Friday, 11 March 2016


The stereotypical view of a 1970’s hairstyle for both sexes, particularly if many present day fancy dress outfitters are to be taken as read, is normally something along the lines of the ‘long haired hippie look’ or maybe an ‘Afro’.  In reality however, there were a whole range of differing styles for men and women that became fashionable during this decade, driven to popularity by the various celebrities of the time, just as is the case with today’s popular hairstyles. 


THE SHAG - (early to mid 1970s) – A heavily layered unisex cut as worn for example by Jane Fonda in the film Klute (1971), or by rock chick Suzy Quatro.


THE BOB - (early 1970s) – A 1920’s flapper inspired short haired look, either straight or wavy and as worn for example by Twiggy in the film, The Boy Friend (1971).


THE PAGE BOY - (mid 1970s) – A short to mid length (just below the ear) cut, heavily straightened and curled under.  A slightly shorter version of this style was heavily influenced by Joanna Lumley in The New Avengers - This also became affectionately known as ‘The Purdey cut’ in the UK, after the action heroine character she played in the TV series.


THE AFRO – A very tightly curled unisex style - This remained popular right throughout the 1970s and although it’s origins lay firmly within the Afro American / Black communities, it also became a popular style for fashion conscious individuals of many racial backgrounds during that decade, who wanted their long hair tightly permed into an Afro style.  Think of Diana Ross, Candi Staton, Barbara Streisand etc.


THE BUBBLE PERM - (late 1970s) was a unisex, much softer variation on the Afro style perm, famously worn for example by Raquel Welch and Anni-Frid Lygstad of Abba.


THE GYPSY CUT - (early to mid 1970s) – A unisex cut, similar to the shag but with a longer length and sometimes with waves.  As worn by Joan Jett or Gillian Blake, who played Dora Maddocks, the central girl character in the UK children’s TV series Follyfoot, which was popular at the time.


THE WEDGE - (mid 1970s) – A shorter style with steeply angled layers to the back and sides but with longer length on the top - The pretty US Olympic champion ice skater, Dorothy Hamill, was a huge influence for this style.


FLICKS AND WINGS - (mid to late 1970s) – These referred to the exaggerated  flicked out 'big hair' styling details, seen on both mid length and long hair – The style was particularly influenced by Farrah Fawcett Majors in the hit TV series Charlie’s Angels and entailed more than a little effort to create, not to mention a lot of hairspray to maintain!  Some girls would opt for having their flicks and wings ‘permed’ in, so as to make life a little easier.


THE STACK PERM - (mid to late 1970s) – This consisted of straight hair at the top leading into a mass of tight curls  arranged into a circular (halo) fashion from the mid length down.

PUNK STYLES - (late 1970s - Unisex) – Causing extreme controversy at the time, Punk hairstyles, fashions and music, were aimed at defying what was perceived to be the predictability and capitalist excesses of mainstream music, or even everyday society – Little would Punk’s youthful aficionados have known then, that they had created such a unique style (and culture explosion), that in due course it would become integrated and even accepted into the very fabric of a fashion loving world, that they had initially sought so hard to rebel against!!!  At their most extreme, Punk hairstyles focussed on creating maximum impact, with severe looking spiked hair, cone shapes, Mohican combs, strong colouring and head shaving being the order of the day.  Girls such as Toyah Wilcox and Siouxsie Sioux were a driving force for this look.



THE SHAG - (early to mid 1970s) – Unisex as detailed in Girls Styles above and worn for example by Rod Stewart or The Bay City Rollers, fronted by Les McKeown.


THE GYPSY CUT - (early to mid 1970s) – Unisex as detailed in the Girls Styles above - Think of David Cassidy or Chris Norman, lead singer in the band Smokie.


THE AFRO – Unisex as detailed in Girls Styles above – Think of The Jacksons, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Lynne, Phil Lynott and Leo Sayer etc.


THE BUBBLE PERM - (late 1970s) - Unisex as detailed in the Girls Styles above and made especially popular for guys by the influential footballers of the time, especially Kevin Keegan!

PUNK STYLES - (late 1970s) – Unisex as detailed in the Girls Styles above - Groups such as The Sex Pistols, The Stranglers and The Clash were hugely influential at the time.


THE SKINHEAD CUT - (early and late 1970s) Mostly (although not exclusively) worn by guys –  This was a smart but extremely close cropped and sometimes completely shaved hairstyle, which even had it’s own culture ‘The Skinheads’ but which had also been adopted and further influenced by the Mod movement in the late 60s / early 70s and then saw a re-emergence from the late 70s onwards.  Even Slade, better known for their signature long hair and ‘mutton chop’ sideburns sported skinhead cuts in the early years of the decade; Whilst bands such as Madness, Selector and The Specials provided influence to the look, from the late 70s onwards.


And lastly of course, the ubiquitous 1970’s ‘LONG HAIRED HIPPIE’ look, still has it's own pride of place for both sexes too - Groovy : )