Big Hair: The Icons

From rich aristocrats using wigs to illustrate their status to Brigitte Bardot’s golden mane frolicking in the Mediterranean in front of Jean-Luc Godard’s camera, big hair has become synonymous with glamour and vivacity. Bond girls almost always have gorgeous flowing hair and recently the runways have been full of Bardot-esque barnets. As someone with a head full of thick, curly hair, I cannot help but suppress a smug smile when around girls who are just searching for a bit of volume. Why? Because big hair personifies glamour. It is bouncy, vivacious and boasts an element of innate sexiness.

Brigitte Bardot embodied allure and glamour in the 1950s and 60s. With her long golden mane and gorgeous curves, she was every man’s dream woman. Add to that the smouldering eyes and sexy French accent and she was pretty close to perfect. Women have spent years trying to emulate her natural beauty and the hair plays a big part in that. Stars such as Lauren Conrad and Jessica Simpson are often seen sporting a Bardot ‘do in long natural waves. When you think of modern-day big hair icons, you think of performers such as hip-popping R’n’B star Beyoncé, hip-shaking Latina Shakira and everyone’s favourite reality TV judge, Cheryl Cole. Yet, they are very different in their choices of style. Whilst Shakira tends to stick to her natural curls, Cheryl opts for the perfect blow-dry and although Beyoncé flits between various styles, she always produces a big, glamorous look.

The 80s were the decade for big hair; almost everybody had a poodle perm or a big natural mane of waves in those pre-straightener days! The big hair of the 80s is making a big comeback on the catwalk and with the addition of GHDs and shine protection, the result is a super-glossy mane that any supermodel would be proud of!

To achieve this look, you need to have a lot of volume in your hair. If you don’t have it naturally, you can create it by blowdrying and backcombing the roots. There are lots of volumiser sprays available on the market that will hold your style in place. In fact, for the Bardot look, volume is the main ingredient. The style is less structured and more natural and flowing. Whereas to achieve Cheryl Cole’s ‘do, you’ll need a good barrel brush to create the volume as well as the sleek style. For extra height with either of these styles, backcomb the roots and use grips to create the classic beehive look. Just don’t go too far or you could end up looking like Amy Winehouse, who has taken the phrase ‘big hair’ to a whole other scary level! For a curly look, let hair dry naturally, applying a little serum or mousse to prevent frizzing if you have a natural curl or wave to your hair. For girls with sleeker locks to create a curl, sleep in big rollers or try using your tongs to create curls from the mid to ends of your hair before running your fingers through the ringlets to create freer look. Accessorize the look with a smile and natural make-up by day and smoky eyes and a glossy pout by night!

This article was recently published on Running in Heels.

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