40 Dramatic Hairstyles From The ’60s That Totally Defined The Decade

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It’s fair to say that the 1960s are remembered for inventive fashion. And the experimental approach to dressing on display during this era also extended to hairstyles. Yes, the decade gave rise to ’dos as diverse as the beehive and the bob. Here we take a look at the 40 most iconic ones from the time.

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40. Asymmetrical hair

Short hair was popular in the 1960s, and one of the more unusual styles was the asymmetrical cut. This meant that the hair was longer on one side, just as the model in this fashion shoot from 1966 shows. The pioneer for much of this was the legendary Brit hairstylist, Vidal Sassoon, who brought the cut to the masses.

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39. Cher’s long locks

Cher first became famous as part of a double act with her husband Sonny Bono in the 1960s. And pretty soon, she had become somewhat of a style icon, thanks to her bohemian image. Part of her persona was her long, dark hair which perfectly framed her gravity-defying cheekbones and mascara-smattered eyes.

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38. Perfect curls

While sleek hairstyles had a moment in the 1960s, curls were by no way considered out of fashion. In fact, new electrical hair tools were making the perfect wave more accessible than ever. And what’s more, you could emulate the style from the comfort of your own home, without having to spend precious funds down at the salon.

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37. Messy updos

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During the 1960s youth culture sought to tear away from the conservative fashions of the 1950s to more free and easy styles. The need to let it all hang out was also reflected in hair, with messy, disheveled updos becoming an alternative to more polished looks, which may have garnered parental approval.

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36. Edie Sedgewick’s blonde hair and dark brows

Edie Sedgwick was an American aristocrat. But during the early 1960s she swapped her privileged life for the thriving art scene of downtown New York. And she soon became a muse for the artist Andy Warhol, with her bleached blonde hair and bold brows remaining an iconic look to this day.

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35. Jackie Kennedy’s bouffant

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It’s fair to say that Kennedy – alongside her president husband – is one of the enduring icons of the 1960s. And forming part of her image was her signature bouffant hair, often worn in a bob or brushed back style. It was so popular, that many American women requested the look at their local salon.

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34. Audrey Hepburn’s mini fringe

Over the years, Audrey Hepburn sported a number of different hairstyles, from long to short and everything in between. However, one of the actress’ most memorable styles was her short, micro fringe. The barely-there bangs made way for her shapely brows, doe eyes, and delicate bone structure which formed her iconic look.

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33. Jane Fonda’s side-swept hair

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Though Fonda had been acting from an early age, her career really took off in the 1960s. Furthermore, her iconic role in Barbarella ultimately made her into a sex symbol. Part of her allure was her bouncy blonde mane, which she often wore in soft curls and swept over to one side.

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32. Twiggy’s mod cut

British model Twiggy’s unique look not only defined the 1960s but continued to influence the fashion industry for the remainder of the 20th century. Her style was often described as “mod” in reference to the prominent youth culture movement at that time. And nothing encapsulated the fashion more than Twiggy’s short sleek hairdo.

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31. Marilyn Monroe’s iconic blonde hair

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Sadly, Monroe wouldn’t live to see much of the 1960s. She died in 1962 aged just 36. However, she still made her mark, memorably singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy just months before her passing. As usual, Monroe dazzled with her platinum blonde hair, a color that will forever be associated with the iconic actress.

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30. The Beatles’ mop-tops

While The Beatles’ hairdos might not seem that controversial today, back when the band became famous their mop-top locks were quite rebellious. The people at Time magazine didn’t appear to be fans of the boys’ floppy hair, calling them, “shaggy Peter Pans with … mushroom haircuts.” Yikes!

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29. Elizabeth Taylor’s curly bob

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One of Taylor’s most iconic roles was as Cleopatra in the 1963 film of the same name. But while she rocked a super straight style on set, off-camera it seems that she preferred a more natural style. Here she is seen sporting a windswept, curly bob, that looks just as timeless as some of her more polished ’dos.

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28. Brigitte Bardot’s bombshell mane

In the 1960s Bardot was described as somewhat of a “sex kitten.” And part of her glamour-puss image lay in her mass of blonde hair, which often looked like the French actress had come straight from the bedroom. Big hair was popular in the era and was thought to reflect increasingly liberal attitudes to sexuality.

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27. The beehive

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It’s impossible to talk about hairstyles of the 1960s without mentioning the beehive. The updo was created at the turn of the decade by Margaret Vinci Heldt, a stylish from Illinois. But despite its humble beginnings, the beehive captured the imagination of fashionistas everywhere and was sported by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield.

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26. Put a bow on it

Even the messiest locks can be transformed into something more elegant with the addition of the right accessories. During the 1960s, style icons added a touch of femininity to their disheveled ’dos by adding a simple bow. The look is executed here, to great effect, by the British model Jean Shrimpton.

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25. Half-up, half-down

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In the 1960s the bouffant came in all different kinds of variations. One of the chicest looks was the half-up, half-down style, which was often rocked by Bardot. The oomph needed for this ’do relied on a good, solid backcombing technique at the crown, which gave way to soft flowing lengths further down.

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24. Loretta Lynn’s country curls

Lynn was one of country music’s leading ladies. And as a pioneering female talent in the genre, she helped to define a template for how future singers might look and act. As part of this, she made bouncy curls the country standard, perhaps paving the way for further big-haired icons like Dolly Parton.

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23. Headbands

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The 1960s saw the emergence of the hippie counterculture. And while the members of this movement tended to prefer long, loose hair, they weren’t opposed to the odd accessory. One symbol of hippiedom was the simple headband, which was often made of leather or ribbons. Just don’t forget the funky pattern on the front.

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22. Teased ponytails

Ponytails were brought bang up to date following the girl-next-door, Sandra Dee look that was popular in the 1950s. The simple style was often worn low with a little volume at the crown. Alternatively, messy lengths were gathered at the top of the head to create a voluminous high pony, as seen on Bardot here.

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21. The flipped bob

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The flipped bob certainly enjoyed a big moment in the 1960s. Perhaps the most memorable proponent of the style was Elizabeth Montgomery, who starred as the magical Samantha in the sitcom Bewitched. Her bell-shaped style inspired a whole generation of women to try out the flick, cementing the ’dos place in hair history.

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20. The crop

When Jean-Luc Godard released his 1960 movie Breathless it was the American-born actress Jean Seberg who arguably stole the show. When she debuted her newly cropped locks in the film, she stunned audiences with the style. The look became known as the “La Seberg coup” in France and inspired other women to also shed their lengths.

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19. The Supremes’ bobs

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The Supremes’ highly-styled bobs were unmissable in the 1960s. However, the girl band’s straightened hair did cause some controversy. You see, African American fans of the group reportedly asked Diana Ross and co. to embrace their natural hair. However, the producer Berry Gordy was against such an idea, believing it could alienate the band’s white followers.

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18. The middle part

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were very much the it-couple of their time. During the 1960s, both of them wore their hair long and with a middle parting. The simple hairstyle is particularly synonymous with Lennon and Ono’s famous 1969 peace protest, which they memorably conducted from their bed.

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17. Ribbons

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Alongside headbands and bows, ribbons were also popular hair accessories during the 1960s. The look was particularly popular among the French style icons Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, who used them to bring a chic and feminine touch to their often unruly and bouffanted barnets.

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16. Raquel Welch’s big hair

Raquel Welch exploded onto the movie scene in 1966 when she emerged from the ocean wearing a furry bikini in One Million Years B.C.. She instantly became a sex symbol, and one of her signature assets was her mass of golden hair. Bombshells like Welch heralded in the era of big hair, which would continue well into the 1970s.

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15. Men with long hair

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Men weren’t immune from the hair trends of the time either. No doubt inspired by bands like The Beatles, The Doors and The Rolling Stones, the period saw boys embrace long lengths like never before. However, not everyone was a fan, with more conservative types even viewing long hair as a symbol of moral corruption.

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14. Joni Mitchell’s long straight locks

While some famous women from the era embraced big hair, others favored more streamlined looks. One fan of straight tresses was the singer Joni Mitchell, who wore her long locks with blunt bangs. The style worked particularly well for Mitchell, emphasizing her cut-glass cheekbones and big, doe eyes.

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13. Vidal Sassoon’s signature style

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Sassoon was a British hairdresser who revolutionized the industry in the 1950s and 1960s. Inspired by architecture, the stylist was famed for his geometric scissor cuts, including his famous five-point style. Sassoon is seen here working his magic on another icon of the time, fashion designer Mary Quant.

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12. Flower power

The hippie age was all about peace and love, and people involved in the cultural movement were sometimes known as “flower children.” Hippies preferred natural hairstyles, which they would often accessorize with flowers. The look was immortalized by Scott McKenzie’s 1967 hit song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair).”

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11. Marianne Faithfull’s long bangs

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Faithfull was a symbol of Swinging Sixties London. While she was a singer, she was just as known for her strong sense of style, which extended to her long, choppy bangs, and personified her rock and roll credibilities. The look helped to frame Faithfull’s eyes, which often sported a slick of black eyeliner.

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10. The Jeannie

After Barbara Eden was cast as a 2000-year-old genie-in-a-bottle in the popular 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie she captivated audiences with her clear beauty and charm. Part of her appeal was her oversized blonde updo, which set the bar in terms of gravity-defying hairstyles forevermore.

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9. Goldie Hawn’s pageboy cut

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Actress Goldie Hawn’s big break came in the 1960s when she appeared on the variety show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. At the time, she was sporting a choppy pageboy hairstyle that perfectly suited her quirky personality and injected some fresh-out-of-bed sex appeal into her look.

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8. Jean Shrimpton’s blowout with bangs

In many ways, Jean Shrimpton’s glamorous ’do incorporated many of the hair trends occurring at the time. The model achieved her signature tresses by adding volume at the crown – a la bouffant – and flipping the ends. Meanwhile, she also championed a lash-grazing fringe which framed her gorgeous features.

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7. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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When Hepburn stepped out during the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a cinematic icon was born. Her character Holly Golightly became a style inspiration in her own right. And her signature look consisted of a little black dress, sunglasses and an elegant French twist hairstyle, complete with tiara.

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6. Angela Davis’ afro

Activist Angela Davis was a major player in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, after successfully fighting an unfair dismissal case against UCLA and later being acquitted of murder. A powerful symbol of her resistance was her hair. That’s because she wore it in a natural afro rather than styling to mimic more accepted looks favored by white women.

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5. Ursula Andress’ beach hair

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Andress was not only the first-ever Bond girl – appearing in Dr. No. in 1962 – but she’s also one of the most iconic. Her first scene in the movie saw her emerge from the ocean in a white bikini with a shell in hand. From that moment on, she epitomized the meaning of beach style, in the 1960s and beyond.

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4. Janis Joplin’s unkempt style

While Joplin’s tangled mess may have raised a few eyebrows among the older generation, her laid back approach to hair would become a symbol of rebel chic for years to come. In fact, Joplin has been nicknamed the “first lady of rock ‘n’ roll.” So it seems that there’s no overstating her influence on the genre.

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3. Grace Kelly’s headscarves

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Another accessory to gain prominence in the 1960s was the humble headscarf. Actress-turned-princess Kelly was certainly a fan of the look and even had a style of tying a scarf named in her honor. In order to achieve the “Kelly,” the fabric should be placed over the head and wrapped around the neck, before being secured at the back.

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2. Jane Birkin’s wispy bangs

While Birkin was born in England, she is forever associated with French chic after making the country her adopted home. Part of her nonchalant approach to style was displayed in her hair, which she wore with wispy bangs. The ’do has since become associated with a cool-girl aesthetic that many have tried to emulate.

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1. Long and loose

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This free and easy hairstyle was pioneered by folk singer and arguably the original hippie girl, Joan Baez. However, by the end of the 1960s long hair had become synonymous with the hippie counter-culture. At the time, society dictated that short, neat hairstyles were the standard. So growing your tresses was the perfect way to rebel.

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