Monday, June 28, 2010

Hair Inspirations In the Movies and Television

I was thinking today about some of my childhood hair inspirations.  When I was a kid there was a plethora of movies from the 1930s to the 1950s running frequently on television. It was then, watching those movies that I discovered the power of beautiful hair.

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.


  1. I'm glad you've got it now. Some people never get it and spend their whole lives trying to be something they're not. I like simple hairstyles, I don't like to put a lot of effort into styling my hair. When I was young my mom insisted that I put it up in curlers. I hated that. Especially since the curl only lasted until about noon.

  2. A mistake I often make myself, even though on an intellectual level, I do indeed know better. I just get tired of the mess on my head, really. I love the old movie magic though...

  3. I'm a fan of the classic cinema, and I have many favorite actresses from the thirties to sixties. Many of them had beautiful hair, but that was rarely what caught my eye - I was always rather intrigued by faces, or poise, or general style, or personality.
    Yet, I always loved the color of Elizabeth Taylor's hair. I know her hair was merely a frame to her gorgeous face, (and most styles she wore suited her), but her raven black color is what gave her that distinctive look.
    Rita Hayworth was also pretty, and to me she looks stunning in black and white movies. However, I read somewhere she wore hairpieces, so that burst my bubble about her gorgeous locks :(


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