Warm up that GHD and unroll those rollers, it’s time for another hair-raising addition to our weekly series of Ray-Ban Legendary Lists in honour of the wayfaring lens-maker’s 75th Anniversary.
Following on from our rolling inventory of legendary sidekicks, today’s legend of legends aren’t so much known for their ability to have your back (unless you’re particularly hirsute) but instead derive their iconic status from their follicular facility.
Yes, today we’re talking business at the front and party at the back with the Top 10 Iconic Hairstyle in Pop Culture History, worn by some equally as legendary Pop Cultural stalwarts whose status for the most part derives less from a certain prowess in their respective fields, and more for their iconic coiffures and distinctive dos. Let’s see who made the cut!*
*Sorry, but I’m not sorry – there’s plenty more hair puns where that come from!
Jen might’ve called it “the ugliest haircut I have ever seen” but the boxy shag named after her character on Friends is an enduring style synonymous with both the 90s, all the women I know over 40 and Aniston’s career – it’s the albatross she’ll forever have to wear around her neck. In 2011, Aniston told Allure magazine, “I’d rather not relive… that whole Rachel thing. I love Chris [McMillan, the hairstylist responsible for the cut], and he’s the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn Rachel, which was not my best look.”
I’d have to concur. The Rachel is the most widely imitated hairstyle in Britain, with over 11 million misguided women attempting some cut-copy of the look that launched a thousand rom-coms and twice as many fake pregnancy scares.
Photo via Getty Images
The pinnacle of late 80s hair appeal, both Bowie’s turn as the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s beautiful, dark, twisted film Labyrinth and Rod Stewart’s regular ole everyday platinum locks teased to within an inch of their life redefined many a fair-haired fantasy. Not only that, but the former made an indelible impression on my childhood and the way my hair looks today after one too many space oddities, if you know what I mean (a hot mess).
Reaching heights matched only by their Golden Years, never again will such a compelling case been made for asymmetrical lengths of platinum streaked hair made bouffant by hair spray and sexual static electricity. That’s probably for the best.
Photo by Getty Images
Marge Simpson née Bouvier’s undeniably iconic blue column was inspired by both Frankenstein’s titular bride and Simpsons’ creator Matt Groenig’s mother’s hair from the 1960s. She sounds like a cool mom. I’ve also never felt so concerned for the loss of someone’s hair that isn’t my own as when Marge started losing hers in episode thirteen of season eight, aka Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala-Annoyed-Grunt-cious, the episode that gifted us with Sherry Bobbins.
It’s considered an iconic moment in beauty history – if that’s a thing? – and rightly so. When legendary hair artiste Vidal Sassoon flew from London to Hollywood to chop the long blonde locks off Mia Farrow on the set of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (pictured above) it was so revolutionary that Frank Sinatra famously served his then wife with divorce papers. Never mind if that’s actually true or not – Farrow effectively tweeted that story to death the day that Sassoon died, and this photo would also seem to contravene that legend.
Nevertheless, the short, sharp cut has since gone on to be emulated by risk-taking women for decades; from chic waifs like Twiggy and Kate Moss to present day ingenues like Carey Mulligan, Michelle Williams, Agyness Deyn, Ginnifer Goodwin and, most recently, Lena Dunham. I’m sorry, Miley Cyrus, but you can’t sit with us.
Photo by AFP via Getty Images
Ever since Louise Brooks and Bernice Bobbed Her Hair in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story from 1920, the necks of women (and some game, ill-advised men) have tasted the sweet, joyous feeling of emancipation that only looking like The Magic Pudding can bring. Expect to see a revival in short sharp bobs come whenever Baz Luhrmann’s remake of the The Great Gatsby finds its eventual release.
Of course, bobs are an enduringly popular style favoured by the kind of actors who didn’t quite make the cut above, like Keira Knightley and Katie Holmes when she did that whole fetishised Jacqueline Onassis performance piece for Tom. Also favoured by the perennially chic Anna Wintour, bobs underwent a chavtastic mutation when Victoria Beckham spawned the Pob (posh bob/pixie bob). So there you go. I hope you’re learning things about boobs. I mean bobs. Right.
Photos by Peter Kramer via Getty Images
Many pretenders to the crown have tried and failed to imitate the brylliance of the slicked and quiffed pompadour. Sported as early as the mid 18th Century by its namesake mistress Madame du You Get The Idea, the pomp was favoured alike by World War I pin-up girls, rockabilly style mavericks like Presley and Bette Davis and fictional fanboys like Tin Tin and La Roux (where’d you go, La Roux?). The crown now falls squarely on the likes of square-headed ginger Conan O’Brien and monochromatic style icon Janelle Monae. Heavy the head that wears this crown.
Photos by Kristian Dowling and SFP/AFP via Getty Images
The perm was initially a symbol of suffragism (learning things!), and the afro was embraced as a bouffant symbol of pride during the civil rights movement. Pam Grier put a strong sassy face to the bold assertion of independence behind the famous fro, and whatever progress was made under the shade provided by the sphere of frizz was effectively undone by suburban style icons like Kath Day-Knight, Neighbours era Kylie and all those older women I knew before they were 40.
It may have been recently hijacked by talentless hacks like Snooki but the beehive has been around since the 1960s and its retro steez is undeniably timeless. Only to be outdone by her epic boob shelf, Christina Hendricks’ signature flame-coloured beehive is almost as entrancing as her killer figure. Amy Winehouse also reclaimed incontestable ownership of the towering do and took it new heights (and sadly, lows) while channelling soulful predecessors like Dusty Springfield and The Supremes.
Photo by Dan Kitwood for Getty Images
THE MO/FAUX HAWK
The North American Mohawk Nation grew their eponymous hairstyle in an effort to get closer to their creators. Travis Bickle grew his as an outward manifestation of his chronic disenfranchisement/psychopathic rage. David Beckham grew his highlighted faux hawk probably out of some hair product endorsement cash deal and thus became the preening poster child for mid-aughts metrosexual mohawks everywhere. Green Day also spruiked mohawks for the masses in a vain attempt to latch onto their punk roots, and now look where they’ve ended up (rehab).
Photo by Martin Hayhow via Getty Images
Sonny Johnny Moore aka ma boi Skrilly isn’t the originator of this sadly iconic hairstyle in popular culture, but he is a card-carrying member of this ill-advised choice. The style has a short, although varied history of appearances throughout a coterie of sassy alt girls and douchebags. The Skrillex, in which a portion of the side of the victim’s head is shaved clean while the rest remains lank, has been sported in the past by coiffured chameleon Rihanna, Ke$ha, Skrillex’s beau Ellie Goulding, Chanel ambassador and British-Brazilian babe Alice Dellal, the poor-man’s Rihanna, Cassie, Milla Jovovich, mutton dressed as Willow Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and – heck – even Avril Lavigne-Kroeger has been dumb enough to sport this look.
The post-craniotomy style has spawned a tributary Tumblr, Girls That Look Like Skrillex, a fake Twitter account (@Skrilleyshair) and a terrible, terrible song – Girl, You Got Skrillex Hair. I think we’ve come full circle.
Photo by Claire Glavin via Getty Images