bouffant flip hairstyle

The Bouffant Flip

Whether slightly upturned at the ends or curled neatly over like Mary Tyler Moore’s, the bouffant flip hairstyle was the epitome of style in the early to mid 60s. Teased at the crown and smoothed down and “flipped” back up, the trick was getting the ends to flip over evenly. I remember wearing hair rollers to bed to try and keep the waves in all the next day, only to have part of my ‘do sagging by the end of the day!

This is a photo of the late Mary Tyler Moore (with Dick van Dyke) in her role as Laura Petrie on the popular “Dick van Dyke Show”. The bouffant flip look has largely gone out of fashion because it is so hard to maintain without lacquering on tons of hair spray!

 


The Geometric “Five Point” Hairstyle

geometricstyle, Vidal Sassoon, women's hairstyles of the 1960s
Classic five-point wedge, Vidal Sassoon. Photo by David Montgomery.

Where earlier in the decade women had to spend hours on their hair, Vidal Sassoon had the idea that hair should be cut with the natural line of the hair and require little or no fuss or upkeep. This concept mirrored the increasing freedom for women to go to work and pursue an independent living outside of their traditional role as homemaker. Sassoon is quoted as saying, “Women were going back to work, they were assuming their own power. They didn’t have time to sit under the dryer.”

This geometric hairstyle (five-point cut) is a beautiful architectural style that Sassoon first created in 1965 on model Grace Coddington. Sassoon preferred to work with dark shiny hair that would show off the severe lines of the style.

Also famous for the geometric five-point hairstyle cut was Mary Quant, Carnaby Street fashion designer and originator of the “Mod” clothing look. Mary Quant is credited with designing the iconic mini-skirt of the 60s and 70s.

 

“Women were going back to work, they were assuming their own power. They didn’t have time to sit under the dryer.”

 


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The Blonde “Surfer Girl” Hairstyle

Women's Hairstyle of the 1960s, surfer girl hairstyle, Andrea Dromm Russians are Coming surfergirl
Photo of Andrea Dromm, United Artists

The Beach Boys immortalized her in their 1963 hit, “Surfer Girl,” and in my high school at least, this was the style to aspire to. Long and straight, with or without sideswept bangs, many of us adopted the carefree look of salt- and sun-drenched locks. From Clairol’s “Summer Blonde” ad campaign of the 60s featuring actress-model Andrea Dromm (who starred in the movie, “The Russians are Coming”), young Sue Lyon of “Lolita,” fame, all the way up to Malibu Barbie in 1971, this was one of the most popular looks of the decade (and beyond).

With the advent of the hippies in the latter half of the 60s, many young women chose to lose the “sun-bleached” look in favor of their natural color, albeit with the long straight styles continuing up until the 1970s. This look will always remain with me as the symbol of my first years living on the West Coast.

 


 

 

Women’s Hairstyles Resources

 Milady Standard Updos by Johnson, Timothy C. Spiral-bound The Ultimate Visual Guide to Hairstyles: A gallery of 160 great looks for every kind of hair type Amazing Hairstyles: From Easy to Elegant


Jean Shrimpton, long hairstyles layered bangs, women's hairstyles of the 1960s, bouffant
Jean Shrimpton, bouffant with layered bangs Photo: Victoria & Albert Museum.

 The Long Bouffant with Bangs

Arguably the world’s first supermodel was British style star Jean Shrimpton. In the mid-60s, her identifiable style was the long hair bouffant with bangs (or as they are called in the UK, a “fringe”). The hair is teased up at the crown, worn long and with bangs straight down or swept to the side.

Other celebrities who wore this hairstyle were Julie Christie (who played the enigmatic Lara in the film, “Doctor Zhivago”), French folk singer Françoise Hardy, and, with a more wild and tousled version of the style, Brigitte Bardot and Raquel Welch. 

 


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Mia Farrow, short pixie cut, women's hairstyles of the 1960s, pixiecut
Mia Farrow, short pixie cut

 The “Pixie” Cut

The short pixie cut was famous by Mia Farrow in her starring role in the 1968 movie, “Rosemary’s Baby,” and the pixie cut, rumor has it, was designed for the actress by Vidal Sassoon. Ms. Farrow debunks this, saying that she herself had cut off her formerly long blonde locks right after the filming of “Peyton Place.” Despite photos of Mr. Sassoon cutting her hair for the role in “Rosemary’s Baby,” he did not originate the style FOR her. As the style worked well for her small face, Ms. Farrow adopted it for many years.

Other celebrities of the time who rocked the pixie cut were Goldie Hawn (a slightly shag-type style with a bouffant crown), French actress Jean Seberg, and Audrey Hepburn in some of her earlier films.

 

 


 

 

Ronnie Spector, 1960s beehive hairdo,
Ronnie Spector, 1960s beehive hairdo

1960s “Beehive” Hairdo

Early 1960s “greaser” chicks were easily identifiable by their sky-high bouffants, teased and sprayed to dizzying heights, piled up like a beehive. If you’ve seen Ricki Lake in John Waters’ spoof of 60s culture, “Hairspray,” you get the idea! R&B singer Amy Winehouse brought this style back with a vengeance.

According to Wikipedia, Margaret Vinci Heldt of Margaret Vinci Coiffures in Chicago, Illinois, originally developed the style in 1960 in a contest to reflect the aesthetic of the coming decade.

The Motown girl group the Ronettes popularized this style in the early 60s, and Audrey Hepburn famously wore a bejeweled beehive updo in the film, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” 

 


A High Ponytail Style for Long Hair

Catherine Deneuve, half-ponytail, women's hairstyles of the 1960s #60sponytail
Catherine Deneuve, high ponytail. Photo: Parc Films/Madeleine Films.

For a while among my friends, the “pom-pom” or “palm-tree” hairdo was the style to wear. Consisting of a ponytail set at the crown of the head, with the strands of hair spread out and pinned under halfway down the head, this style certainly does resemble a palm tree. With longer hair, it can be parted, pulling up half of the tresses into a hair band, leaving the ends of the ponytail to hang down, blended in with the rest of the hair.

This was a fun style but short-lived, having been popular for a year or so around 1964 or ’65. Some celebrities who wore a variation of this style were Goldie Hawn and Brigitte Bardot.

French actress Catherine Deneuve is shown here wearing the long version of the “palm tree,” basically a high half-ponytail.

 


Audrey Hepburn, classic French twist updo, women's hairstyles of the 1960s
Audrey Hepburn, classic French twist updo. Photo: Paramount Pictures.

The Classic French Twist Updo

The classic French twist hairstyle is one of my favorite styles when my hair is growing out from a bob cut. All you need is for your hair to be long enough to pull into a high ponytail at the back of your head, a rat tail comb to twist your hair to the side and tuck the loose ends under, a few bobby pins to secure it into place, and voila! you have the stylish and sleek French twist.

You can also combine the French twist with a high teased crown to make an updo-beehive combination, the way Audrey Hepburn wore her hair when she played Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” 

 


Which was your favorite hairstyle of the 60s?
  • The Asymmetrical Bob
  • The Pixie Cut
  • The Flip
  • The Blonde Surfer Girl
  • The French Twist
  • The Beehive

Cool Cosplay 60s Wigs for Women

 Tsnomore Short Straight Mix Color Fashion Full Bangs Soft Touch Bob WigBuy it Here Rubie’s Costume 60’s Revolution Blonde Flip Bob Wig, Yellow, One SizeBuy it Here Women’s New Long Straight Mix Blonde Fashion Wig Sexy Natural Hair Cosplay WigsBuy it Here STfantasy 17Buy it Here


70s Clothing Styles for Women

70s Clothing Styles for Women

 

Was the 70s the Decade That Fashion Forgot?

When you look back at 70s clothing styles for women, you might say the 1970s was “The Decade That Fashion Forgot.” People typically think of disco, Farrah Fawcett hair, and red leisure suits with white belts. If you dig deeper, you might see that this is a little unfair: when it comes to clothing styles for women, I don’t think any decade has more variation than the 1970s. 1970s fashion had its low points to be sure, there were hot pants and platform go-go boots, but also there were some very robust fashion influences ranging from Afghanistan to Newport, Rhode Island. In this page, I want to share some of my very favorite fashions of the 1970s.

The photos in this article are from the author’s personal Vogue magazine collection, unless otherwise stated. Credit belongs to the original photographer(s).

A Time of Rich Color and Luxury Fabrics: Classic Style

1970s fashion for women my life banquet
Raquel Zimmerman, Vogue, August 2010. Designers: Inez & Vinoodh

In this photo, Vogue model Raquel Zimmerman wears a classic autumn ensemble of fur cape, cinnamon suede midi skirt, and leather boots. Though from the August 2010 issue of Vogue, this look is a perfect illustration of the 1970s fall fashion for women that I remember.

My favorite season is autumn—I clearly recall the sound of dried leaves crunching underfoot when I walked across the lush green lawns of Northern California. In the early 1970s, mid-calf length wool skirts and tall boots with block heels were in vogue, literally: perusing the issues of 1970 Vogue magazine brings back memories of heavy, quality materials featured everywhere. Tweed culottes over patterned knee sox, buckled leather brogues, ribbed heavy cotton turtlenecks in eggplant and gold, and red tartan wraparound skirts fastened with a pin, leather chocolate-color maxi-coats with oversized fur collars—all of these marked the first years of the decade for me.

I still recall a beloved forest green midi dress that my mother made from a pattern, and which I wore with cordovan leather knee boots and a wide corset-like leather belt with fringe laces. When I outgrew it, out it went—sad, but I had to make room for reinventing myself!

 


70s Clothes for Working Women

70s Clothing for Women Classic Styles for Women

More than ever before, women were present in the workforce in the 1970s. We were stylish and yet comfortable, whether at work or at play. The expectation for women in the 1970s as opposed to their mothers was they no longer stayed home but contributed equally to the household income. As for me, off I went to the corporate world: working in the Financial District of San Francisco in the 70s, I had easy access to nearby clothing boutiques, was single and made good money, so finding the latest fashion was not an issue. I wore my favorite wood and leather wedge platform shoes with pale green high-waisted tweed tailored bell bottom cuffed pants. With these, I paired either a skinny turtleneck or blouse with a Kenzo Takada-inspired tiny red cotton plaid bomber jacket. The wide elastic waistband of the jacket reached just to the waist, which worked perfectly with the high tailored pants popular in that era.

This is a favorite photo from that time, wide bell-bottomed blue jeans and the plaid bomber jacket, in my MGB-GT.

my life banquet styles of the 70s

 


Toward the end of the decade, I was looking for a more casual and comfortable silhouette, and I discovered the designer, Alvin Duskin: all cotton, flowing separates, with flared loose pants and a long tank overdress that fell to the knees, worn with a midi-length knit sweater. My favorite outfit was a dusty gold knee-length tank dress with an eggplant purple turtleneck. The long cotton sleeveless “sweater” that I layered over this was a dusty teal color. I also had an Alvin Duskin knit dark teal sweater set as shown below with a matching mini-skirt (pictured). How I’d love to have those cool 70s fashions today!

  


Classic 70s Style on Amazon

 Fashion in the ’70s: The Definitive Sourcebook Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1970’s


When Disco was Queen: Club Fashion

mylifebanquet.com, fashions of the 1970s
Girl in gold lamé, Vogue

Even though this is probably everyone’s least favorite 1970s fashion trend, disco style didn’t skip over me-I admit it! Though I never owned a polyester jumpsuit (honestly!), I did own a pair of brown hot pants that I wore with nylons and either some snug-fitting faux ostrich knee boots or blocky, heavy strapped leather sandals. I had the purple suede fringed vest too, but I paired that with a lavender polyester tailored long-sleeved blouse and purple corduroy slightly tapered bell bottoms. Purple with a fringe was the bomb! To top it off, I had either a tight perm or a shag hairdo at the time, along with a pair of very cool aviator shades!

I arrived at a Sly Stone concert one time in a silver-black metallic long-sleeved tunic with matching metallic sparkly pants by Alvin Duskin. Sly Stone never showed up to perform, but I was “stylin'” at least I thought so! 😉

 


Vintage Boho 70s Clothing for Women

 Boho Embroidered Boots Hippie, Size 7 Vintage Rose Chiffon Betsey Johnson Dress Boho Chic Plus-size Green Paisley Peasant Dress


Bohemian Chic: Nature Girl

fashions of the 1970s, mylifebanquet.com
Lauren Hutton, Vogue

The tail-end of the hippie era as shown in the pages of Vogue reflect on a bohemian chic fashion aesthetic embodied in this photo of model Lauren Hutton. The remnant of the flower children appeared as fresh-faced nature girls with wavy hair wearing ethnic-inspired knit skullcaps and scarves with long maxi skirts. Makeup consisted of either brushed on pale brows or  ultra-thin plucked eyebrows that mimicked the silent movie stars of the 1920’s, with white eyeshadow around the eye, topped off with pouty red glossy lips and red gel blush on the cheekbones.

Turbans and caftans, though shown in the pages of Vogue, didn’t really feature in the preferred attire of 20-somethings. Hostess dresses were meant for middle-aged socialites, after all! We liked our large brimmed straw hats with peasant blouses and oversize ponchos, wide cinched up belts and the occasional colorful head scarf. Other than leather sandals and knee boots, I also had two pairs of espadrilles with laces that wrapped around and around the ankle and tied. Espadrilles represent classic timeless style; I wish I’d never given those away!

Knee boots continued to appear, but with natural materials and colors that were at the far end of the spectrum from the white “pleather” go-go boots the disco girls were wearing. Patterned jersey with paisleys and flowers were quite popular (like my beautiful midi-dress that still hangs in my closet).

Popular hairstyles were long and parted straight down the middle with the obligatory headband at forehead level, or up in a tidy bun with curly forelocks at the cheeks recalling the 1890’s Gibson girl. At one point, my friend Michael referred to me as the Gibson girl because that became my style briefly. However, I soon lapsed into my favorite version of casual “boho” chic: a colorful head scarf with bell bottom jeans and a comfortable long-sleeved shirt or T-shirt.

  

 


If I Could Go Back to the 70s

 

If I could go back and do the 70s over again, other than being a lot more choosy about who I dated(!), I’d save that wool green midi dress, the white peasant blouse with tiny orange and yellow flowers that went so well with my rust velvet mini-skirt, the blue silk espadrilles, the red plaid Kenzo bomber jacket, the Alvin Duskin separates, and lastly, the my wood and leather platform shoes that were SO comfortable.

But alas, I only saved the black flowered midi-dress, and even though I’ll never be THAT size again, I’m not about to give it up!


 

Vintage Items to Complete the Authentic Boho Look

 1970s  Vintage Swedish Hand-painted Wooden Kurbit Clogs 1970s Midi Dress Boho Red Hand Painted 7″ Wide Lace Up Boho Corset Brown Leather Stretch