4/6/11

Fads #16: Big Hair

B&W portrait

Once America pulled itself out of The Great Depression and the boys were home from WWII, women started wearing elaborate time-intensive hairstyles; notably the beehive and the bouffant (popularized by Jackie Kennedy).  Throughout the sixties, the sky was the limit to how high a woman could pile her 'do.

Among the younger generation, a more flat hippie style became trendy... but it didn't last long.  The seventies certainly had its share of big hair, most notably among southerners and country music singers (i.e. Dolly Parton)

Amazingly, the big-ass hair kept on truckin' through the 1980's.  Of course, the bouffant and beehive were long gone, but enormous hairspray drenched mounds of hair were as synonymous with the decade as skinny ties and Ray-Bans. It's interesting that the big hair thing finally died when guys started sporting them, most visibly among glam rock bands like Poison.

Since then, I don't think big hair has made any sort of comeback (although it still may be in effect in parts of New Jersey).  I must admit that I kind of like the big hair look, but I understand it was a hassle, and like most things these days, quick and easy is the name of the game.

Well, in honor of those bygone days of mountainous hairstyles, I've got some nice photographic relics for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.


B&W portrait

unknown woman

Shopping at Haber's

Shopping at Haber's



1970s musicians: Mel Bobbie and Larry

1970s musicians/entertainers



Hair X 4

And, lest we forget, white chicks weren't the only ones with the big hair...

At the Office

16 comments:

  1. OMG I am in big hair ecstasy....would you mind if I link to this post on my blog? I'm a big hair fan,and these pix are lighting my fire bigtime!!!

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  2. My mother was a groovy big hair junkie. She made it look effortless, but honestly, I don't know where she found the time for this look. I can still recall the smell of the hairspray and just how much she overdosed on it to hold these looks. I hope this never sees a revival...

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  3. I would say the bump-it and Sarah Palin hair shows a marked turn toward the big hair fad. Sadly.

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  4. I miss the big-hair days...every Saturday my mom would drop me off at "Good News" (newsstand, comic books) while she went to the beauty parlor to get her hair done. I'd get my weekly books then walk down there & gag on Aqua-Net while all the ladies were getting their hair pumped.

    FYI, my dad was a country music singer & often performed with big names. Here's a link to a picture from 1972 of my Mom & Dolly Parton with their platinum dos!

    https://picasaweb.google.com/edougmorris/MyFamilyPresentPast#5524033702269331154

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  5. I have an old photo of my aunt when she was a teenager (need to find it) where she is sporting an Annette Funicello-like hairstyle. Would fit in perfectly with your collection of big-hair
    photos.

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  6. Awesome. I remember these Hoover Dams of hair. They were spectacular feats of engineering.

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  7. @apachedug: Man, those are some great pictures. Seriously. It's so cool to have a little window into someone's life like that.

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  8. "FYI, my dad was a country music singer & often performed with big names. Here's a link to a picture from 1972 of my Mom & Dolly Parton with their platinum dos!"

    AWESOME!!!!!

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  9. I checked out the pics, apachedug. Mighty impressive to be able to have hair so massive it can match up against Dolly. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Thanks guys, thanks Gilligan--I am honored, sir! Honored!

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  11. I love the big hair of the late 70s, through the 80s.

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  12. Damn! That's some big hair!!!

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  13. Love the beehive! fab!

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  14. Guy on left of pic #7 looks life Javier Bardem from No County For Old Men.

    (His hairstyle in that movie was copied from a photo of guys known to visit prostitutes in the late 70s. In 2006, Bardem remarked with a haircut like that, he wouldn't get laid for three months)

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  15. The wonderful days of big hair. I am a southern girl and piled it as high as I possibly could. However it did get to be a bit tiresome doing it every week. When I left the big hair scene I started doing the blow dry thing and it is much easier and takes a lot less time. I do look back at the days of big hair and think about the good times. Who knows, maybe I will try it again some day.

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    Replies
    1. I loved the big-hair look. My wife teased her hair for many years. Later she wore a big wig that made it much easier for her to style and put on and take off.

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