1960s Headband Hairstyles

By Diane Crispell

The 1960s were a popular time for headbands that transcended age, trends and style. Headbands worn in the 1960s were a quick fix for bad hair days, sweaty gym maneuvers or riding in convertibles with boys. Head bands solved silly hair issues like a front cowlick, lopsided hair bulge or oily hair with no time for washing. Brides and prom queens wore crowning hairbands of sparkling rhinestones, satin bows and shimmery pearls, while kitschy hippie chicks donned the flower-power band or thin leather braid and headed off to a love-in.

Hippie girls and guys wore mod headbands that sat low on the forehead.

Headband Types

1960s African-American coeds wore vibrant, wide hairbands to contain unruly frizz.

Different kinds of headbands predominated 1960's hair fashion. Alternative groups like hippies, flower children and Bohemians liked wide mod, skinny leather or faux braid hairbands. Uniformed schoolgirls preferred an "Alice-in-Wonderland" wide polyester band. Young girls and teens liked the plastic jelly or bead bands with tiny teeth to grip the hair crown. A sophisticate or uptown girl often wrapped her hair in a single-knotted turban for beachwear, gardening or grocery shopping. Headbands for elegant evenings incorporated satin and velvet, tulle flowers, gemstones, seed pearls and tiaras.

Hairband Hair Length and Hair Styles

An example of the wide "Alice" band that corrals locks and clears the forehead.

Hairstyles of the 1960s were often crazy and hair ornaments outlandish. Astronauts landing on the moon influenced a hair-out-of-this-world look, and "Barbarella" star Jane Fonda embraced the common hairband. The hairband's versatility looked chic on a bobbed "Twiggy" haircut, schoolgirl pageboy, towering beehive or wispy, wild backcombing. Hairbands gave an "Alice in Wonderland" look to long, loosely curled hair. Young women with alternative lifestyles used the band to contain wild ringlets or pin-straight long hair. The hair fad was practical, trendy and fashion's simple answer to neat, manageable hair.

Hairband Styles and Fabrics

Retro elastic hairbands cleared hair off the face and showed off flip hairdos.

The 1960s broke all boundaries for conservative 1950's hairband styles and fabrics. If a fashion guru could think it, a fashionista would wear it. Fabrics and origins included polyester, human hair, feathers, elasticized crochet yarn, animal skins and hides, satin ribbons, metal, terrycloth and plastic. Hairband styles included stretchy elastic; double helixes; bows clipped to fabric strips; super-slim cords; fat, flowery bandanas; and railroad kerchiefs. Hairbands could be a simple circular strip, tied sash, turban, cowhide lace or even a wearer's own human hair braided and pulled to encircle the crown.

Hairband Celebrities from the 1960s

Women of fashion continue the hairband trend as they walk the runway.

Television and the movies were all the rage for 1960's screen entertainment. Stars Audrey Hepburn, Marlo Thomas and Goldie Hawn popularized the headband. Ann-Margret in "Bye Bye Birdie" portrayed the look of virginal innocence with her simple white headband. Audrey Hepburn wore a jeweled band in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and Elizabeth Taylor wore a bushy fox-fur hairband ensemble during a 1960's interview. Mouseketeer Annette Funicello and Dr. Pepper spokeswoman Donna Loren both wore headbands in "Beach Blanket Bingo."