We Thought This Looked Good? How Hairstyles have Changed

Updated on May 03, 2023. Originally added on Apr 18, 2016 by Kathy Pinna

From intricate curls piled on top of our heads to long, straight, and ironed - hair style fashions change every decade or so. Can you tell when the photos might have been taken by the hairstyles below? We bet some of them might trick you!

Do you remember curling your hair with bobby pins or juice cans? Or what about beehives, teasing, the wedge, small bows and headbands? Maybe you just went simple and covered your head with fashionable hats.

Just some of the hairstyles and hair accessories that used to be all the rage and are now but memories caught on film.

Continue Reading Below
Share and discover the people and places from your past

Hairstyle Fashions in History moment please loading spinner

Hours of work!

[ Click image for details ]
Christian Thamer
27 favorites
shared on 03/14/2016

In the late 1800's, this hairstyle must have taken hours of work. How did she do it?

Big hair, little hat

[ Click image for details ]
Rosella Lee
47 favorites
shared on 06/25/2015

This 1940's 'do was loose and full with plenty of waves.

Spit curls!

[ Click image for details ]
Deb Kerr
22 favorites
shared on 01/06/2015

In the 1920's, spit curls were the "cat's meow".


Long, long, long

[ Click image for details ]

This is the mid 1800's - just how long did it take for her hair to dry without a hairdryer?

The pixie

[ Click image for details ]

Icon Audrey Hepburn always exuded beauty - in the 1950's, she epitomized the pixie cut.

Short and permed

[ Click image for details ]

In the 1950's, many women chose short, permed hair.

Do you know the decade?

[ Click image for details ]

This woman took a lot of time creating her hairstyle. Perfect!



[ Click image for details ]
Photo of Linda Dick Linda Dick
38 favorites
shared on 10/20/2013

She looks like she has a 1970's 'fro but this photo is really from 1909!

The perfect flip

[ Click image for details ]

In the mid 1960's, bouffant hair with a little flip . . . oh, but it took a lot of time and hairspray to achieve this!

The marcel wave

[ Click image for details ]
Photo of Larry Jordan Larry Jordan
65 favorites
shared on 09/06/2014

This 1928 style took a curling iron and lots of patience.

Even more waves

[ Click image for details ]

In 1929, she also marcelled her hair.


[ Click image for details ]
Loretta Destin
89 favorites
shared on 11/16/2012

In the early 1960's, ratting your hair as high as possible, lacquering it with hair spray, and calling it a beehive - yes!

1940's glam

[ Click image for details ]

Rita Hayworth had the hair of the decade: Long, thick, with flowing waves.


Bangs and a bob

[ Click image for details ]

1926: No spit curl, no marcel waves, just straight and simple

Up and lovely

[ Click image for details ]

In the 1910's, hair was often worn up to accommodate large hats. (An interesting fact: Frizz was considered a plus because it created a soft "halo" effect.

Lots of curl

[ Click image for details ]
Len Clark
48 favorites
shared on 12/10/2015

This 1935 style is soft and close to the head.

The pompadour

[ Click image for details ]

In 1899, these sisters model their version of the pompadour.

Feminine curls

[ Click image for details ]

In 1872, she had lots of curls. Do you think she used rag curlers?

Kiss curls

[ Click image for details ]
Mark Bramlette
57 favorites
shared on 01/01/2001

1857 CT - kiss curls framing her face. They were called "spit curls" in the 1920's.

"America's first poet"

[ Click image for details ]

American women in the 1600's wore their hair severely pulled back, covered by a cap. No fun!

Oh, time under hairdryers!

[ Click image for details ]

Circa 1942, women went to the hairdresser once a week - and spent a lot of time under the dryer! (Thank goodness for blowdryers!)

Lady Hamilton

[ Click image for details ]

Actually her hair (here, in the 1700's) would fit in today!

Farrah Fawcett hair!

[ Click image for details ]

We all wanted this hairdo in the '70's. We didn't know that she had extensions to get this look!

All her own

[ Click image for details ]
Photo of Warren Sadler Warren Sadler
2 favorites
shared on 01/01/2001

The ringlets (and the tear) are all natural in this 1904 photo.

The 50's perm

[ Click image for details ]
Kevin McGarry
4 favorites
shared on 03/21/2015

In the 50's a home perm meant that everyone could had a perm.


[ Click image for details ]
Joseph Shapiro
10 favorites
shared on 10/13/2013

This 1957 bun would be in style in any decade

Sleek with soft curl

[ Click image for details ]
Photo of April Lougheed April Lougheed
14 favorites
shared on 09/17/2015

This 1939 style is soft and feminine

Long and straight

[ Click image for details ]

Remember ironing your hair in the late 1960's?

1920's influence

[ Click image for details ]

In 1939, this hairstyle shows a marcel and a 1920's influence.

Natural curl

[ Click image for details ]
Barbara Millner
102 favorites
shared on 03/08/2015

Such long hair - no style per se, just her natural hair.

A brief history of hair during the past 100 years: At the turn of the 20th century, hairstyles began to be more diverse than ever before. Hair was worn fuller and looser and could be long or short. In the 1910s, big bows in the hair also became the rage.

By the 1920's, the bob, with kiss curls (or spit curls), headbands, and feathers in the hair were added to the mix, as well as marcel waves and snoods. Does anyone have any of their grandmother's snoods?

In the 30's and 40's, many of the previous styles continued - as well as adding long, loose, wavy hair. Remember the Veronica Lake look and victory rolls?.

All of this - and only half way through the century!

Have photos that you'd like to see included? Share your photos or see photos showing men's facial hair through the past century or so clicking "next page" below.

Blog posts

Back to Top