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Timeline Tuesday: Get Inspired by Groovy 60s Hairstyles

Timeline Tuesday is a continuing series, looking back at hairstyles and trends of the past, to draw inspiration for the future. Check in every Tuesday for style ideas that build on retro looks to create new profiles, and get how-to instructions and tips every Thursday.

Without a doubt, the 1960s were the biggest decade of change in American history. The Vietnam War and protests, the counterculture movement, the Civil Rights movement and legislation – everything in the country seemed to get turned upside-down. This is no less true for fashion and hairstyles; the hairstyles of the 60s showed the same revolution, as stylists nationwide picked away at the status quo to create more audacious new looks. Here are some of the most iconic styles of the era, and the women who wore them:

The Beehive

At the beginning of the decade, beehive hairstyles were all the rage, as were other sky-high, structured coifs. Mothers, working women, and singing sensations alike all rocked the beehive updo in some form or fashion.

The Bouffant

The same as a beehive to the untrained eye, a bouffant is actually a very different style. Whereas a beehive is actually an updo – all of the hair is swept up into the style – a bouffant is more flexible, and does not actually have to require the hair to be pulled up into a bun or ponytail of any kind. Probably more aptly described as a “hump,” the bouffant adds height and drama to many styles, and can be created in a number of ways. First Lady Jackie Kennedy, one of the leading style icons of the era, sported hers lower and more demure than others, with a short, face-hugging snip, while pop singers like the Supremes styled theirs toward the stars.

The Flip

Somewhat of a holdover from the 50s, the flip was a staple hairstyle for women of all races as they went about their everyday living, working, and studying. While many photos from the 60s show that most women combined styles – say, for example, their flip had a bouffant top – the basis of the flip is super-simple and easy to translate into the modern day: the only requirement is that the ends of the hair turn upwards, instead of downwards. Vary the definition and size of the end curl for a more or less retro feel.

Hippie-Dippie ‘Dos

By now, it’s obvious that a good number of 60s hairstyles were fairly conservative and structured, framing the face tightly and using lots of hairspray to hold curls in place. However, on the other side of the political aisle, a whole ‘nother hair world was developing. Peace and Civil Rights activists, college students, and a good deal of the youth embraced a much looser, more relaxed style. Inspired by musicians like Janis Joplin, these so-called hippies let their hair flow free, loose, and long, something that had – surprisingly – never been a big hit on the style scene before. The hippies’ all-natural locks, parted down the middle and usually accessorized with a headband, became a symbol of freedom, as women showed that straight, simple hair could be beautiful, too.

Pixie Snips

We couldn’t possibly discuss 60s hairstyles without mentioning British supermodel Twiggy’s super-short crop. From its first appearance on magazine covers, Twiggy’s snip put short hair styles more and more in demand all over the world, and especially in the United States. With the women’s movement just starting to spark, and more and more women working to support themselves, the ease and glamour of short-yet-still-pretty hair led many women to make the chop.

Coming Thursday, get turned on to how to style your hair in one of these styles, with a modern twist. Can you guess which one?

Take care of yourselves,


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