Forget Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel’ hair cut that caused such a storm in the 90s’. Rebecca Martin has found ten truly iconic vintage hairstyles, which make us want to book an appointment at the hairdressers right now.


1. Louise Brooks
Aside from her iconic trend-setting bob, Louise was also a showgirl, actress and dancer during her heyday in the Twenties. Today, the bob has been voted the most popular hairstyle of all time – and we believe Louise was party responsible. Her sharp cut and dark chocolate hue are the only way a really good bob works. Look to Anna Wintour, Katie Holmes, or Selma Blair for modern-day bob followers.

2. Mia Farrow
This American beauty was famed for her performance in chilling flick Rosemary’s Baby, but it was the adorable pixie crop which stole our hearts. Mia, a true Sixties starlet, had her blonde locks chopped just before her controversial marriage to the much older Frank Sinatra. The legendary Vidal Sassoon was responsible, and many stylists have attempted to copy his work – cue Kate Moss in the Nineties and Mrs Beckham in the Noughties. Much like films and songs though, nothing beats the original.


  3. Audrey Hepburn
The face of many an iconic film shot and student posters, our Audrey probably had the best tresses of her time. Her diamond face shape and striking cheek bones allowed for a variety of memorable hairstyles which have defined today’s red carpet do’s. With a chic, classic influence, Audrey knew how to play on her best bits – hair piled atop her head in a chignon, or cropped to gamine-length, the movie star could frame her face to perfection.


4. Marilyn Monroe
The epitome of a Fifties pin-up, Marilyn proved that gentlemen really do prefer blondes. Miss Monroe reduced grown men to jelly with her hot hourglass figure, screen siren presence and curly blonde locks. She often personified the ‘dumb blonde’ but this only served to earn her movie star status and a place in our hair hall of fame. She mostly wore her short cut in curls, but we’ve never tired of them. Hey, they even made us want to reach for the peroxide.


5. Brigitte Bardot
Once described as the ‘Princess of Pout’ by Time magazine, this French ballet dancer-turned actress-turned animal rights activist is now the definition of bombshell. Her model looks and curvaceous figure are envious, but it’s her flowing blonde hair which has earned her a style crown. Rivalled only by the art of today’s extensions, Bardot’s hairstyle and iconic sultry up-do are on many a girl’s wishlist…and Oxford Street Topshop’s blow dry salon menu.

6. Rita Hayworth
Star of Gilda, and the Fortie’s first sex symbol, Rita makes it into number six for earning redheads their glamour status. A top musical star in her own right, we heart how Rita’s vintage elegance is reflected in girls even today. She transformed her look from a jet black bob, to ravishing red, and it only did her career favours. She did dye her hair blonde for a film in 1947, but by this time her fans had fallen in love with her previous locks. Medium-length hair has never looked so gorgeous in our eyes. Straight, wavy, or up – she’s a sure pin-up.


7. Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth – the actress and heartbreaker, is another one of our hairstyle crushes. Her stunning film shots show a curly bob not dissimilar from Marilyn’s, but reinvented for each flick with a modern touch. The dark chocolate hue never changed, and it was her clever accessorizing – a hint of a chandelier diamond earring – and her classic beauty tips – a slick of red lipstick – which makes her iconic in our eyes.


8. Grace Kelly
Grace, our favourite princess and filmstar, knew how to do style more than most of today’s celebs and royals. Her classic look consisting of well-cut prom dresses, shifts, low heels and gloves, sparked a trend that’s alive today on QueensOfVintage and in many a vintage boutique. Her hair, a chignon slicked-back crop, was always the definition of perfection. As a blonde she was never cast as dumb, but as everything she represented – royalty.

9. Twiggy
The slick androgynous crop of Sixties starlet Twiggy is just as iconic today as it was forty years ago. The British model, who was famous for her long lashes, large eyes and slim build, was probably one of the most famous models of all time. Her long bob with sideburn-like sweeps was often tucked behind her ears making her look even more adorable. That shade of blonde was iconic in itself, the ash tone and subtle roots have been copied today on many a catwalk and movie star or songstress.

10. Farah Fawcett
Farah may not be our typical style icon, but as much as we love our 70s stack heel and kick flare jeans, Farah’s flicks too hold a place in our style chart. As iconic as her role in Seventies series Charlie’s Angel, her flyaway blonde mop was as powerful a symbol as her Angel pose. Framing her face yet oozing sex appeal, this classic hippie look will always be one of our ultimate treasures from the Seventies era.


16 Responses

  1. Madame Gres Jr.

    I think you forget some of the most influential hair do’s (and don’t’s – some are unforgettable) of yester year:
    Jackie Kennedy
    Johanna Lumley’s lovely bowl cut thing
    Bo Derek’s twists (not nice but v lovely nonetheless)
    Racquel Welch’s beautiful big do
    The ‘fro – not so cool now but beautiful and free. Liberating.

  2. The Dame

    Marilyn Monroe changed her hair to blonde curls on the advice of her idol, Lily St Cyr, America and Canada’s most famous strip teaser.

  3. Hannah

    I disagree with a couple on this list, because if you’re talking about an iconic hairstyle, it should be more than something that is aesthetically pleasing; rather, they should embody the spirit of a certain era and inspire said era to follow suit. First, I think that Audrey’s pixie circa Roman Holiday is far more “iconic” than Mia Farrow’s, although I do think Farrow’s own crop is adorable. I don’t understand how Jean Harlow did not make this list – her platinum blonde curls were far more influential than Elizabeth Taylor’s curly bob. A couple of more starlets that should have been on this list: Veronica Lake with her peek-a-boo, Ali MacGraw and Olivia Hussey with their long, straight brunette hair with a middle part, and Bettie Page with her trademark bangs.

    Having said that, I totally agree with Louise Brooks, Grace Kelly, Farrah Fawcett, and Rita Hayworth making the list!

    • Susanne

      I agree with your point…I actually think that Jane Fonda’s shag was far more influential in the 70’s than Farrah’s cut. Farrah’s hair was really high maintenance…it required rollers and setting…very few women even tried to pull it off. But everybody tried a Fonda shag at one point.

  4. xtina

    I totally agree with Hannah, the Bettie Page bangs is extremely popular in the Los Angeles area Rockabilly scene!! how can they forget to put that..?? gees…

  5. gemma

    the glorious tallulah bankhead and gloria swanson the more feminine bob 30s anyone?

  6. Mimi | Antique and Vintage Jewellery UK

    What a lovely list. It’s funny, Loise Brooks almost looks the most “Modern” of all the styles… I do agree with Hannah that Jean Harlow and Veronica Lake should have made it on. I’m just glad I found this site via Twitter!

  7. CherryT

    Have to agree with Hannah and xtina, I think Bettie Page’s style is iconic, especially on the rockabilly scene xx

  8. Flor

    Tell me if im wrong but wasen´t Audrey´s hair style iconic too?

  9. Miss Love

    So… no women of color had any effect on hairstyles? Not Diana’s voluminous hair? Not pin curls? Or someone other than Bo Derek wearing braids? Pam Grier? Wow. Beautiful women, but disappointingly narrow list.