Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (2022)

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (1)

Women’s 1970s hairstyles varied from long, soft and feminine to short, edgy and androgynous. There was also a lot of experimentation and new styles were created throughout the decade.Hair was sometimes a direct expression of the times. Here we take a look at what and who influenced 1970s hairstyles, as well as the most popular styles worn by women throughout the decade.

Influences on Women's 1970s Hairstyles

Television & Film

Films stars were as influential as ever on fashion. For instance, there was Liza Minelli’s short feathered cut in Cabaret (1972). Jane Fonda had an androgynous shag hairstyle in Klute (1971) – a hairstyle seen in various forms throughout the decade.

Television was a popular source of entertainment, and the TV set was often the focal point of the home. Subsequently, TV had a big influence on people’s lives, fashion choices and attitudes.

Farrah Fawcett-Majors was one massive influence on late-1970s hair. Ah, the lovely Farrah hit our screens in 1976 courtesy of Charlie’s Angels. With her long, feather cut and big flicked sides – known as the Farrah Flick – she was the poster girl of many teen bedrooms. And Dads didn’t mind a jot!

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (2)
Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (3)
(Video) 1970's Makeup and Hair Tutorial | Vintage Guide for Army Girls 1970

Nostalgia

Nostalgia was a big thing in the 1970s, leading to a whimsical look back to various periods, especially the 1920s to the 1940s. Looking to the past can be seen in fashion, TV shows, films, and music.

For example, several films were set during the 1920s, including The Boy Friend (1971) with Twiggy and The Great Gatsby (1974) with Mia Farrow, who kept the evergreen bob in fashion.

Music

Music and fashioncontinued to hold hands. The 1970s sounds of glam rock, disco, funk, northern soul, new wave and punk each had their signature looks and style.

Punkswere out to shock with cropped hair, shaved heads and crazy-coloured sculptures, such as Mohicans, horns and spikes.

Influential women in music includeDonna Summer(numerous wigs and looks, but always glam and fashionable),Cher,Debbie Harry(bleached blonde with a fringe),BarbraStreisandandSiouxsie Sioux(spiked black hair), among many, many others.

Hairdressers

Hairdresserscreated a few styles during the decade that were copied by many. Some can even still be seen today, albeit with a modern update.

The shag, as seen on Jane Fonda inKlute, is credited to hairdresser Paul McGregor.

British hairdresser Trevor Sorbie createdthe wedgein 1974 – a short, layered and angular style.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (4)

Popular Women's Hairstyles of the 1970s

The Afro

Hairstyles that encouraged the black community to embrace their natural hair structure continued to be popular in the 1970s. After emerging in the 1960s, predominantly as part of the black pride movement, the afro continued its rise in popularity.

During the 1970s, the afro was as much about being fashionable as it was political. It was worn by both sexes throughout the decade, mainly by African-Americans and the black community.

However, other ethnic groups wore it. It also gave people with very curly hair an alternative to the uniform long, straight hair look.

Perming allowed Caucasian hair to have tight curls. From the mid-1970s onwards, various men and women (including the famous, like Barbra Streisand) had this take on an afro.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (5)

The Ape

(Video) 10 unique & antique hairstyles with in 1 donut | quick hairstyles | try on hairstyles | hairstyle

The Ape was an early 1970s style that consisted of shorter hair on top combined with longer hair at the back. It also had lots of layering throughout the whole hair, giving the hair a shaggy look. It fell out of fashion by about 1972.

Asymmetrical Styles

In the late 1970s, creating an asymmetrical look was popular. It could be anything from a ponytail on one side of the head or waves dressed up and out on one side. This trend continued into the 1980s.

Cornrows

Cornrows are created when the hair is plaited flat to the scalp, either in straight rows or a myriad of intricate patterns.It’s a style that requires no relaxers or other harsh chemicals. Long braided hair can have the ends secured with elastic bands and decorated with beads, flowers or shells.

Cornrows are an ancient and traditional way of styling hair in Africa and for African-descended people worldwide. They became fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s due to the black pride movement.

Cornrows also became somewhat well-known in the mainstream media when bikini-clad beauty Bo Derek wore braids decorated with beads in the 1979 film 10.

Not all black women had cornrows or an afro.Wigswere still a popular alternative, styled in various short and long fashionable looks.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (6)

A flicked-back fringe created wings – named after the wing shape created by the side of the face.

Flicks could go all the way around the bottom of shorter hair, creating a circle of volume. The crown and top of the hair were left straight.

Flicks and wings were created with the new breed of heated styling tools, as well as rollers and tongs. Some women opted for a perm to create a curl, which was easy to flick out.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (7)

Long Curled Hair

Long and mid-length hair in the 1970s could be roller-set or permed to form large, soft and bouncy-looking curls. The volume and curl normally started about halfway down the length of the hair.

Long Straight Hair

Long and centre-parted straight hair had been in vogue since the late 1960s – and its popularity continued right through the 1970s.

It is a very commonly seen women’s 1970s hairstyle, especially with the younger generation and teenage schoolgirls. Long hair was also popular with celebrities, including actresses Peggy Lipton (who appeared in the hit TV series Mod Squad) and Ali MacGraw.

Mohicans & All Things Punk

Punk has its rightful place in 1970s hair history, despite not being followed by the masses.

Whether hair was short, spiked, shaved, or sculpted, the punk look was the opposite of any style classed as ordinary. It was a look created by rebellious youths and emerged in the UK in late 1976.

Some styles mixed long hair with shaved areas, like Mohicans and horns. Alternatively, wearers went for a full-on skinhead (a revival of a 1950s style), though girls often left their fringe and side sections longer.

Mohicans and spiky hair defied gravity. Everyday household products like eggs, sugar water, soap or gelatine (plus shop-bought gels and hairsprays) created the upright structures.

The most commonly seen hair colours were jet black (like Siouxsie Sioux) or bleached blonde (like Debbie Harry from Blondie). However, punk also brought coloured hair to the streets – and anything went.

Bright colours were created by using professional products like Crazy Color, a range of neon colours launched in 1977, or everyday items like food colourings. Even products like Kool-Aid and Kia-Ora were colourants.Text and patterns were also put into the hair.

(Video) 60's hair curl inspiration🔥
Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (8)

The Purdey & The Pageboy

The pageboy had been a popular hairstyle for many decades. British actress Joanna Lumley wore this bowl-like version of a pageboy in her role as Purdey for the TV show The New Avengers (1976-77). Hence, it was known (in the UK at least) as a “Purdey” and was a popular women’s 1970s hairstyle.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (9)

The Shag

Hairdresser Paul McGregor is credited as having created the shag haircut for Jane Fonda’s character Bree Daniels in the filmKlute(1971).

It is a unisex, no frills cut that involved evenly-progressing layers with graduated sides and a full fringe.

The shag was a popular 1970s hairstyle for both sexes. Many women wore it, including Joan Jett, Suzi Quatro and Gillian Blake (from a UK TV show for children calledFollyfoot).

A much longer and more wavy version of the shag was calledthe gypsy cut, as seen on singerStevie Nicks.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (10)

The Stack Perm

Perming became more popular later in the decade, creating looks from tight curls to more bubble-like creations. One perm that was so 1970s was thestack perm.

A stack perm involved perming the middle and lower parts of long hair, leaving the crown area untouched.

Lots of small perm rods were stacked away from the head on things like chopsticks. It resulted in a mass of tight, smallish curls around the ends and length of the hair, while remaining straight on top around the crown area. In short, it created a halo of curls.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (11)

The Wedge

(Video) 70S Hairstyles For Long Hair

Vidal Sassoon protégé Trevor Sorbie created the angular-looking wedge haircut in 1974. The short haircut had steep-angled layers cut all around the sides and back, creating a triangular shape that was smooth on top.

One famous wearer of a wedge was American figure skater Dorothy Hamill. In 1976, she won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics – and women across America wanted a haircut just like the sweetheart of skating.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (12)

Hair Colouring

The use of hair colour had grown over the decades and home dyes were big business. Even “salon techniques” like highlighting were possible to attempt at home with kits like Clairol’s Quiet Touch.

Highlighting was popular and could be achieved by several techniques, including using a tail comb to weave the hair onto foils – a recently developed hairdressing technique. The activation time was made quicker by placing a heated double-sided flat iron on the foil packets.

Frosting was a technique used to create a natural sun-kissed highlighted look on brown and blonde hair. A bleaching product was painted lightly onto the hair with a narrow brush.

Concerns over the ingredients used in hair colours and links to cancer emerged in the 1970s. Colours that were more “natural” were introduced to the market and used vegetable dyes rather than harmful coal tar dyes. For example, Revlon had Colorsilk, the first hair colour without ammonia. The all-natural henna was being used more in the Western world, especially as red tints were popular.

Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (13)
Women's 1970s Hairstyles: An Overview - Hair & Makeup Artist Handbook (14)

Hairstyling Tools

Flicks, wings and curlsneeded the right hair tools. Hair tool brands were branching out from the simple curling iron or blow dryer to answer the hairstyling needs of the decade.

Multi-purpose hairdryerscould do it all, including the super orange Supermax made by Gillette. It came with various comb and brush attachments to create all those women’s 1970s hairstyles.

Find Out More

Sources:
Corson, R. (2000).Fashions in Hair: The First Five Thousand Years.Peter Owen.
Inness, Sherrie A. (2003).Disco Divas: Women and Popular Culture in the 1970s. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Sherrow, V. (2001).For Appearances' Sake: The Historical Encyclopedia of Good Looks, Beauty and Grooming.Greenwood Press.

FAQs

How do you do 70s hairstyle? ›

The one thing i do is just section the top bit and then any curls that i do i make sure i just curl

What color hair was popular in the 70s? ›

In the 70s, color was just important as style. Just as the vibrant mod clothing trends of the 60s were replaced by browns and neutrals, women adopted frosty blonde highlights to breathe new life into dark brown base shades.

What was the most popular hairstyle in 1972? ›

1972 - 1974: Fringes got a '70s update with a longer and sleeker style than the shorter bangs of the '60s. Natural, face-framing layers pointed to the soft, natural vibe that this decade was remembered for in terms of beauty trends.

What was the women's hairstyles in the 70s? ›

Some of the most popular 70s haircuts are the shag, curtain bangs, flipped hair, hair with rollers, the beehive, and disco-inspired hairstyles.

What was a popular shampoo in the 70s? ›

1. Farrah Fawcett Shampoo. When you think of hair in the 1970s, only one person's name comes to mind: Farrah Fawcett. So it's only fitting that the television star had her own shampoo line with Fabergé.

What hair accessories were popular in the 70s? ›

Besides headbands, hair scarves and bandannas were worn by hippies and mods alike. Additional hair accessories include flower clips, sparkling barrettes, and combs. The 70s Afro or long hairstyle may require a good wig to create the iconic looks.

What are 70s colors called? ›

Earth tones dominate in this era as the “earth movement” begins in earnest in 1970 with the first Earth Day. Beige, rust, avocado, harvest gold, mustard yellow, earthy brown play together in patterns and solids. Appliances take on these colors as well.

What was the most popular hairstyle in 1975? ›

The Most Popular Hairstyle The Year You Were Born
  • 1974-75: down the middle and to the shoulders. ...
  • 1976: the epic bowl cut. ...
  • 1977-78: Farrah Fawcett's feathered locks. ...
  • 1975-79: the natural hair movement. ...
  • 1980-84: such a tease. ...
  • 1985-89: curls and perms. ...
  • 1987-89: that mullet, though. YouTube. ...
  • 1990-93: keeping it simple. Getty Images.
11 Aug 2020

What was the most popular hairstyle in 1978? ›

By 1978, Debbie Harry's iconic platinum-blonde hair became a trend that would sweep through the country throughout the 1980s. With the disco era in full swing, women were keen on copying singer Donna Summer's gorgeous curly bangs.

What is the most sought after hair? ›

“The 2021 Hair Report” from Cosmetify breaks down the most searched hair trends over the past 12 months. The Mullet. According to the report, the mullet was the most searched hairstyle in the past year, with more than 15.5 million searches, which is a 142% increase from the previous year.

How do you do 70s hairstyles with rollers? ›

2 DIFFERENT LOOKS USING HOT ROLLERS - YouTube

How do you get the 70s blowout look? ›

70's shag hair blowout tutorial - YouTube

How do you do 70s hair flip? ›

70's Hair Flip Challenge | Milabu - YouTube

What is a 70s fringe? ›

Full, thick and swishy, it's a haircut that makes a relaxed statement, with very little effort from you. It's dramatic, but not in a shouty way. And since the style itself is notorious for its ability to be swept off to either side. You can go full lash-sweeping one day, then tuck it towards your ears the next.

What are 70s bangs called? ›

The Farrah, a hairstyle named after '70s actress Farrah Fawcett who popularlized the look, has made a come back in recent months, marked by voluminous soft curls and fringed curtain bangs. “It's a fringe that I love. This '70s style, longer and lighter in the center of the bangs," reveals hairdresser Celso Kamura.

Why did everyone have long hair in the 70s? ›

Longer hair in general remained popular due to the youth rebellion throughout the liberal decade of the 1960s. The long hair trend grew with the spread of the hippie movement in the 1960s and, in the 1970s, longer hair styles would become the norm among men and women.

What is the oldest shampoo in the world? ›

The first version of liquid shampoo (still “soap”) was invented in 1927 by Hans Schwarzkopf. Since 1927, liquid has been the most common form factor for hair cleansing. It was not until 1933 that Hans Schwarzkopf created a soap-free liquid.

What did people wash their hair with before shampoo? ›

Hair History: How Did They Wash Hair Before Shampoo? - YouTube

Does Prell shampoo still exist? ›

It was pulled from the market in 2009, after Prestige Brands sold Prell, along with anti-dandruff shampoo Denorex, to Ultimark.

What were trends in the 1970s? ›

Popular styles included bell bottom pants, frayed jeans, midi skirts, maxi dresses, Tie dye, peasant blouses, and ponchos. Some accessories that will help pull together your early '70s Hippie outfits are chokers, headbands, scarves, and jewelry made of wood, stones, feathers, and beads.

What is hippy hair called? ›

What is hippie hair called? Hippie braids are one more name for bohemian box braids, which are simply box braids with undone ends.

Did they wear headbands in the 70s? ›

1970's Style Headbands

70's headband styles became all about glamour and luxury. Many women wore rhinestone encrusted retro style headbands in their hair during this time period.

What are 70s dresses called? ›

The mini shift dress, jumper dress, drop waist dress, and tunic dress were still trendy dress styles in the early 70s. Sleeveless jumper dresses were worn over short or long sleeve shirts in winter with high knee socks. Drop waist shift dresses and button front sheath dresses gave a nod back to the 1920s flapper era.

What does the 70s style look like? ›

Hippie Look

Popular early 1970s fashions for women included Tie dye shirts, Mexican 'peasant' blouses, folk-embroidered Hungarian blouses, ponchos, capes, and military surplus clothing. Bottom attire for women during this time included bell-bottoms, gauchos, frayed jeans, midi skirts, and ankle-length maxi dresses.

What was the design style of the 70s? ›

Many homes had massive windows, spiral or “floating” staircases, interior second-floor balconies and vaulted ceilings. Often the living room was spread out over multiple levels, sometimes with a sunken seating area. Think of the Brady Bunch home and you get the picture.

What is a vintage hairstyle? ›

Vintage haircuts are usually short and blunt or with minimal layering. However, a modern medium or even long cut can also be styled into a classy vintage short 'do like this bob for curly hair. It's actually curled this way, so you can try it even if your hair is not naturally curly. Source.

Which decade had the best hair? ›

A new survey has revealed that the 1980s were officially the most iconic decade for hair. The survey asked 2,000 American women about their hairstyle journeys throughout the years and found the '80s to be the best decade for 'dos.

What is a wedge haircut? ›

If you're looking for an easy-to-style haircut, you might want to ask your stylist for a wedge haircut. Similar to a bob or pixie cut, a wedge haircut is a short, layered haircut with a variety of lengths. Typically, it's cut very short at the nape of the neck and features longer layers by the face.

What was the most popular hairstyle in 1975? ›

The Most Popular Hairstyle The Year You Were Born
  • 1974-75: down the middle and to the shoulders. ...
  • 1976: the epic bowl cut. ...
  • 1977-78: Farrah Fawcett's feathered locks. ...
  • 1975-79: the natural hair movement. ...
  • 1980-84: such a tease. ...
  • 1985-89: curls and perms. ...
  • 1987-89: that mullet, though. YouTube. ...
  • 1990-93: keeping it simple. Getty Images.
11 Aug 2020

Why was long hair so popular in the 70s? ›

Longer hair in general remained popular due to the youth rebellion throughout the liberal decade of the 1960s. The long hair trend grew with the spread of the hippie movement in the 1960s and, in the 1970s, longer hair styles would become the norm among men and women.

Was straight hair popular in the 70s? ›

Straight and Sleek

Born from the hippie movement, long, straight hair became highly fashionable during the '70s.

What hair accessories were popular in the 70s? ›

Besides headbands, hair scarves and bandannas were worn by hippies and mods alike. Additional hair accessories include flower clips, sparkling barrettes, and combs. The 70s Afro or long hairstyle may require a good wig to create the iconic looks.

What is the most sought after hair? ›

“The 2021 Hair Report” from Cosmetify breaks down the most searched hair trends over the past 12 months. The Mullet. According to the report, the mullet was the most searched hairstyle in the past year, with more than 15.5 million searches, which is a 142% increase from the previous year.

What is the most popular hairstyle ever? ›

Coming out on top in a whopping 52 countries worldwide including the UK, USA, Belgium and Germany, and with a lead of over 135,000 searches, it was a clear victory for the world's most popular hairstyle, which we can reveal to be… the bob!

Can a 70 year old woman wear long hair? ›

Although many ladies go with shorter styles as they age, there's no reason senior ladies' hairstyles can't be long. Be true to your style, and choose cuts and styling methods that are flattering for your hair type for a beautiful look.

Did people dye their hair in the 70s? ›

While in the 1950s only 4-7% of American women dyed their hair, by the 1970s, the figure had risen to some 40%.

What is a wedge haircut? ›

If you're looking for an easy-to-style haircut, you might want to ask your stylist for a wedge haircut. Similar to a bob or pixie cut, a wedge haircut is a short, layered haircut with a variety of lengths. Typically, it's cut very short at the nape of the neck and features longer layers by the face.

What style was Marilyn Monroe's hair? ›

Whenever you see a photo of Marilyn Monroe, you'll notice her signature bright blond bouncy curls. They were as much a part of her appeal as her beauty mark, red lipstick, and iconic outfits.

What is a vintage hairstyle? ›

Vintage haircuts are usually short and blunt or with minimal layering. However, a modern medium or even long cut can also be styled into a classy vintage short 'do like this bob for curly hair. It's actually curled this way, so you can try it even if your hair is not naturally curly. Source.

Which decade had the best hair? ›

A new survey has revealed that the 1980s were officially the most iconic decade for hair. The survey asked 2,000 American women about their hairstyle journeys throughout the years and found the '80s to be the best decade for 'dos.

Did people wear braids in the 70s? ›

Aside from hair scarves, thin, braided headbands were another popular hippie hair accessory in the '70s.

Is straight hair the rarest hair type? ›

Type 1: Straight Hair

Type 1A hair is very straight and fine, with no hint of wave or curl. As it is so straight and fine, when the natural oils travel to the ends, it tends to cause it to look like oily hair. It is the rarest hair type and is common among women of Asian descent.

How do you do 70s bangs? ›

how i style my hair :3 (70's shag & bangs) + EASY ... - YouTube

Videos

1. 70S Hairstyles How To
(Sudha Nelavanka)
2. Hairstyles Of The 70S
(Srinivasarao Biriyani)
3. Beautiful Hairstyle hack 😱 |Hair crazy hack | The best Hair 🤯 #shorts #hairstyle
(The Hair Vibes)
4. MAQUILLAGE DE 1960 - Mod (tutorial) | Laurence Carbonneau
(Laurence Carbonneau)
5. 1950's Makeup | Vintage Tutorial by Ern Westmore 1951
(glamourdaze)
6. How To Do 70S Hairstyles
(Srinivasarao Biriyani)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated: 01/07/2023

Views: 5875

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.