Beauty trends are no stranger to the nature of recycling. Every era has its staples that make a later resurgence (like the French manicure). Today, when we leave the salon and ask our stylists “how can I recreate the way you style my hair when I’m at home?” one of the most common pieces of advice is to always start the direction of your curls back, away from your face (before you start alternating directions, if your aim is a more tousled look). Any ideas on where that advice originated? Let’s take a quick trip if you will… to the 1970s.
Reflecting back on ‘70s hairstyles, we’re reminded of hair icons like Jane Birkin, Donna Summer, Cher, and Diana Ross. They gave us eyebrow-length bangs, big brushed-out curls, afros, and long, straight, hippie-lovin’ hair. But there’s one legendary hair icon from the decade that sticks out above the rest: Farrah Fawcett.
Farrah gave us the unmistakable feathered hairstyle with her role as Jill Monroe on the original sitcom Charlie’s Angels. In our opinion, this hairstyle defined the era. What makes this beauty trend a timeless one is that it’s been able to evolve with the years. With many era-centric looks, it can feel like you’re wearing a costume when you re-create them. But Fawcett’s flipped out look has been modernized and reinterpreted time and time again.
The volume isn’t at the crown or the top of the head like it was in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Instead, all the volume for this look is focused in the flips and curls that give it its character, opening up the facial features and neckline (remember that advice you got from your stylist?) Well, there you have it. Farrah Fawcett's feathered locks taught us a thing or two, and we're still being advised to follow her lead, when you break things down.
Ahead, 25 ways to wear feathery, 1970s hair à la Farrah Fawcett.
There's no need to go too far out of your comfort zone with a style like this. Just by keeping your curls directed away from your face, you're taking notes from feathered looks of the past. And as Shailene Woodley is showing us here, a little flip of the bangs never hurt either.
Side Swept Bob
Short hair is no exception to this hairstyle, as Kelly Rowland shows us here.
There's no doubt about it: Hailee Steinfeld's voluminous curls, high neck line, and ruby red lip color are a nod to some of the best '70s style. This photo makes us want to throw on our roller skates and dance to Abba all night long.
Halle Berry gives this look a very modern take by keeping her texture tousled and undone while still holding true to all the classic components of a feathered '70s 'do.
Claire Danes keeps her flips focused in the front, starting at her bangs and staying around the face, to highlight her face shape and show off the neckline of her dress right at the collarbone.
Vanessa Lachey displays the most commonly seen iteration of feathered hairstyles: A brushed out, barrel-wrapped, face framing curl that starts at the eye line and looks flattering on just about anyone (hence its popularity).
Curtain bangs are one of the most frequented '70s trends still in demand today. Their longer length makes them a great starting point if you've never had bangs before or are on the fence about how short to go.
When hair is styled back away from the face and off the neck, it makes for a perfect display of your best accessories. Jenny From the Block gives her nod to the '70s style while filming Second Act by pairing her feathered hair with a pair of large gold hoops.
The Bigger the Better
As we mentioned before, volume for this style is always concentrated in the feathered back curls instead of the crown of the head, unlike its predecessors. Zoey Deutch pulls one side back to really emphasize her touchable, feathered volume.
A long, feathered side bang can be enough to give your waves a retro twist.
For shorter hair, try using a smaller-barrelled (3/4"-1") round brush for more defined, feathery pieces.
Center parts were to the '70s what side parts are to us today. Chloe Grace Moretz wears it well in her super chic pink cords and pouty lip.
Selena Gomez uses this look to her advantage by adding some face-framing highlights.
Feathered and Flipped
This style doesn't flow back in unison. Instead, Tina Fey wears her hair feathered and flipped, like a beautifully upheld '70s blowout.
Vanessa Hudgens feathers the ends of her shoulder-length shag.
When curled away from the face, layers will cascade their way down and help hold shape for this style, making them a perfect palette for this look.
Kiernan Shipka flaunts an over directed side part with her flipped out curls.
Mary J. Blige proves you can update this retro style by adding piecey ends to your feathered back waves.
If you think your hair is too thick for this look, think again. Try a minimal approach by using a thicker round brush or barrel size to emphasize a larger wave pattern as seen here on Emmy Rossum.
Soft As a Feather
Tyra Banks reveals a feathered hairstyle can be mature and sophisticated. Her soft, natural curls, styled away from her face, are soft as a feather (pun intended).
Adding a flare to your hairstyle doesn't have to be major. It can be as subtle as these detailed ends on Laura Dern.
Keri Hilson wears this mod interpretation of unfussy feathered curls by way of a short, layered lob.
Low and Loose
This feathered hairstyle stays low and loose by beginning just below the cheekbones. January Jones wears a high neckline and big earrings to add an extra touch of '70s flair to go with her 'do.
A Taste of the '60s
Zendaya's long, sweeping side bangs and some height at the crown lend a delightful '60s flavor to her feathered bob.
All Over Volume
Kate McKinnon gives a nod to this '70s 'do with a little dollop of volume on top.
Can you feather a heavy, full bang? Jameela Jamil says yes, and we won't argue with someone whose fringe is that fabulous.
How do you style feathered hair with a curling iron or hair dryer?
To achieve the iconic feathered look, wash your hair and applying a volumizing mousse. Part your hair down the middle. Next dry your hair using a large round brush to blow the layers surrounding your face back and away from your face. Use a wide-barrel curling iron (1.5 to 2 inches) to curl the layers around your face back away from your face. Lightly brush through and spray with hairspray to set your look.
How can you feather curtain bangs?
Curtain bangs are long fringe bangs that are parted down the middle. They have become popular not only with feathered hairstyles, but also shag hairstyles. To style them, part them down the middle and use a round brush to style them away from your face so they blend in with the rest of your hair. You can also use a curling iron if you want a more pronounced feathered look, but wrapping your hair over the curling iron so it curls out, instead of in.
What face shape looks best with feathered hair?
Feathered hair looks great on most face shapes, so if you like this style you should go for it—regardless of face shape. For round faces, try to keep the volume on your crown to help elongate your face. Those with heart-shaped or triangle-shaped faces should keep their bangs and long layers to hit cheekbone and below so the volume of your hair best balances out your face.