Power Coifs: 5 Iconic (and Impactful) Hairstyles of Leading First Ladies

Women in politics face entirely different challenges than their masculine counterparts. Men are rarely critiqued for how they dress or style their hair. Women, on the other hand, must convey equal parts strength and femininity in their political appearances or risk negative judgment (double standard, anyone?). Before, we’ve analyzed the history of makeup in politics. Now, we’re concerned with hair, particularly, that of our nation’s first ladies.

Here at Byrdie, we think it’s impossible to overstate the role of the FLOTUS. The president may hold the highest executive office in the U.S., but the first lady is our nation’s support. She’s the behind-the-scenes adviser and policymaker. Her beliefs and actions shape the country just as the elected executive’s do—just in a subtler way.

Speaking of subtle, we’re interested in how these women styled their hair at the intersection of trendy and traditional throughout their time in the world’s spotlight. After all, crafting a public appearance is essential to the world of politics. Keep scrolling to see the best hairstyles from five first ladies over the past 50 years!

Interested in beauty and how it affects your career aspirations? Next up, read what your co-workers really think about your makeup!