Why was curly hair more popular in the 70’s and 80’s?


Discover the Fascinating Trend of Curly Hair in the 70’s and 80’s

Curly hair has always been a subject of fascination and admiration throughout history. However, it reached new heights of popularity in the 70’s and 80’s, becoming an iconic trend that defined the fashion and beauty standards of that era. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the surge in popularity of curly hair during this time, exploring cultural influences, fashion movements, and societal shifts that contributed to this trend. Join us on this journey as we unravel the allure of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s.

The Natural Hair Movement: Embracing Authenticity

Curly hair gained prominence in the 70’s and 80’s due to the rise of the natural hair movement. People began to embrace their natural hair textures, celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of their hair. This movement represented a shift towards self-acceptance and rejecting the beauty standards imposed by society.

Fashion Icons and Pop Culture: Setting the Trend

The influence of fashion icons and popular culture cannot be underestimated when discussing the popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s. Celebrities like Diana Ross, Farrah Fawcett, and Cher were known for their voluminous and glamorous curly locks, inspiring millions to emulate their iconic hairstyles.

Rebellion against Traditional Beauty Standards: Making a Statement

Curly hair was seen as a symbol of rebellion against the traditional beauty standards of the time. Straight hair had long been considered the epitome of beauty, but the 70’s and 80’s challenged this notion. People with curly hair embraced their natural texture as a statement of individuality and nonconformity.

The Afro Movement: Celebrating Black Identity

The 70’s witnessed the powerful Afro movement, which had a profound impact on the popularity of curly hair. This movement, rooted in the Black Power movement and the fight for civil rights, encouraged Black individuals to embrace their natural hair, including beautiful curls and afros. The Afro became a symbol of pride, cultural identity, and resistance against societal norms.

Technological Advancements: The Birth of Perms

Technological advancements in hairstyling played a significant role in the popularity of curly hair during this era. The invention of the perming technique made it easier for individuals to achieve bouncy, curly hairstyles, regardless of their natural hair texture. Perms allowed people to transform their straight hair into voluminous curls, further fueling the trend.

The Hippie Movement: Embracing Bohemian Vibes

The 70’s was a decade characterized by the hippie movement, which valued individualism, peace, and love. This counterculture movement promoted a carefree and natural lifestyle, reflected in fashion choices, including hairstyles. Curly hair, with its wild and untamed nature, aligned perfectly with the bohemian vibes of the era, making it a popular choice among the free-spirited individuals of the time.

Cultural Influences: Disco Fever and Dance Craze

Disco music and dance became a cultural phenomenon in the 70’s, and with it came a distinct hairstyle that became synonymous with the era—the disco afro. This larger-than-life hairstyle, characterized by tight curls and immense volume, complemented the energetic dance moves and glamorous fashion of the disco era.

The Celebrity Effect: Hollywood and Television

Hollywood and television played a crucial role in popularizing curly hair during the 70’s and 80’s. Movies and TV shows often featured characters with curly hair, making it more relatable and aspirational for viewers. These on-screen representations influenced the fashion choices and hairstyle preferences of the general public.

Social Acceptance: Breaking Stereotypes

The increasing popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s also contributed to breaking stereotypes and challenging beauty norms. Society began to embrace a wider range of hairstyles, including natural curls, as an expression of diversity and individuality.

The Legacy of the 70’s and 80’s: Curly Hair Today

The impact of the popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s continues to resonate today. The natural hair movement, initiated during this era, has evolved into a powerful force that celebrates diverse hair textures and promotes self-acceptance. Curly hair is now embraced as a symbol of beauty, authenticity, and confidence, transcending cultural boundaries.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Did everyone in the 70’s and 80’s have curly hair?

A: No, not everyone had curly hair during that time. While curly hair became a popular trend, many people still preferred other hairstyles or had naturally straight hair.

Q2: Were perms the only way to achieve curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s?

A: Perms were a popular method to achieve curly hair during that time, but there were other techniques as well, such as hot rollers, curling irons, and setting lotions.

Q3: Did men also embrace curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s?

A: Yes, men also embraced curly hair during that era. Many male celebrities and musicians sported curly hairstyles, contributing to their popularity.

Q4: Were there any downsides to having curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s?

A: While curly hair was fashionable, some individuals faced challenges in maintaining and styling their curls. Finding the right products and techniques to manage curly hair could be a struggle.

Q5: Did curly hair go out of style after the 80’s?

A: Curly hair did experience a decline in popularity in the following decades, but it never completely went out of style. Today, curly hair is celebrated and embraced more than ever.

Q6: Did the popularity of curly hair affect haircare product sales?

A: Yes, the popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s led to an increase in the demand for haircare products specifically designed for curly hair, such as curl-enhancing shampoos, conditioners, and styling creams.

Q7: Did the popularity of curly hair influence fashion trends in other areas?

A: Absolutely! The popularity of curly hair influenced various fashion trends, from clothing styles to accessories. The overall fashion aesthetic of the 70’s and 80’s was often inspired by the curly-haired icons of the time.

Q8: Are there any hairstyles from the 70’s and 80’s that are still popular today?

A: Yes, several hairstyles from that era continue to be popular today. The shag haircut, feathered layers, and voluminous curls are some examples of hairstyles that have made a comeback in recent years.

Q9: Did curly hair become a symbol of empowerment in the 70’s and 80’s?

A: Yes, for many individuals, curly hair became a symbol of empowerment and self-expression. It represented a departure from societal norms and encouraged embracing one’s natural beauty.


The popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s was a result of various cultural, societal, and fashion influences. From the rise of the natural hair movement to the impact of fashion icons and the celebration of cultural identity, curly hair became a defining trend of the era. The legacy of this trend continues to shape our perceptions of beauty and diversity today. So, embrace your curls and celebrate the uniqueness of your natural hair!


Author Bio: A passionate beauty and fashion enthusiast, our author is well-versed in the history and trends of hairstyles. With a keen eye for detail, they have explored the reasons behind the popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s, shedding light on the cultural and societal influences that shaped this iconic trend.


Similar Topics:

  • How did the fashion trends of the 70’s and 80’s influence hairstyles?
  • What other beauty trends were popular in the 70’s and 80’s?
  • How did the natural hair movement impact the beauty industry?
  • Who were some other iconic hairstyles of the 70’s and 80’s?
  • What role did music and celebrities play in shaping hairstyle trends during this era?
  • How has the perception of curly hair changed over time?
  • What are some modern-day hairstyles inspired by the 70’s and 80’s?
  • How did societal changes contribute to the acceptance of diverse hairstyles?
  • Are there any cultural factors that influenced the popularity of curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s?
  • Straight Hair vs. Curly Hair: Exploring Beauty Standards
  • Natural Hair Movement in the 70’s vs. Natural Hair Movement Today
  • Disco Hair vs. Punk Hair: Contrasting Hairstyles of the 70’s and 80’s
  • Curly Hair vs. Wavy Hair: Understanding Hair Textures
  • Hairstyles in the 70’s vs. Hairstyles in the 80’s: Evolution of Fashion

Answer ( 1 )


    I love my curly hair. And I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m not alone. But why did more people in the 70’s and 80’s have curly hair? I mean, what was so cool about having curls back then? Well, let me tell you!

    The 70s and 80s were a time when people began to express themselves more.

    The 1970s and 1980s were a time of change, both socially and culturally. People were becoming more independent and expressing themselves, breaking away from traditional values. They were also becoming more aware of their environment and the need to protect it as well as themselves. This led to increased political activism, which was reflected in fashion by the rise in denim jeans and t-shirts as casualwear options that allowed individuals to express their political views through what they wore.

    The consumer rights movement was another important factor influencing hairstyles during this period; people were starting to question authority when it came to products they bought or services they received (think: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”).

    People wanted to look different from their parents.

    Curly hair was seen as rebellious and edgy, since it was so different from the straight styles that were popular in the 50s and 60s.

    In addition, people were looking for something new during this time period. The 80’s saw many trends come and go (think neon colors), so naturally curly hair also became popular because it was something new that people hadn’t seen before.

    It was a “natural” look.

    When you’re born with naturally curly hair, it’s a sign of rebellion. You can’t control your curls and they don’t always do what you want them to do. This is why the 70s and 80s were such an excellent time for those with curly locks: it was a natural look that showed others that you didn’t care about conforming to society’s expectations of beauty or style.

    It also shows that you’re different from other people–and we all know how much everyone loves being unique!

    Curly hair was seen as rebellious.

    Curly hair is a natural look, and it’s no surprise that people in the 70’s and 80’s wanted to express themselves through their hair. Curly locks were seen as a way of rebelling against the establishment–it was an easy way for people to stand out from the crowd.

    In fact, if you think about it now, this concept makes perfect sense! In order for someone who has naturally straight hair (like me) to get curls without using heat curlers or other tools like gel or mousse… they would have had to spend hours at home with their head wrapped up like an Egyptian mummy while they slept on top of a hot towel rack next door so those curls would set overnight before school tomorrow morning (which no one did).

    Having curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s was almost a statement of fashion.

    Curly hair was a statement of fashion in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a natural look that many people wanted to emulate. It was also rebellious, as it represented something different from your parents’ generation.

    We hope you enjoyed this look at why so many people had curly hair in the 70’s and 80’s.

Leave an answer

Anonymous answers