Intrigued about where braids came from? Of course you are….
At any given time, something as seemingly simple as a haircut can make a mark on history, speaking volumes about culture and society. But can you imagine a time of such innocence that a hairstyle could actually be considered scandalous? Take a look at some of the most controversial cuts in history – and how they’ve survived to modern day.
Irene Castle and women of the 1920s
When women started cutting their hair into a “bob” – a blunt, chin-length style that made history in the 1920s – the effect was nothing short of scandalous. Flowing locks had long symbolized feminine beauty and virtue; short hair was considered unladylike and even grounds for divorce. The bob was full-on rebellion, threatening to undo the very fabric of patriarchal society.
Irene Castle, a famous ballroom dancer, has been credited with introducing American women to the bob as early as 1915, though the trend didn’t take off until the ‘20s roared in. By then, Hollywood stars like Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks, Clara Bow, and Ina Claire were getting bobbed, and women everywhere followed suit. The bob came to represent freedom – a bobbed woman was an independent woman.
The modern bob: Katie Holmes
Mrs. Cruise may not be sporting a short do these days, but her bob of recent years has become iconic, catapulting her from “Dawson’s Creek” to grown-up chic. Maybe we were all secretly hoping her liberated style would translate into freedom from the Tom Cruise mind meld… Oh well.
The Mop Top
The Beatles and men of the 1960s
Women are not the only ones to be stereotyped according to their hair. Just as it was once considered scandalous for a woman to chop her hair, it was almost equally scorned for a man to let his locks grow long – like below his ear lobes. So you can imagine the controversy that erupted when the Beatles burst onto the scene in the 1960s.
One of the most successful rock bands of all time, the Beatles made their mark on popular culture in a zillion ways, not the least of which was that wild and crazy hairdo, the mop top. The mid-length hairstyle – a straight cut with bangs, collar-length at the back and over the ears at the sides – was an instant hit with teens. Parents, on the other hand, did not approve of their kids listening to the long-haired freaks from Liverpool. (And this was even before the band’s hair started traveling down their backs!)
The modern mop top: Justin Bieber
The mop top is no longer scandalous, but it’s still a phenomenon. Case in point: Justin Bieber. No matter how the boy tries to vary his style, we simply cannot get over our obsession with his moppy hair. (Just try Googling “Justin Bieber” and see how many variations of the keyword “hair” are suggested for your search!)
Angela Davis and African-Americans of the 1960s
Photo: Getty Images
If you’re still not convinced that a hairstyle can cause shock waves, consider the Afro. During the ‘60s, the natural, halo-shaped style pointed to freedom from more than just chemical straighteners and pomades – it became a symbol of black pride and power.
Angela Davis, known as a member of the Communist party and an associate of the controversial Black Panther party, has been credited with popularizing the style in the mid-1960s. Wearing an Afro became a way for black men and women to express their racial and cultural identity – a radical political statement during that time. No longer would African-Americans be forced to fashion themselves to match white standards of power and beauty. Black is beautiful, baby.
The modern Afro: Erykah Badu
Photo: Harry Langdon/Getty Images
Black is still beautiful, and is celebrated by the many fabulous Afro styles favored by Erykah Badu. (Truly, this singer’s hairstyles never disappoint.) Marc Jacobs even paid homage to the Afro in his Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2010 runway show. Even the white girls were wearing the ‘fro!
Hairstyles may not be considered as scandalous as they were once upon a time, but they remain a powerful form of self-expression – even in modern society.
What’s your favorite daring do?
If I were to ask your beautician about all the annoying things she has to deal with on a daily basis, I’m sure the list would scroll on and on. That being said, however, our wonderfully loveable stylists can certainly drive us crazy, too. Let us count the ways…
1. Cuts too short
I have a theory that the word “trim” means something different to hair stylists than it does to their clients. If a “trim” means “just a little bit,” why does it seem like so many stylists take the appointment as an opportunity to put our hair on the chopping block? I know we need to cut enough to get rid of split ends and everything, but I still think something’s getting lost in translation.
2. Doesn’t cut short enough
With frequent trips to the barber, a man’s complaint is often the exact opposite: “I couldn’t get him to cut it short enough!” When using clippers, many barbers I’ve encountered seem scared to give someone a “number one” or, even riskier, to shave to the skin. What’s the deal? Do they just want to get us back in the chair every time we get a paycheck?
3. Breaks out the buzzer
When I lopped my hair off a few years ago, I was going for the Gwyneth Paltrow in “Sliding Doors” look: short, but not “boy” short. So I felt just fine when the strands started falling. I was not pleased, however, when the buzzer came out. Please, please do not buzz cut a woman’s hair unless you’re sure it’s the look she’s dying for. I may have a decently shaped head, but I’m no Sinead.
4. Asks if you want highlights every time you’re there
After a childhood as a dirty blonde, I emerged into adulthood with no goldilocks to speak of. A friend recently told me that my hair is, in fact, “monotone.” She meant it as a compliment, but I don’t think the rest of the world sees it that way. If brown isn’t boring (we’re not talking deep chestnut here), then why does my beautician ask me if I want highlights every time I go in for a trim?
When you find yourself waiting longer for your hair stylist than you do for your GYN, something is amiss. Whether it’s the fault of the salon’s or the stylist’s, overbooking is a common problem, but it can leave you with too much time on your hands to spend poring over those old hair magazines. One of these days, you might get so fed up you decide to try a walk-in salon…
6. Adds product to your hair without asking
It has taken years for my hairdresser to learn that I don’t like hairspray. This fascinates me. How difficult is it to ask someone if they want product in their hair? Maybe I’m alone here, and everyone else loves the stiff stuff. But I always feel silly leaving the salon with touch-me-not tresses when all I’m doing is running to the supermarket in my jeans and sneakers. There’s something to be said for knowing your clients.
7. Overshares and oversteps
Some of us are lucky enough to have found true confidantes in our stylist. We dish, they dish… it’s comfy cozy girl-talk time. Other times, though, it’s just not a good fit. Whether you’ve got the stylist who spills her guts or one who persists in probing into your personal life, you’re just not feeling the love. But how do you communicate your need for some peace and quiet without fear of your haircut turning into a hack job?
8. Ignores you
Then there are the stylists who do not wish to invade your personal space but still feel the need to attend to their own social needs while cutting your hair. From talking on the phone to chatting with the stylists or even the clients around you (sometimes in another language, which adds to the fun), you feel like the invisible fool. And you wonder, “Am I supposed to act like I’m part of the conversation, or should I look away? But where am I supposed to look?!”
9. Gives you the look she wants instead of the look you want
After going to beauty school and studying the trends, hopefully our stylists know their stuff. Maybe they even know what our hair will do better than we do. Still, don’t ask me what I want if you’re going to do whatever you want, anyway. If my idea really stinks, tell me why (politely, of course). And if you have no intention of doing what I want, or you have misgivings, please do me the courtesy of letting me know. It’s Communication 101, peeps.
Comment away: What’s the most annoying thing your beautician does?
It never rains in LA (except for around awards time). So when the rain came pouring down on the red carpet on Sunday at the Golden Globes, there were experts on hand to ensure that the Hollywood beauties looked their very best. For Leona Lewis and Emily Blunt, that lifesaver was hair stylist Laini Reeves. With Living Proof No Frizz, both Hollywood starlets stayed frizz-free and glamorous in the pouring rain. Here’s what she did:
For best actress nominee, Emily Blunt – Laini Reeves cut her hair to shoulder length just for the Golden Globes and then created a curl that was blunt and chic, but still a little fun.
HOW TO GET THE LOOK: First, Laini applied the NO FRIZZ, WAVE SHAPING CREAM FOR MEDIUM TO THICK HAIR ($24) to Emily’s wet hair to prevent the hair from frizzing. She then added a bit of the new LIVING PROOF FULL ($24) to add a bit of body to the wave. She started creating the pin curls by taking half inch pieces of hair and wrapping each piece around her fingers and then pinning them to the top of the head. Reeves recommends alternating the twisting monition both clockwise and counter clockwise to add dimension. She then let the hair dry naturally. After the hair was completely dry she used both a medium curling iron, and small barrel curling iron to accentuate the curl. To add a bit of sophistication to the look, she used a flat iron on each curl, straightening the bottom inch of the hair.
For Leona Lewis, artist behind ‘I Want To Come Home’ from Avatar who was nominated for best original song, Laini Reeves created a soft romantic down-do inspired by her glamorous purple dress.
HOW TO GET THE LOOK: Leona has very thick hair, so it actually performs better if it is not freshly washed. Laini used the NO FRIZZ STRAIGHT MAKING SPRAY ($24) on her dry hair, to prevent fly-aways and keep it from frizzing in the rain. She then parted the hair in the middle and used a flat-iron to straighten the hair. To create an asymetical look, she pulled the hair to one side and then used a three inch curling iron to add a bit of bounce to the ends.
Look for Living Proof products at a Sephora store in your area.
This holiday season you’ll want to look your best and you can achieve a salon-like look without even going to the salon. Below, find tips from celebrity stylist, Allison Woodruff. She works at the Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon in New York and has worked with the likes of Megan Mullaly, Parker Posey, and Ana Ortiz. The products Allison uses are generally eco-friendly and by Eufora because they are good for both the environment and your hair. Check them out!
Seventies Throwback: For a glamorous look that is easy to pull off at home, Allison recommends creating big, waves. This style works best on medium-long lengths but can also be achieved on shorter bobs. To get the look, Allison recommends:
• Prep wet hair with Eufora Formation Whipped Styling Solution and blow
• hair out smooth (SRP: $19.50)
• Take a double barrel curling iron and curl the entire head
• Break up the curls using fingers and finish with Eufora Illuminate Shine
• Mist for frizz control and shine (SRP: $19.25)
Hot Buns: An updo is an easy way to go from office appropriate to party-ready in no time. Follow Allison’s quick tips to achieve this style:
• Blow hair out smooth, creating a center part
• Taking the lengths of the hair, create a ponytail around a donut-shaped rat (to create structure) and wrap the hair around
• Secure this style with bobby pins and Eufora Elevate Finishing Spray (SRP: $20.95)
• To smooth any fly-aways on the top of the head, apply a light application of Eufora Pure Polish Drops (SRP: $28.95)
Beachy-Keen: Island-bound for the Holidays? Toss a bottle of new Eufora Piece Works Defining Paste in your bag! Piece Works is a re-workable styling product designed to provide pliable hold and lasting control while doubling as an antioxidant rich wear-in treatment. It is rich in antioxidants to prevent hair damage by neutralizing free radicals and photo damage from UVA and UVB rays. For a carefree beach babe look, Allison recommends:
• Scrunch Eufora Piece Works into damp hair and diffuse dry (SRP:$22.00)
• Take a small barrel curling iron and curl random sections of hair throughout the entire head
• To create a look that is perfectly unkempt, run a dime-size of Eufora Piece Works into fingertips and then throughout the curls and waves
• If needed, apply a light coating of Eufora Elevate Finishing Spray for hold and control
Since launching, Eufora has utilized advanced technology to protect, preserve and promote hair health through a people and planet-friendly product. Eufora salon professional products provide the legendary healing benefits of certified organic Aloe Vera Gel, which is the base for all formulations, in an optimum quality concentration. Eufora utilizes the most advanced botanical, vitamin and non-carcinogenic ingredients available with scientifically proven benefits to the hair, scalp and skin, as well as pure essential oils for a true aromatherapy experience.