Top 12 hair icons of the last century

EDITORIAL: From bangs to bouffants, we made a list of the most iconic hairstyles from pop culture.

Hair can cement a person's identity, make a statement or capture the culture of a decade. Photography student Brian Brister interviewed people all around Syracuse with something to say about their hair. We did extensive research to find the most memorable men's and women's hairstyles around.



Audrey Hepburn

Actresses repeatedly sported Hepburn’s eye-catching pixie cut from the 1950s. Mia Farrow and Natalie Portman have both successfully donned this daring look, but some just don’t have the right shape of head for it.


When this songbird first chopped her long locks super short, she instantly created a new dynamic for herself as a celebrity and musical artist. When executed properly, this look can transform a person’s face. If the confidence is there, the hair will amplify it.

Lucille Ball

Fact: Red was in this year. It’s fiery. It’s bold. It’s not for the faint of heart. Ball is one of the original redheads (though she was born a brunette). She maintained her fire-engine red hair throughout her career with pride, and for that we salute her.

Brigitte Bardot

Bardot is one of the biggest sex symbols of all time. Known for her tousled, blonde mane, women still aspire to get that messy, seductive bedroom hairstyle. The “Oh, I just kind of woke up like this, don’t mind me”-do. Tried to get this and failed? Us too.

Janelle Monae

Not many people can pull off the coiffed poof. No, not the godforsaken Snooki trainwreck. Monae hypnotizes audiences with her bobbing bouffant as she dances around the stage. Poof-fection. 

Farrah Fawcett

Not the most common look nowadays, but a classic nonetheless. Maybe the feathered look will return someday but, in the meantime, here’s to hoping it won’t.



Donald Trump

Trump has one of the most reviled styles of all time. The comb over. He’s not the only one, but he might be the only one who can sport it and still get model girlfriends. Hell, the man has his own song (re: Mac Miller).

Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley

Both artists proudly wore their hair in pompadour style. Pompadour, just the word is fun. Wonder how many men had that style to just be able to tell people the name of it. Modern equivalent: Conan O’Brien. 

Bob Marley

Dreads are a persistent style that both men and women wear these days. Not just for the Rastafarians like Marley, now new-age hippies and the average person can take a stab at cultivating these thick locks.

Anderson Cooper

What a silver fox. He makes not-so-popular color look good. Enough said.

Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix may not have been the originator of the afro, but he did a damn good job representing it. A style still seen here and there, it’s chill as ever and probably not going anywhere. For those of Jewish descent, there’s the Isro, a.k.a. the Jewfro.

The Beatles (1960s era)

These days, the shag hairstyle is hailed as Justin Bieber hair. Sorry Bieber, but credit should be given where it’s due.

1950s style from Elvis

1950s style from Elvis Presley is my fave..

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