Hair & Make Up Styles From the Sixties

Written by shefali choudhury Google
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Hair & Make Up Styles From the Sixties
Hair and make-up reflected the simple minimalist fashions of the 1960s. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

The 1960s saw revolutionary changes in fashion, marking out a generation that broke away from the styles and values of their parents. British hair cutting was at the forefront of women's fashion in the '60s, pioneering new short, straight cuts and a modernist look. Yet many of the more conservative older generation continued wearing the curly hairstyles popular in the 1950s. Make-up during the whole decade stayed simple. The fashion look was dark eyeliner, drawn heavy on the top lid and often into a flicked-out wing. This was embellished with thick black mascara, a pale face and paler lips. A make-up emphasis on the eyes stayed consistent throughout the '60s. However, the overall look got more natural as the decade progressed.

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The iconic 1960s bouffant developed from '50s cuts but was much bigger than anything seen before. Women wore their hair in a French pleat at the back in order to keep it flat. The top was set on rollers, then backcombed, smoothed and pinned into a beehive shape. A high-fashion way to wear this style was to have hair razor-cut short at the back. The front and top would be left long, making it easy to build volume while keeping the back and sides sleek. This neat and tidy shape was perfect for the minimalist '60s silhouette. Essential make-up to go with this look included a heavy base, thick black eyeliner and very pale pink lipstick.


Fashion conscious, razor-cut mod hairstyles of the early '60s were popular among musicians. These were short but still grown longer than the conservative cuts of the preceding decade, so Mods had a distinctive young look. By 1964, the Beatles fuller version of mod style was named "moptop," during a tour of America. Girls wore their hair long, straight and cut with a sharp fringe or backcombed at the crown to give lift.


As much as the '50s had been about hair styling, the '60s ushered in a new era of high-fashion hair cutting. Vidal Sassoon made salon history in 1964 with his new five-point cut created on Grace Coddington, a former model and creative director of American "Vogue" magazine. He followed this in 1968 with a pixie cut on Mia Farrow for the film "Rosemary's Baby." During the '60s, he also popularised the sleek Sassoon bob, cutting the hair of British fashion designer Mary Quant. Twiggy was the most famous model of the decade, known for her short, blonde crop and smudgy black eyes.


From the mid-'60s onwards, make-up and hair became more natural. The hippie movement influenced mainstream fashion to become more relaxed. Eyes were still the key make-up look, but natural lips replaced the very chalky pale pink of the earlier part of the decade. Hippies themselves wore little or no make-up. They grew their hair long and parted it in the middle, combing it to hang down at the front, over the face. Both men and women wore this hairstyle. Long braids with circlets of flowers worn round the head were also popular.

Black is Beautiful

The Afro remains one of the most enduring hairstyles of the '60s and started in the U.S. with the Black is Beautiful movement. This promoted an appreciation of natural African features. Afros resulted from growing hair long, combing it and leaving it natural. The Afro is a unisex style, and in the '60s, wearing it made a political statement beyond fashion.

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