The History Of Modern Hair & The 30 Wildest Trending Hairstyles Of All Time

Hair through the ages.

Hairstyle Appreciation Day Wild Hair Trends Famous Hairstyles

Wacky hairstyles have been around forever, there is no denying that. For as long as people have been around, they have had different styles and trends for hair. Throughout history, it's easy to identify a certain time period by the hair trends, and it's certainly interesting to see what was "cool" during certain times and why it was so popular. 

Looking back to the ancient Egyptian times, hair was used as a status symbol. People's hair reflected what social class they were considered to be in. Age also had a say in the different styles. Wigs were insanely popular — even back then — for many of the same reasons they are today: people didn't want their grey hairs exposed. But they also were a status symbol — wigs were worn in place of headdresses as a symbol of nobility. Slaves were banned from wearing them at all.


When the Renaissance period came around, women and men began to pluck their hair to give the illusion that their forehead was larger than it actually was — a sign of upper-class sophistication. Also, blonde hair was a symbol of wealth and power. So people would sit for hours bleaching their hair so they could gain the coveted color. 

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As history progressed hair became less and less of a status symbol and more of a fashion statement. People began to wear their hair to bring out certain features in their face or to rebel against the "mainstream".


Hey, even way back when there was still some pressure to look chic. Living in the 1800s, what you did with your hair was more your choice than a symbol of status. 

As time moved forward, hair became a part of every person's fashion identity. In the early 1900s, women began to cut their hair short into bobs — it was an invigorating and rebellious way for most women to claim fashion freedom and go against gender norms.

Then fast-forward and you've got flapper hairstyles that were all the rage, then the pin-up girl era, the sock-hop, the disco, the hippie, the rocking 80s, the grunge 90's and then the emo (and preppy) 2000s. 

It's not just time that makes hair styles either. Different cultures have different styles. Countries in different climates and social structures come with their own unique looks, trends and styles. Think geisha in Asia, big wigs in Great Britain, curls on curls in Europe. 


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Hair has been around for as long as we have — and it is not going anywhere. Nowadays it is a tool to show off your style and go along with any outfit. A way to show your personality and individuality. 

Hair will always be a staple in a person's life, whether you have a lot, a little, or even none at all. It still makes you, you. 

So check out some of the craziest, wildest and most popular hair trends throughout history. Try them out, be glad they're gone, or make a new one all on your own. 

1. The Beehive 

Also known as the B-52, this style is true to its name. It looks like there literally could be a beehive underneath all of that hair volume. This hairstyle started to gain some traction with people after Jackie Onassis began to sport the cut. The 60s was the era of the beehive and women would work it with a capital W. 


2. The Mullet

Business in the front, party in the back. What could possibly be wrong about that? So, so much. The mullet has been around the block and most people know exactly what it is. But not many are willing to sport it. If you do, well good for you, you are braver than the rest of us.

3. The Rachel

The hit show Friends inspired a lot more than just laughs. Early on in one of the first couple seasons, Jennifer Aniston got a haircut and it seemed to explode overnight. Every woman seemed to be walking into their hair salons asking for the style. Jennifer Aniston didn't keep the style throughout the whole series but "The Rachel" is still iconic. 


4. The Five Point Cut

Vidal Sassoon is an extremely talented hair stylist. In the 70s he started a revolution in the hair industry with a new edgy and chic cut. The new trend was bold and women began to embrace trying out fierce new looks. Soon many celebrities were sporting the cut proudly which only made it more popular. 

5. Glitter Hair

It's time to feel like a fairy with this new trend that is all the rage right now. Glitter has been used with fashion and accessories but now hair is the new vessel to hold our glitter obsession. It's chic and different and you might just feel like magic when you sprinkle some on. 


6. The Eton Crop

This beauty of a look was popular back in the roaring 20s. It is the shortest of all the "bobbed" hairstyles. It was named after the way young English schoolboys would wear their hair. So the nickname that also came with it, "the boyish bob" is also quite accurate.

7. The Mohawk

This one is obvious why it makes the list. The Mohawk may be one of the most extreme hairstyles of all time. The look is unlike anything else out there. Those who sport the look definitely have some pazazz and know how to stand out. 


8. Crimped hair

This look was HOT in the 80s. But... why? No offense to all you crimpers out there, it's not like its the ugliest look out there. But there's just something about having your hair look like electric currents ran through them and frizzed them out is just questionable. But crimped hair is totally fun, so totally 80s. 

9. Ombre

Having different colors in your hair isn't exactly brand new. But the ombre takes hair coloring up a level from just highlights. The different shades cascade into one another almost seamlessly. You can choose from any color your heart desires. Your hair can now resemble a rainbow and it's awesome. 


10. The Vargas Girl

Popular back in "Pin-up" times this hairstyle took off. Its feminine, its fun, and it's flirty. Every woman wants to feel that way so no wonder it became a sensation. Curlers were essential (also known as victory curls), and to perfect the look took some time. Some women became masters at this hairstyle. 

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11. Sock Bun

The one hairstyle where you literally use a sock to style your hair. You may be taken aback when you first think about it. But the hairstyle is actually very clear-cut and clean. Perfect for formal events. Who knew using a regular old sock could make that nice of a style? 


12. Snoods 

Think lunch lady chic. Popular back in the 40s this look was one that women on the go sported. It was a lot easier to keep your hair put together and not get bumps of lines from having your hair tied up with this beauty. They didn't last for very long with fashion, they just stayed with the hair net industry. So next time you're in the cafeteria tell the lunch lady you dig her snood. 

13. The Crown Braid

This hairstyle can make you feel like royalty just by doing the simple task of braiding your hair. It's unclear who or what inspired this interesting style exactly. But this trendy look is one you see all over the place. It may seem a little overwhelming but with the internet, anyone can find a tutorial to become a pro at this look. 


14. Perms

Curls are always a yes. The curlier the better, they seem to have a personality of their own. Perms are a perfect way to get those curls that you desire. Some women go to extreme lengths to get the hair they want and are perm experts, just look at the 80s. 

15. The Pob

All the Spice Girls fans in the world unite. This is the hair trend inspired by Victoria Beckham aka "Posh Spice". The bob is chic just like Posh herself. Many women go for the pob job when they need a change, and you can see why. It's ultra trendy and virtually is a good choice if you are sick of your old hairstyle.


16. The Cleopatra Braids

Talk about a blast from the past. Back in Cleopatra's time, this was the look in Eygypt. It is beautiful and different, but it is crazy to think that was the norm for women back then. The braids and the beads have their own personality and if you see that look today you automatically think of Cleopatra.

17. Scrunchies

Scrunchies have been around for a while. As a kid scrunchies were the BEST. All of the different colors and designs you could get was the bomb. You would trade with your friends, but you always had a favorite one that you would never be able to give up. But now looking back we all kinda cringe when thinking about this crazy hair trend. 


18. The Emo Bouffant

This look was a trend that defined the early 2000s. Every angsty girl with her Avril Lavigne album loved to sport this look. It's a bit edgy and cute but still not boring. Perfect for teenaged girls who want a hairstyle that stands out without being too over the top. The bouffant look is originally from the 60s but it got a little makeover. 

19. The Rat Tail

True to its name, this trend looks exactly like a rat tail. Why is it popular? Who knows but this certainly is a look that makes you look unique for sure. From the runway to the school hallway women are sporting some rat tails proudly. 


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20. The Flapper Bob

The roaring 20s was all about excess. With money and partying, and parties meant flappers. The long pearls, the fun dresses, and of course the Flapper bob. This look is quintessential to that time and recognizable immediately. Some women still sport the look today and it still looks very fashionable. If only we could bring back those gorgeous dresses they got to wear. *Sigh*

21. The Undercut

This edgy and unique style is the next step down from a Mohawk. The sides are shaved but not totally, just enough to make an impact. Many rockers sport this look and you can see why. It just fits. This is the style you test drive if you are thinking about possibly making the big jump to a Mohawk. 


22. The Permed Mullet

Oh the 80s, you strike again with another questionable hair trend. It's not enough to just have a mullet but a permed mullet was all the rage back then. The look has its own following and fans. Women were inclined to make their hair as big as possible, and hey it was the style so why not. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who is glad that this look didn't stick around. 

23. Princess Leia Look

Everyone knows this one, even if you haven't seen Star Wars you know its at least from the movie. It's not an everyday look fashionable but there have been some women who have gone out of this world and sported the look. 


24. Big Bows

The bigger the better! That's what the motto seemed to be like in the 80s. Bows were no exception. Bows are a beautiful accessory for hair and can add some feminine flair. But huge bows add a lot more pazzaz as well. You could find so many different styles and colors that it seemed like there was an oversized bow for every outfit in your closet. 

25. The Poof

Ah, the poof. What a look. Made the most famous then Snooki from the Jersey Shore, the poof swept the population. The elevated look seems like a blast from the past mimicking the Beehive and the Bouffant but still a bit edgier. 


26. The Spiky Updo

The 90s was an interesting time for fashion. Grunge was in and so was rocker flair. Including having a hairdo that looked like it belonged to a middle school boy who just used hair gel for the first time. But hey, it was edgy and cool so I can't hate on it that much. 

27. Feathered Hair

Think Farrah Fawcett. Feathered hair was the style to have back in the 70s and early 80s. The look seemed easy to do but getting those perfect feathered features was no joke. It took some time but the outcome made this hair trend iconic. 


28. Mock Tiaras

Using a crown as an accessory? Sign me up, I always knew that I was royalty. The usage of Tiaras is now not only for the Royal family. You can get a tiara anywhere now and sport the look like the true queen you are. It is a crazy hair trend, but if you want to work it then go slay. 

29. The Mushroom Cut

This look has been around for some time making its debut way back in the 20s. It's never been the most popular look but it has persevered throughout the decades and is still around today. The mushroom is interesting but can look very stylish if you take the time and shape it well. 


30. Braided Buns

This look is so much fun especially if you are a fan of braids. But it can be hard to do, especially on yourself (at first that is). Braids have been all the rage that past few years and different variations of the style seem to keep popping up. The braided buns are just the tipping point and they are cute. 

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Molly Given is a writer living in Philadelphia and lover of all things to do with mystery and magic in life. When she’s not writing her fingers off she can be found planning her next adventure in a new part of the world.