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Popular Celebrity Hairstyles Through The Decades

The celebrity fashion industry has an almost magical way of keeping our favorite stars in tip-top shape and this is true in every sense of the word. Reconstructive surgery, implants, liposuction, and body contouring procedures all make aging stars look like perpetual teenagers. Professional makeup artists and hairstylists have managed to create some pretty wild looks over the years. Whether an actor is preparing for a movie role or a performer is trying to wow the audience at a music awards event, image is everything for a celebrity. The public loves to see what crazy outfits or fierce hairstyles their favorite movie stars will sport next and some of the most famous looks are often copied by fans.

Old Styles, New Celebrities

The 1940s and 1950s were great times for iconic celebrity fashion. The bigger the better for dresses and men choose slick hair and form-fitting suits. Tailors and hairstylists were in high demand and the public took advantage of the newly available print photos and eventually television appearances of their favorite stars.

Some of the most famous hairstyles of the period included tight waves, pin curls, and tight or loose bobs.

Softstyle hairstyle, 1950’s

Softstyle hairstyle, 1950’s, lady–

Golden girl hairstyle, 1950’s

Golden girl hairstyle, 1950’s, lady–

Scarlett Johansson, © s_bukley /

As time progressed so did hairstyles and some of the great lengths that men and women went to maintain them. Ironing, adding hot oil treatments, sleeping in impossibly uncomfortable positions, and even adding foreign objects to hold up an elaborate hairstyle were common during these decades.

From sleek, straight styles to dramatic, animated beehives hairstyles have always been the most interesting part of some celebrities. Recreating celebrity styles does not always go as planned without expert stylists and specialty hair care products, but the public continues to imitate the rich and famous. Superstar Cher sported a long straight look parted right down the center and over three decades later popular celebrities like Jessica Biel and Ashley Greene are still rocking the classic look.

Cher, long hairstyle, 1970’s, GettyImages | Bettmann

Jessica Biel, 2017

And who could forget the Farrah Fawcett hair of the 1970s or ‘The Rachel’ style of the 1990s?

Jennifer Anniston in Friends | GETTY IMAGES

Popular Celebrity Shorts

Women typically preferred longer, flowing styles in previous eras because they represented a certain feminine quality that was expected of demure actresses and entertainers. That stereotype began changing around the middle of the 1980s as men opted for longer hair women started to experiment with shorter styles and both sexes ran wild with colors, highlights, perms, and edgy cuts.

Bananarama, 1980s

Perhaps the confidence that celebrity short hairstyles exude is what makes them so popular. Without having custom-made hair extensions available to cover mistakes or change styles overnight, most people are not willing to attempt a dramatic short style that works for some celebrities.

Halle Berry sported a tousled pixie during the premiere of ‘Extant, 2017 – Mark Davis/GettyImages

Regardless of popular culture, hairstyles of today will soon be only memories. The fierce cuts worn by Jamie Lee Curtis, Rihanna, and Halle Berry will likely be copied by future generations while unusual styles like those worn by Miley Cyrus and Willow Smith will only be mimicked by the most daring and creative individuals.

Miley Cyrus haircut, GettyImages


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