Monday, July 28, 2014


Sometimes it’s good to look back in order to move forward, so I’m turning the disco ball back on for more style time traveling.  Cue the theme song from The Valley of the Dolls:   Gotta get off, got to get off this merry-go-round….

Jane Fonda: Barbarella & Klute

It’s the 1960’s, the beginning of the sexual revolution, and hair was going BIG and HIGH, like on sex kittens Sharon Tate and the inimitable Brigitte Bardot.  But just like in all revolutions, there’s counter revolution in the streets, which happened one day in a salon in London when Vidal Sassoon took a pair of shears to Twiggy’s long hair, and the structural cut was born.  

Jane Fonda transformed her space nymph Barbarella bouffant into the iconic Klute shag in 1971, the model of cut and structure.   Hair became flatter to the head, and we were blow drying at home, not going to the salon for sets anymore.  

Patty Hanson, Rosie Vela

The poster child of 70’s hair was, of course, Farrah Fawcett.  Her hair cut was such a phenomenon that it got its own zip code!  EVERYBODY wanted those loose, easy breezy waves.  It was the definitive, All American style.  Back when I began working at a salon in Montreal, everyone came in wanting Charlie’s Angels hair!   In the 80’s, hair became inflated again, just like our economy, getting as big and poufy as a LaCroix skirt or Nancy Reagan’s party budget.  Super models were not rolling out of bed for less than ten grand, and the Cosmo cover was the benchmark of beauty…think Way Bandy makeup and the super-sized hair of such perfect creatures as Rene Russo and Rosie Vela.   Hair was a cascade of curls, or an iteration of the shag, with lots and lots of layers that were “juzuged”…. blown under with lots of height at the top. 

Of course the 90’s was all about Jennifer Aniston’s “Rachel”, her face-framing layered cut for her TV character.  It was fun, down to earth and Friendly, which was what everybody needed to calm their 1999 jitters.   Then Madonna ushered in the new millennium with the age of the chameleon, the person who uses all the looks from the past and combines it with the power of new technology to transform themselves every day----hello Lady Gaga!  She is Madonna on steroids.    

When I think about how far we’ve come since 1920 with what we can do, from hair extensions to Brazilian straightening to at-home hair color, the sky is the limit, and that’s what we’ve been seeing.  Think of Beyonce, transforming herself for every performance and persona.  Of course, there’s always the hold-out, the person who changes and inspires by not changing at all, and today that would be the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton.  

So when someone asks me what their next hair style should be, I ask who do you want to be? Take a look at all the timeless beauties and transform yourself and your style.  “Beauty is where you find it!”

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