Take a quick look along the red carpet or glance in the window of your local hairstylist and you’ll see that old-style glamour is very much back in favour. Everyone from movie and TV stars to on-trend brides are rolling back the clock to draw styling inspiration from the silver screen’s golden age. The perfect look for a formal corporate event, a glamorous shindig or decadent wedding ceremony, Hollywood hair can turn a lovely outfit into a look oozing Gatsby-esque glamour. What’s more, these sophisticated styles aren’t too difficult to achieve, so feel free to give them a try next time you’re getting glammed up for a special occasion — or even if you just fancy a bit of a change.
What is Hollywood hair?
Typically, Hollywood hair refers to styles that harken back to the ‘golden age of cinema’: the period when Hollywood was producing most of the film in the West during the 1920’s all the way through to the 60’s. Think Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, or Bette Davis: these kinds of look are all great examples of Hollywood Hair — with thousands of women borrowing and reinventing the styles over the years since.
More often than not, styles that draw on Hollywood for inspiration will use curlers to add shape and definition to the hairdo, as well as products to smooth down any errant hairs and ensure the style stays in place. This results in a very distinctive and glamorous look; a style that’d be at home on any of the world’s most exclusive red carpets.
Recent A-list celebrities who have delved into Hollywood’s past for a new look include Blake Lively, Cara Delevingne, Katy Perry, and Rihanna. It’s not hard to see why; these stunning hair styles are helping make Hollywood’s current crop of stars even more glamorous, with each acting as the perfect accompaniment to a black-tie event. So with all that in mind, why not try some out for yourself? Here’s a cherry-picked list of some of the best and most versatile styles to come out of the silver screen:
The Flapper-style short bob
Smart and sophisticated, the classic flapper-style bob creates a powerful finish with a distinctly feminine feel. Ideal for an everyday professional look, as well as corporate events or other special occasions, this iconic style is perfect for women whose hair is shoulder length or shorter.
When creating a flapper-style bob, you’ll need to divide your hair into sections and then gel each section individually. Next, use a wave curler or small curling iron to create curls down the length of your hair. Follow it up with hair spray or another structure-enhancing product to hold your new do in place.
As this look requires quite a lot of product to achieve, you probably won’t need to touch it up for the rest of the day (or night) once it’s in place; however, don’t expect your do to still be quite so glamorous in the morning!
One of the best hairstyles for capturing that classic silver-screen glamour is the ’Old Hollywood’: a cascade of carefully created curls, this gorgeous look can be dressed up or dressed down as needed. It’s also very versatile — equally at home in the office, during the school run or for a glitzy night out.
If you’re looking to sport the Old Hollywood, create the look by parting your hair deeply on one side, using hot rollers or a barrel curling iron to curl your hair in the desired direction. Having done so, apply a generous dose of hairspray to hold the curls in place. As this look can be freshened up relatively easily, you can revive your Old Hollywood hairdo the next morning — giving the style some great staying power.
Tied with a scarf
If you’re looking for a more laid back kind of chic that’s still dripping in iconic Hollywood charisma, this style is hard to beat. Reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn and sported by celebrities like Rihanna and Eva Mendes, this look can be worn with everything — from shorts to dresses to jeans. Achieving the look requires creating a crown ponytail with a deep side parting; use a curler to add that extra bit of body to your hair, breaking the ringlets up with your fingers to make the look a little more casual. Finally, pin your hair into a bun and simply tie your chosen scarf around the crown of your head to polish off the look.
As this do requires fewer products and less maintenance than other Hollywood styles, it’s the ideal choice for women with busy lifestyles, especially those who can’t make too many trips to the salon. Plus, since you’re tying a scarf around your hair, you can cheekily cover up any split ends and frizz, achieving a glamorous and vintage look in no time at all!
With a little bit of patience and a lot of hairspray, you can easily recreate some of these iconic styles in your own home. So next time you’re planning a night out, heading to an important work event or just feel like a change from your everyday look, why not crack out the curling irons, pop a silver screen feature in the DVD player, and have some fun recreating a classic Hollywood do?