Style Throwback: Bobs, Bangs and Flips

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The new season of Mad Men is almost here, and we cannot wait! Since its first season, we've loved seeing how the show emulates the era, with its stars dressed and styled perfectly for the 1960's.

The 60's offered many different styles for women: from their heads down to their toes. When it came to hair, women were completely invested in the mantra bigger is better.

From the bouffant and the beehive to the geometric and asymmetrical cuts of Vidal Sassoon -- hairdressing star of the decade -- a woman's hair was her best accessory. Quite literally, her "crowning glory." The variety was so great during this decade that we saw popularity in all lengths, as well as the heavily styled and accessorized and more natural.

When it came to the extremely popular bouffant and beehive styles, it's amazing how much time women put into their hair, and how much pain and inconvenience they were willing to endure to get the right look. Remember, this was a time before handheld hair dryers, so whether they were doing their hair at home or taking a trip to a salon, these women were making a BIG commitment.

To give you an example, the bouffant hairstyle could take up to two hours in a salon, and even longer at home. Many women would have a running weekly appointment at their hair salon for a shampoo and set -- and then keep the same hairstyle for a week. When visiting a salon, she first had her hair thoroughly cleaned by shampooing it twice. This was also before backwash basins existed in salons, so she would have to put her head over a sink with no way to prevent the water and soap from running down her face. Talk about uncomfortable! She would then have their hair partially dried with a towel, separated into section and rolled very tightly onto rollers and pin curls.

Next, the stylist would put setting lotion on the hair, and the woman would move to sit under a huge dryers: a chair with a large hood that came down around her head. In nicer (or newer) salons, the woman was sometimes given control over the heat of her dryer, but in most salons she had to rely on her stylist's quick reaction if she felt the dryer was getting too hot. After all, singed hair is never in style, no matter what decade!

This was usually the time for gossip, reading and having a coffee, and once dry the "combing out" would begin. When removed, the curlers left behind stiff tubes of hair. They would be combed -- and then backcombed/teased for volume -- and once perfectly coiffed, the style would be doused in hair lacquer or Aquanet.

Alternatively, women who chose to do these styles at home would typically put their hair in curlers approximately the size of soda cans at night, and have to sleep in them until morning. Some even slept sitting upright, because it was so uncomfortable with the curlers in!

Music and movie stars had a huge influence on which style was most coveted, and political activism as well as social change in the second half of the decade is what eventually brought about longer, more natural hair.

Style icons like Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot all came up when we looked into the hair of the 1960's, but the best is seeing how real women wore their hair. Click through the gallery to see the faces you know (and some you won't!) styling their hair in big, bold ways.
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