Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

The Top 10 Most Iconic Hairstyles of the 20th Century


Top 10 most iconic hairstyles

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for another fun countdown list. This week, we’ve covering a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, and well, my head too –hairstyles.

In developing a signature look, many celebrities utilize unique hairstyles to help them stand out from the pack. Sometimes, a huge celebrity makes a specific style popular with the masses. On other occasions, a hairstyle can be the launching pad that shoots a celebrity to super stardom.

After you finish reading, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what hairstyles in recent history will stand the test of time and become iconic as well. Let’s jump right in:

Zelda Fitzgerald’s Pin-Curled Bob

Iconic hair zelda fitzgerald
Wikimedia Commons

Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald and perhaps the most famous flapper of the era, rocked the signature look of The Roaring Twenties: a pin-curled, chin-length bob.

To replicate this look, loop your hair around your fingers until it makes a nice, flat circle on the side of your head. Use bobby pins to hold it in place, and repeat until your entire head is covered. Coat with some spray-in gel, and after a full night’s worth of beauty rest, you should wake up chic waves and minimal frizz.

Want a bob, but don’t want to commit to a short hair cut? Borrow a move from Taylor Swift, and put your hair in a loose, low pony then roll and pin the tail at the nap of your neck. Pull your bangs out, and curl any long strands for a chic faux-bob flapper look!

Elvis’s Pompadour

Iconic hair elvis
Wikimedia Commons

The King of Rock was know for his wild pelvic thrusts and flashy suits, but even shinier than the slip-on shoes, Elvis was known for was his greased-up pompadour.

This hairstyle featured slicked-back sides and bangs teased and molded into a front poof. Today, this hairstyle looks rad with a ponytail, or even with the rest of your hair down and loose. To copy this look, tease your bangs with a comb, twist, then use bobby pins to secure your hair at its desired height. Finish with pomade for shine and hold!

The Jackson 5’s Afros

Iconic hair jackson 5
Wikimedia Commons

The Jackson 5 were known for their colorful bell-bottoms, excellent singing chops, and of course, those fantastic afros. It’s hard to catch any sort of Motown tribute without a homage or spoof of the Jackson brothers’ famous hair.

It’s probably easiest to steal this look if your hair naturally has a good amount of texture or curl to it. If you have natural hair, we say rock this look with pride! Add eye-catching earrings and maybe even a pair of bell-bottoms for a foxy retro look.

The Supremes’ Beehive Updos

Iconic hair the supremes
Wikimedia Commons

I first fell in love with this look when I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and again when I watched The Help. There’s something so sophisticated and feminine about a properly teased and properly twisted beehive updo. The Supremes made this hairstyle look faboosh with sleek, body-hugging dresses and elbow-length white gloves.

To copy this look, arm yourself with plenty of hairspray and a great teasing comb. After the crown and back of your head is thoroughly teased, twist the loose ends up and over themselves and secure with bobby pins. If you have very long hair, replace the French twist with a bun or ponytail.

The Beatles’ Mop Tops

Iconic hair the beatles
Wikimedia Commons

The British Invasion brought us a new wave of rock and roll, cute boys to ogle, and haircuts that both shocked and awed the Baby Boomer generation. The Beatles‘ floppy mop top haircuts might look like your standard cereal bowl ‘dos today, but 50 years ago, it was revolutionary.

I’m not totally certain that there’s a huge market for emulating this haircut right now, but in case you’re into this kind of thing, I imagine that a great pomade will give you great control and tons of shine!

Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s Bouffant

Iconic hair jackie o
Wikimedia Commons

There’s no question that Jackie O‘s Chanel suits, fancy gloves, and pillbox hats took the world by storm, but this socialite-turned-First-Lady’s hairdo is one to remember as well. This is similar to the look that we’ve all grown to love watching Mad Men and Hairspray.

Jackie’s signature ‘do featured tall, teased hair, which created volume on top. The top layer was then combed to smooth it out for a tidy and sophisticated look. To recreate this hairstyle, roll your hair in Velcro rollers, and after you remove them, tease the top portion. Finish with strong-hold hairspray.

Mia Farrow’s Pixie Cut

Iconic hair mia farrow

Mia Farrow’s delicate features and doe eyes made her boyish pixie cut look crazy-chic. Although she wasn’t the first woman to rock this look, she definitely played a huge role in popularizing this cut.

If you’re bold enough to rock a pixie, take cues from Mia Farrow and keep the sides around the same length as on top. This will keep it looking more Mia Farrow/Twiggy/Keira Knightley-esque and less Miley-like (not that she doesn’t look fab as well!).

Farrah Fawcett’s Long Feathered Locks

Iconic hair farrah fawcett
Wikimedia Commons

Farrah Fawcett starred in Charlie’s Angels and had the most fantastic, beachy-blonde, California-carefree feathered hair known to a generation. This look defined the ’70s, and cemented her as one of the most gorgeous TV stars of all time.

To copy this look, blow dry long locks away from your face with a round brush. Part down the middle for a super bold and retro look. Finish with hairspray and a fierce attitude!

Bob Marley’s Dreadlocks

Iconic hair bob marley
Wikimedia Commons

Bob Marley sang songs of peace and redemption, and had a mellow hairdo to match his attitude towards life. Dreadlocks are now synonymous with the most famous Rastafarian in the world, and has even inspired countless novelty hats and costumes!

I’ll be honest — I don’t know the first thing about growing dreadlocks, or how to take care of them once they’re properly formed. I do know that technical advances in this field have been made, and you can now buy special shampoo, conditioner, and wax to keep those dreadlocks looking awesome. Do you have dreadlocks? Leave a comment and share some pointers!

 Jennifer Aniston’s Shaggy-Layered “The Rachel”

Iconic hair jennifer aniston

Everyone’s favorite Friend(s) hit the big leagues and became a household name when she debuted “The Rachel,” a shaggy layered haircut that everyone from high-fashion models to soccer moms wanted to copy. Despite the fame and iconic status of this haircut, Jennifer Aniston still claims that she hated it!

To get this look, have a good hairdresser cut your hair in distinct layers, and blow dry while curling the top layers under and the bottom layers out. Finish by rubbing pomade or wax on the ends of your hair, defining your hair into separate locks.

What Do You Think?

Which one of these hairstyles do you identify with most? Have you ever rocked any of these looks? What recent hairstyles do you think will be remembered as “iconic?” Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

Posted on on August 22, 2013 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

10 Responses to “The Top 10 Most Iconic Hairstyles of the 20th Century”

  1. 1
    August 22nd, 2013 at 11:30 am

    While I do like this article as a whole, I do congratulate you on mentioning dreadlocks. As of late dreadlocks are becoming really popular, especially among African American youth, and becoming a bit fad-ish. For those thinking of starting, no matter the race, I recommend thinking about it for about 3-4 months. I got my dreadlocks 11 years ago, and the process to get there is tedious.

    The locking process itself takes about 2-3 months and you absolutely CAN NOT get them wet or else they will unwind and you have to start over. Dreadlocks surprisingly don’t get dirty quickly (unless you are an athlete/outdoors person). I wash mine about once a month and re-twist them 1-2 times a month. If you don’t keep some sort of order to them they will look disgusting.

  2. 2
    August 22nd, 2013 at 11:38 am

    This post was excellent – I love these history+fashion posts! Thanks!

  3. 3
    August 22nd, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I am still obsessed with Farrah Fawcett’s and the Supremes updo’s even though I wasn’t even alive during there prime! I also love the post!

    <3 Naa

  4. 4
    August 22nd, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I second Naa about Farrah Fawcett’s and the Supremes’ hairstyles. I also love Elvis’ pompadour and the Jackson Five’s fros lol. BTW please please please more hair post (maybe next time more styles that are easy to do for school or that are off the runway).

  5. 5
    August 22nd, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a variety of hair styles. Your post was very well thought out and very fun to read.

    I would like to add that there are many, many ways to create locked hair. Some people choose not to wash their hair, some use products, etc. As for maintenance, some people re-twist, some use a crochet hook to pull in loose hairs, some roll them in between their palms while others don’t maintain at all. It’s all personal preference really.

    I also second the request for more hair tutorials :D

  6. 6
    August 23rd, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Great article! You may want to consider mentioning Zelda Fitzgerald as an author in her own right––her husband stole significant portions of her novel “Save Me the Waltz” for “Tender is the Night” and was generally a jerk to her, so I feel the need to speak up when she’s only mentioned as his wife or as a flapper. More importantly, she was a novelist, dancer, and feminist icon (:

  7. 7
    August 30th, 2013 at 3:05 am

    This is cool! Styling your hair is really fun especially if they are long. Professionals from say that hair extensions are also very popular these days

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.