The first woman that I ever saw in the movies who made me really aware of how important lovely hair is was Rita Hayworth. I remember that even though I was seeing the movie, Gilda, in black and white, I didn't know that her hair was red, Yet there was no mistaking that her hair was an intrinsic part of her beauty and allure. I remember a couple of memorable scenes in that film that inspired me. One was a moment when she was leaning over and then tossed her hair up, her luscious hair falling perfectly into place. Another was when she was singing and dancing to "Put the Blame on Mame". Those movie moments are burnt in my memory forever.
Another early movie actress whose hair really made her look was of course, Veronica Lake. She was such a tiny little woman; I believe about 5 feet tall, and very petite, She had a pretty face and figure, but I just couldn't take my eyes off her peek-a-boo hairstyle. It's no wonder that many women tried to emulate that look back in those days.
I also remember watching Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I loved seeing her put together her hairstyle in preparation for going out on the town. Of course, I now realize that it was movie magic that allowed her to do an elaborate style in just a few seconds, but the image never left my head.
More realistic was Peggy Lipton in Mod Squad. She had the perfect late '60s/early '70s hair. It was long, straight, blonde and parted in the middle. That was a look that I could have achieved had I been able to grow out my bangs, but my mother kept my bangs cut. Also, I was very young then and didn't really understand that the hairstyle has to fit the face.
When I was in my teens, it was all about trying to achieve the Farrah Fawcett look, even though 99% of the population hasn't got the kind of hair she had. Especially me.
It took me way too long to really understand that I didn't need to emulate anyone else's look. Even in the '90s I can remember getting a Meg Ryan cut.
It really wasn't until I hit my 40s that I really "got it". There was no longer any point in trying to wear someone else's hair. It took much too much work to achieve the various looks, and of course lots of damaging products and styling tools to get them.
I finally realized that my face is my face and my hair is my hair, and that's the way it's meant to be. Why couldn't I have seen that in my youth?
At least I've got it now.