The Most Iconic Hairstyles of All Time
From vintage curls that take us back to Old Hollywood to choppy layers that take us back the 90s, some iconic hair moments throughout history that have made their lasting mark. Famous bobs, pixies, and bangs have found their way into salons as haircut inspirations that take over entire decades. “The Rachel” dominated the 1990s. The 1960s had an impressive lineup with Mia Farrow’s pixie, Jackie Kennedy’s bouffant, and Diana Ross’ volume. We relish (and cringe at) some 70s and 80s haircuts, ranging from Jane Fonda’s jarring helmet shag to Princess Diana’s soft feather-swept bangs. And then our personal favorites: the ultimate classics. We still dream of Grace Kelly’s silky blonde curls, Jane Birkin’s Parisian-cool bangs, and Audrey Hepburn’s sky-high chignon. These ladies are the style icons that have defined generations, and continue to lend inspiration for our modern beauty trends. Take a trip down memory lane with the most iconic hairstyles of all time.
Here Are Some Of Our Favorites:
These looks defined decades.
Louise Brooks was the iconic symbol of the 20s flapper style—and the super-short sleek bob with bangs that was popular during the era. As a successful silent film actress, she inspired the country with her flawless hair and beauty looks.
We can’t ignore the ultimate Southern lady herself: Vivienne Leigh in Gone With The Wind. Her middle-parted, pinned back curls are a symbol of Southern glamor and femininity. If we’re trying to feel a little sassy, we’re definitely trying to channel Scarlett O’Hara.
This peekaboo cut was the signature 1940s style with brushed out curls and a deep side part that fell glamorously over one eye. The iconic style has inspired the Old Hollywood curls that stars still grace on the red carpet today.
If we could pick any 1950s style icon to emulate now and forever, it would be the elegant Grace Kelly, Hollywood starlet turned French royalty. Her swept-back, blonde curls never looked anything but classic. Zero frizz, perfect soft curls, and a flattering short length? We’ll never pass this style up.
Whether looking at her hair in 1960 or 2017, Diana Ross makes one thing known: volume, volume, and more volume! From long and wild to short and skyhigh, she isn’t afraid to go for it. We always remember her iconic stacked curls from the 60s and early 70s with the Supremes as the beauty’s most confident, signature style.
The First Lady coupled her classy 60s bouffant with fantastic jewels, brightly colored dresses, and chic pillbox hats. She grabbed the world’s attention with her style and beauty, making the bouffant style the go-to for the 1960s.
It’s hard to name an iconic hairstyle that Audrey Hepburn has not rocked throughout the decades—any pixie, bob, or bang looks amazing on her. But her most iconic style might have to be the elegant high chignon from Breakfast at Tiffany’s that led to a slew of copied updos from the 1960s to present day.
This iconic pixie cut wasn’t created by Vidal Sassoon (who typically gets recognition for the trail-blazing 60s hairstyle due to a scene in Rosemary’s Baby). Farrow actually cut her own locks with fingernail scissors beforehand, and her then-boyfriend, Frank Sinatra, loved how it looked. So she decided to stick with it!
The French actress shot to fame after appearing in And God Created Women, but kept her spot as a worldwide beauty icon with her dramatic liner, pouty lips, and—of course—those center-parted bangs and volume.
With her slick crop cut and envy-worthy lashes, Twiggy was dubbed a style icon after venturing to the United States in 1966. The iconic hairstyle was an experimental cut created by famed hairstylist Leonard of Mayfair and ended up giving Twiggy worldwide notoriety.
Marilyn Monroe was an icon in her own right, but her classic short hair helped her become a lifelong star. Her bouncy curls and blonde locks made her the flirty, fun girl everyone loved to watch on the big screen.
You can’t think of The Afro without the “Angela Davis Afro.” It’s the ultimate hair moment that encapsulated her spot in history.
Farrah Fawcett was the girl to be in the 1970s. Everyone lusted over her famed feathered locks and effortless cool-girl style.
Oh, we cringe at the iconic helmet-esque shag that became famous in Klute. Inspiringly enough, Jane Fonda said the cut empowered her by not following what men thought looked attractive (for her, long and blonde) and stepping outside the box.
Though Dolly has been rocking sky-high wigs since 1973, her signature look has always been pumped-up volume, icy blonde hair, and plenty of sass. No one can do Dolly hair, except for Dolly.
Birkin bangs are almost as widely known as the Birkin bag (an iconic Hermès bag named for Jane Birkin after sitting next to the designer on a flight). Women sought her Parisian-cool, effortless style throughout the 1970s, including her famous straight hair and full bangs.
Cher has never been afraid of making a hair statement, from her curtain of sleek dark hair to her whimsical wigs. But no one will ever forget her signature waist-length raven black hair with a straight middle part that graced the 1970s.
For much of the world, Princess Diana’s 80s hair with its shaggy cut and swept (almost feathered) bangs became the look of the decade. Paired with her blue eyeliner and show-stopping outfits, that cut was an iconic look.
This queen of melody couldn’t be more fearless when it comes to her hair, and she used it practically as a prop when performing, giving life to her songs with generous hair flips and swings. The most iconic hair moment for Tina Turner was the 80s, without question. Her mega-volume, mega-texture, and mega-layers made a grand entrance to any room. This was her “What’s Love Got To Do With It” era, which makes us love it even more.
This classic beauty can rock any hairstyle with her stunning hazel eyes, million-dollar smile, and epic talent; from Steel Magnolias to Pretty Woman, she’s solidified herself as an icon. Her most memorable look of wild auburn-tinted curls will never leave the hall of hair fame in our book, though!
This cut with its choppy layers and shaggy ends plagued the 90s after Jennifer Aniston rocked the style on Friends. She’s made it very clear that she despised the cut then and still does, but that didn’t stop everyone from bringing a picture to their hair stylists, making it the haircut of the decade.
Her famous 90s shag became an iconic cut that not even Meg Ryan herself could explain because it all started as an accident. When in France beginning to film French Kiss, her beloved hair stylist accidentally singed off a healthy chunk of hair with a curling iron—so cutting it choppy, short, and layered was an absolute must to cover it up, while attempting to look trendy.
Duchess Kate has stolen the title for royal beauty and grace. Her hair has rocked the world, appearance after appearance; and women follow her hair changes closer than we follow our mama’s biscuit recipe. Her hair is already iconic in its own right.