We Thought This Looked Good? How Hairstyles Have Changed

Updated on Oct 01, 2020.   Originally added on Apr 18, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
From intricate curls piled on top of our heads to long, straight, and ironed - hair styles change every decade or so. Can you tell the decade by the styles below? We bet some of them will confuse you!

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 '20'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. (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! Do you remember curling your hair with bobby pins or juice cans? Or beehives, teasing, the wedge, small bows and headbands? Just some of the hairstyles and hair accessories we have all succumbed to!


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We Thought This Looked Good? How Hairstyles Have Changed

Lots of curl

This 1935 style is soft and close to the head.

The pompadour

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

Feminine curls

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

Kiss curls

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

"America's first poet"

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

Oh, time under hairdryers!

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

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

Farrah Fawcett hair!

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

All her own

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

The 50's perm

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


This 1957 bun would be in style in any decade

Sleek with soft curl

This 1939 style is soft and feminine

Long and straight

Remember ironing your hair in the late 1960's?

1920's influence

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

Natural curl

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

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.

Moments in Time

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