Hairstyles of the 1960s were eclectic. Although many of them were bouffant, that was not always the case. Much like today, women could wear their hair any length they chose. Short styles were just as popular as long ones and curly ones as important as straight or wavy ones. Nonetheless, the 60s established several well-defined styles in fashion, beauty and hair.
The quintessential 60s hairstyle was the bouffant. Hair was teased (backcombed) all the way around the head and featured an exaggerated hump at the crown. Bangs, if worn, were cut straight across just above the eyebrows or pushed to the side.
One classic bouffant look was the flip. For this the ends were flipped upward or outward. In a variation they were curled into an upward roll, under in a pageboy, or with added curls to frame the face. These styles were for women with short to medium length hair. Sometimes the style was accented with a headband or barrettes.
Even updos were bouffant, the most popular being the beehive. Hair had to be near shoulder length or longer. The upper layer of teased hair was smoothed out and pulled back into a French twist. The height of the beehive became a status symbol for those of middle and upper class society. Individuality was expressed by tying a scarf around the head or by using jewels and combs to secure the style in place or to adorn the updo. Those who didn’t like the twist opted for a bun. They put hair into a ponytail before teasing, smoothing out the top layer for a polished look. Then using a bun form, they pinned the hair around it for another sophisticated look.
Moms and working women took part in a less exuberant way. Hair was teased slightly for volume, but waves and curls were incorporated. Referred to as “helmet hair” today, the look was often austere. Nonetheless, it suited women working to break the corporate glass ceiling and moms managing the household with a no-nonsense attitude.
An essential for any 60s bouffant style was hair product. Women with fine, difficult-to-manage hair used styling gel before teasing to achieve more volume. Everyone polished off the overall look with tons of hairspray to ensure hair stayed in place throughout the day.
The Hippie Look
Flower children wore their hair long and natural. Often looking unkept and wild, the style suited those rebeling against the establishment. Flowers were tucked behind one ear or worn as a wreath.
The Boy Cut
Actress Mia Farrow and supermodel Twiggy introduced another craze into the mix with the boy cut. Hair was cut short all over the head. The style was low maintenance and required little hair product. Unfortunately, the severe look was not suited for everyone and never caught on with the same ferociousness as other styles of the decade.