As the saying goes, everything old is new again—and that’s never more true than in the world of hair. Though we’ve been firmly ensconced in a ‘90s and 2000s cycle for the past few years, other retro styles have had their moment in the spotlight too. In our fast-paced world of constant new “-cores” and TikTok trends, one day you’re all about the ‘80s and the next you’re channeling Britney Spears circa 2002.
But one hairstyling standby that never really goes out of style is the polished, voluminous ‘60s look, one you’d see back in the day on stars like the Supremes and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Think lots of volume at the crown, almost in a bubble shape, or a sky-high beehive updo.
Today, elements of the look are seen on red carpets, music videos and photoshoots on stars like Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Anne Hathaway, among many, many others. (Um, hello, Lana del Rey!) Flip open whatever fashion magazine you’ve got nearby—or TikTok or Instagram, for that matter—and you’re bound to see some ‘60s energy, no matter the year.
There’s never a bad time to give your hair a boost with a retro vibe, so if you’re looking to channel the swinging ‘60s via your coiffure, grab your texture spray and teasing brush and get styling.
Where You've Seen It
What makes the voluminous ‘60s-inspired look such an enduring classic? According to celebrity hairstylist Sabrina Rowe Holdsworth, these styles throw it back to a different era and give off a classic, luxe vibe. “These looks harken back to a period when class and sophistication were at their peak. And what better way to exude that air of confidence and glamour than with a tight tease or sweeping your locks up into a perfectly sculpted 'do?” she shares. “Perhaps it's because these epic coiffed styles exude glamour and sophistication like nothing else. Whatever the reason, it seems that people everywhere are eager to get in on the action and embrace styles that were once considered old-fashioned and I am all for it.”
There are certain hallmarks of the ‘60s style that continue to be referenced today in both hair and makeup; when you see them, you immediately know what decade they’re referring to. “Whether it's a classic cat eye or a perfectly coiffed beehive, the '60s hair and makeup look has always been known for its bold style and contemporary edge,” says Holdsworth. “Some of the hallmarks of this look are voluminous hair, thick lashes, luminous skin and pops of color on the lips and cheeks.” A teased crown and flipped-out ends is an easy way to live your best Samantha from Bewitched life, while a teased half-updo would look perfectly at home performing on American Bandstand.
These elements are important to shaping a ‘60s style, but Holdsworth says the look is more versatile than you think. “These styles can easily be toned down or glammed up depending on your mood or the occasion, making them an ideal choice for any modern woman,” she says. “Whether you're heading to work or going out on the town, you can always count on a classic '60s hair and makeup look to help you feel confident and polished.” There’s something so cool about a glamorous teased updo paired with cutoffs or mom jeans, or juxtaposed with punky black liner and dark lipstick.
It’s also just fun to turn up the volume, literally. “Bigger, higher hair can be more flattering on some people,” says celebrity stylist Kacey Welch. “Who doesn't love more hair?”
Sixties hairstyles are a mainstay of editorial fashion shoots and runway shows and a favorite of celebrities, but the trend has also popped up on social, namely on TikTok.
Vintage hairstyling tutorial videos are always popular on the platform, but after the success of both Elvis and Don't Worry Darling, users were all about trying their hand at Priscilla Presley’s signature big coiffed hair or throwing it back like Florence Pugh's Brigitte Bardot-inspired volume. If you’re looking for full-on, faithful retro re-enactments or a vintage-inspired vibe, there’s a tutorial for you on TikTok.
How to Get '60s Hair
While we probably won’t go back to the era of wearing a beehive to the grocery store (or maybe we will, who knows), creating your own ‘60s-inspired look is a fun way to channel the superstars of the era whenever the mood strikes.
Prep is key to setting the tone for a strong style, says Holdsworth. “These styles took time and preparation, so having great foundation products is key,“ she shares. Assemble your styling products in advance before trying your hand at the tease to make sure you’ve got your bases covered. “As for styling, you will need a great volumizing mousse, volumizing hair spray and a rat tail comb for teasing. Build product into your hair before attempting hair raising heights,” Holdsworth says. Welch likes to use a texturizing spray for volume and recommends dp Hue’s Color Fresh Dry Texture Spray ($28) and IGK’s Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray ($32).
If you’re working with wet hair, grab the blow dryer and set it to “big hair.” Flip your head upside down and let gravity play stylist. Once your hair is dry, you’ll need to tease it to get that unmistakable ‘60s volume, but don’t be intimidated by the technique. “When teasing you want a tight tease near the root so the height stays and use hairspray as reinforcement,” advises Holdsworth. “Smooth the ends out with a brush or iron to get the result you're looking for. Remember this should be fun! Play around with teasing styles to see the result you can get from your hair type.”
If the “everything in its place” grooming of the ‘60s is too much for you and you feel like you’re an extra on a movie set, add a modern edge with some lived-in texture or rough up the style a bit to give it more movement. And voila! You’re ready to slip into a sheath dress or mod miniskirt and go-go about your day.