‘70s Hairstyles Are Making a Comeback

Season after season, beauty trends take their cues from the past, and right now is all about the ‘70s hairstyles and haircuts. From Alexa Chung’s modern-day shag to Zendaya's feminist-inspired afro and Kim K’s pin-straight-middle-parted locks, the coolest It girls are rocking retro 1970s-inspired haircuts and styles. These iconic styles are making a comeback in a big way so we’ve put together a complete guide to '70s hairstyles. We’re breaking down what’s inspiring the trend, what to ask your stylist for, and hair care tips for hairstyling and rocking for your 1970’s hairstyles ahead!

‘70s Hairstyles Are Making a Comeback

The 1970's counterculture revolution spawned a generation of hair that challenged tradition and celebrated individuality, experimentation, and empowerment. Epic hair trends like feathered layers, flat-ironed strands, androgynous cuts and big, and bigger, bolder afros were born. These iconic hairstyles are having a major revival as we see celebs and a-listers rocking updated versions for fall. If you’re ready to get trendy and channel your inner peace, love, and rock-n-roll style, read ahead for the '70s hairstyles that are making a comeback.

1. Farrah Fawcett’s Feathers

This excessively feathered hairstyle, also dubbed ‘The Farrah Flip’, is legendary. Farah Fawcett became an icon when she was cast in Charlie's Angels, and as a result, everyone wanted her hair. While Farrah’s look was extreme, some subtle feathering of the front layers adds intrigue to long hair without being overly dramatic. The key to getting her '70s volume is to add as much volume to the root as possible and keep it there. This cut looks insanely cute on curly hair.

How to get the look

  • Start by cocktailing a mixture of a heat shield for hairand a volume-boosting mousse in your palm and run your hands through your damp strands. 
  • Blow your hair out with a round brush, then bump the hair from mid-lengths to ends with a large-barrel curling iron, or ribbon curl your locks with a flat iron.
  • Not sure how to ribbon curl? Here are our tips:

How to Ribbon Curl with a Flat Iron

  • Take a medium-sized section of hair 1" in length and ½" in width and prep with a straightening spray.
  • Hold the section in your left hand.
  • Hold the flat iron in your right hand with the iron vertical and your palm facing your head.
  • Pinch the section at the base, and as you pinch, fold your hand so your palm faces you (still holding the section with left hand).
  • Slowly slide the iron down to the end of your hair shaft and release - it will spring into a ribbon curl.
  • Finish with a brushable hairspray.

straight blonde hair 70s style Davines by Melanie Guille

photo by @melanieguille_

2. Pin-Straight Shiny Strands

When you think of ‘70s pin-straight long hair down to there, there’s one diva who comes to mind - Cher. She rocked her iconic middle-parted, ultra-long black hair through the better part of the 1970s. It’s said that Cher used to actually iron her hair on an ironing board to get it that straight and smooth. Fortunately, in the age of blowouts and flat irons, there’s an easier way to get this look.

How to get the look

  • After washing and conditioning your hair, rinsing it with a blast of cold water to help seal the cuticle and enhance shine. 
  • Gently squeeze the excess water from your hair with a microfiber towel or old tee shirt. Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle any knots. If you have lots, see our previous post How to Detangle Your Hair with Ease
  • Apply a heat protectant, before blow-drying your hair section by section until each is shiny. Then run your flat iron over each section. But be sure you aren’t aimlessly applying heat to the same hair over and over. 
  • You can always go back if you find kinks, but a good blow-dry and a straightener should do the trick in a single swipe. 
  • An extreme middle-part is great if you have an oval face, but a slight side part is more complementary to a variety of face shapes.

3. The Afro

In the ‘70s, the afro emerged into mainstream culture as a way for the black community to embrace their natural hair structure; as opposed to being ‘socially correct’ with straightened hair. The popularity of this natural hairstyle during the ‘70s can be traced back to activists like Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael. After their (what was considered at the time to be) radical hair statement hit television screens across the country, it didn’t take long for it to become one of the most iconic hair looks from the decade.

How to get the look

  • Start with a curl shampoo and curl conditioner in the shower for a boost of volume and hydration. 
  • Squeeze any excess water from your curls with a microfiber towel or old tee shirt and then apply a curl cream.
  • Create four jumbo braids or twists. 
  • Allow your hair to dry completely in the braids (this can take a few hours, depending on how thick your hair texture is).
  • Use a hair pick to pick your hair until you’re happy with the height.
  • Set your afro with a strong hairspray.

4. The Shag

Working both as a short hairstyle and a longer one, the shag is a heavily layered hairstyle from the '70s that’s back and better than ever. Made popular by It-girl of the times, Jane Fonda, today’s It-girls can’t get enough of it. From Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez to Julianne Hough and Anne Hathaway, the modern shag is having a moment. And the best part about this hairdo coming back into style is that it looks good on everyone; it just depends on where your stylist starts your first layer. Keep your layers longer if you have a round face. If you have an oval face shape, ask your stylist to slice in shorter layers

How to get the look

  • Prep your damp strands with a hair primer.
  • Tip your head upside down and blast it dry, then flip it back up and let the hair sit in its natural fall.
  • Use a texturizing spray for fine hairto give your shag a gritty, edgy vibe or an anti-frizz serum if you want a softer, more feminine look. 
  • And bonus, this cut looks just as good on second-day hair. Just spray your roots with dry shampoo and go! For tips on second-day hair, see our previous post How to Use a Dry Shampoo.

Baderbeauty bob haircut Davines

5. Boho Braids

Whether worn on the crown, forehead or scattered throughout the hair, tiny boho braids are one of the most romantic hairstyles to come out of the ‘70s. Inspired by the free-spirited, whimsy of the times, bohemian braids give a playful hippie twist to even the most formal occasions. Just ask Blake Lively or FKA Twigs who have both recently rocked boho braids on the red carpet.

How to get the look

  • Part your hair down the center, then create a small triangular section of hair on either side of your head. 
  • Apply a dry wax to each section and begin creating a three-strand braid. When you reach the bottom and can’t braid anymore, split your three strands into two and flip it all through the bottom loop of your braid. 
  • Repeat wherever you want to add more. 
  • Got the itch to braid some more? Check out more of our favorite braids in our previous post on How to Braid Your Own Hair.

6. Dreadlocks

Reggae music gained mainstream popularity in the ’70s, and its Rastafarian influence on culture and fashion brought about the dreadlocks hairstyle. Both men and women rocked this statement trend back then and it’s no different today. A-listers from Rihanna and Zoe Kravitz to Jason Mamoa and Wiz Khalifa are all current fans of this hairstyle. 

Pro-tip: caring for your dreadlocks requires washing every three days to a week with a residue-free dreadlock shampoo. Conditioners and scented shampoos are not recommended because they can leave a residue behind in your locks. The most important step is rinsing them thoroughly.

7. Scarf Updo

From flowers and peace signs to color-blocking and paisley prints, scarves were a super popular accessory in the ‘70s. And these days, girls in the know are using scarves to hold up their ponys, pull their hair back in a headband, or create cute updos with a flair.

How to get the look

  • Put your hair into a half-up ponytail. 
  • Take a square scarf and fold it down until it’s about three inches wide. 
  • Clip all of your hair up and out of the way, then position the center of the scarf so it’s aligned with your center part. 
  • Tie it back at the nape of your neck, then unclip your hair.
  • Smooth down your ponytail and gently brush out your waves.

Season after season, beauty trends take their cues from the past and this season it’s all about the ‘70s. Epic hair trends like feathered layers, flat-ironed strands, androgynous cuts and big, and bigger, bolder afros are making a comeback in a big way. If you’re ready to channel your inner ‘70’s love child or disco queen, book an appointment with your stylist, and let’s get groovy!

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

cover photo by Michelle Dufflocq

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