Hair trend setters of the past and present

By Elizabeth Brachelli
November 4, 2005

Jerry Zurek

As celebrities inspire us with their exploding new looks of cut and color, their shag-cuts and soft-long layers bit off from past decades steal the spotlight today.

A modern spin has taken over heads of hair whether it’s a revival of the old shag cut from the British rock-pop group the Beatles, or the straight natural look actress Jennifer Aniston of TV show “Friends” is known for.

Throughout the decades, hair has made statements that today’s celebrities are freshening up. Jennifer Aniston started setting a trend of her own, which is remembered as the “Friends haircut.” Aniston had one of the first choppy haircuts with layers that framed her face sending woman flocking to salons everywhere for the same look.

Today, she has settled for the long natural light locks of the ’70s, which she sometimes adds loose curls to.

Kelsey Neil, a junior sociology major, said, “I like hair today because it incorporates older hair with the new. Like Jennifer Aniston. Her hair is long and pretty and she could add curls. When I think of great hairstyles, Jennifer Aniston is the first person that comes to mind.”

College students today are wearing the hair trends of the ’70s, applying a natural look to be like Aniston and other celebrities. This trend also began in the ’90s as people looked for a natural look. The hippie style of the ’70s was greatly influenced by politics. People of the ’70s had long wavy hair, which they grew as a way of protesting. It was also a time where natural afros as well as ultra-curly perms for blacks and non-blacks alike were seen.

Also seen in today’s hair trends is the shag look of the rock-pop group the Beatles. During the 1960s, the Beatles’ pop music rapidly evolved to shape and reflect the youth culture’s emphasis on change and experimentation. History professor Jolyon Girard said, “Culture and politics are always intermingled. The Beatles changed the entire generation for white people. They were classic.”

As the popularity of the Beatles grew, everyone imitated their shag look. Celebrities and college students everywhere are now sporting this look too.

Bill Elder, a junior political science major, said, “A lot of people have shaggy hair. Starting in high school I saw it a lot. My friends in high school were shagging it up. Chics dig it.”

Another hair-trend setter in the 1960s was Jacqueline Kennedy. Jacqueline Kennedy, the first lady, was known for her personal style. She had a bouffant hairstyle, which millions imitated.

Celebrities today are still imitating it like actress Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon’s blond-bob has class and puff like Kennedy’s.

Witherspoon’s blondness also looks as if it’s from the ’50s. The ’50s was the decade of the blonde beginning with Marilyn Monroe. It was reported by that Hollywood blondes helped create such a demand that home-dying kits came into the market.

Witherspoon’s hair-style also has a natural look that people look for today. Also, females today are into the straight hair. Hair straightners have become very popular.

Also the ’80s hairstyles are still being imitated today. The ’80s was a time for hair to be rainbow bright and aggressive just like the music. Dreadlocks, curly perms, mullets, frosted highlights and especially big hair combined for the look ’80s.

Jenna Grabowski, a sophomore exercise science major, said, “I like fuller big hair. I love the ’80s. But I like the fuller hair Pamela Anderson has today.”

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Elizabeth Brachelli

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