The Evolution of hairstyles XX to XXI.

The Evolution of hairstyles XX to XXI.

The Evolution of Hairstyles

Hairstyles will always have a prominent position, be them an excessive narcissistic vanity exercise or a simple everyday care.  In fact, when their hair grows and loses their shape or desired tone, women feel that part of their beauty and identity is lost. 

An appointment with a professional hair stylist will then re-establish their lost confidence.

The strength of this phylogenetic matrix is expressed by the universal importance by which hair is invested both affectively and sexually.  The importance of hair remits to the tales of the creation of the world and even in myths and fairy tales it is always highlighted. And it will continue to be present as an important and constantly changing cultural element; like the dream that expresses the desires and conflicts of a culture.

The Turn of the 20th Century

The Pompadour hairdo (bulky forelock on the top of the head) originated in the 18th century when Madame de Pompadour (thus the name) used to dress her hair in this elegant style. Historians point to the fact that women used to wear this hairdo in order to highlight their status, that is to say, their nobility status was equivalent to the height of their hairdo.  The Pompadour was brought back into modernity by the Gibson Girl in the beginning of the 20th century.

The Gibson Girl was a cartoon created by Charles Dana Gibson in 1890. She represented an ideal to every woman and was the dream of every men.  She was the spirit of the early 20th Century, encapsulating ‘fashion, beauty and social success’. The Gibson Girl influenced early 1900’s society (upswept hair). 


Marthe Lahovary, Bibesco Princess, French writer, represents the turn of the 20th century.


The 20’s

After the first world war, the roles changed and women now became part of the labour force in factories and industry. It was a time marked by very short hair, the waves allowed then to be either tamed or rebellious. A band could be worn to keep the fringe on the forehead. The popular hair style is the ‘à la garçonne’ which means like a boy.



Coco Chanel, stylist, listed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th Century. Strongly influenced fashion in the 20’s.

The 30’s

The hair was still worn short, although a bit longer than in the preceding decade, and were modulated and wavy. The ladies were more concerned with the clothes that they wore. Cinema had a strong influence on fashion, and it brought in the platinum blond hair. The hair was whitened with the use of oxygenated water and curled with the aid of a hair iron.



Bette Davis, often considered the best actress of all times represents the 30’s


The 40’s

This was a time of great conflicts. The Second World War lasted from 1939 to 1945, involved many nations and changed the course of history. In times of war the hairstyle always becomes more masculine.

With the end of the war, fashion begins to reflect the current economic and political situation.

Curls are a symbol of romanticism very appreciated at that time. Femininity is expressed with broad and carefully controlled curls. The hair is now kept longer than the previous decade. Hairstylists were not very common at that time, so women used clips to hold their hair into clusters. Kerchiefs were very popular then as well as hats. These were very rich and elaborate in many different styles at times a bit excessive with veils and flowers. A highlight of this time is the Banana Chignon.



Veronica Lake, great American actress famous for playing roles of femme fatales in the 40’s


The 50’s

This decade was marked by the advances of the cosmetic industry with the introduction of hair dyes and new techniques in lights which made women become more dependent on hair stylists from that time. Pony tails, different chignons and fringes begin to appear and this lends a youthful air to the golden years.



Audrey Hepburn renowned actress and humanitarian ambassador, celebrated in the golden years of the 50’s.


The 60’s

The hair now will be designed to attract attention; the more structured hairdos demanded a bold visual input from the hair professional. This is the decade of women’s liberation and sexual freedom and this is reflected in several kinds if fringes and lots of hair volume on the head top. A highlight of the time was the geometric styles of Vidal Sasoon. 




No one represents the 60’s better than Jackie Kennedy. Besides being the American first lady, she is also remembered for her contributions to the arts and the preservation of historical architecture and for always conducting herself with style and grace.  


The 70’s

Farrah Fawcett was a big star at this time and the actress’ hair was envied by many women. The ‘wind blow’ showcases the movement and lightness of the hair and changed the history of the hairstyles. For the first-time women invested in styling equipment because in order to have their hair similar to Farrah’s it was necessary to have hair driers and modelling brushes in order to get waves and lots of volume.

Highlights of the time were the Black Power style, colourful ribbons and the hippie influence.   




Farrah Fawcett 70’s


The 80’s

In the decade of Pop which is characterized by excess, it could not be different with hairstyles.  Lots of volumes and curls, or straight with a twist, the hairstyles were like very successful experiments. Hair gel became popular as well as kerchiefs and elastic bands. Hair spray has a strong role and blond hair and short fringes are worn by many women. The frizzy hair becomes very popular.




It’s impossible to talk about the 80’s without mentioning the fabulous Madonna.

The 90’s

Fashion in this decade values a more individual style and respects diversity and individuality. There is now a concern with health and a shiny appearance is desired, a cleaner look that respects the natural flair of each individual person’s hair. There is an infinity of approaches, the hair now can be worn long or short, straight or with more volume, blond or auburn, all is permitted. By the end of the decade there was a fever for straight hair brought about by the Japanese definitive brush. 





Beyoncé, American actress, singer and composer, renowned for her hits and for changing  to a new and different hair style in record times (Years 1990’s)


The years 2000

The natural colours are now de rigueur. The natural waves are a favourite until the appearance of the progressive brush (in 2003). A close cousin of the Japanese brush, it was born in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and quickly won over women. Soon after that the Californian highlights appeared and, although it has changed names all the time, it is still a true favourite. 

The world lives an experimental period in the arts, technology and fashion. With the maxim that ‘nothing is created and all is copied’ there is no end to experimentalism, the combinations and the re-reading of past influences and styles.






Avril Lavigne, cantora e compositora canadense, representando a forte tendência aos cabelos extremamente lisos no início dos anos 2000.

A evolução do penteado (séculos XX e XXI).

Jacy Maryoh