Silver Chips Online

American Hairitige

By Aidan Keys, Staff Writer
February 7, 2014
Hair defines a generation. The 70's even has a musical about it. Big hair gives way to the 80's while disheveled, wet hair defines the 90's. Now we're 4 years into the 10's (or whatever you call this decade). Living in the current era, it's difficult to spot the trends that will someday make us wince or put others through bouts of nostalgia, so lets review hair styles through the past couple of years.

Moving Froward

The Afro hairstyle rocked in the black community. Grace Wilson
The Afro hairstyle rocked in the black community.
In the black community, natural hair is more of a movement than a trend. A natural hairstyle is one in which a woman doesn't put any chemicals in her hair. These non-chemical styles include an afro, dreadlocks, braids, or twists. Only recently have black women begun to embrace the texture of their hair. For years black women have considered their hair unruly and even ugly due to beauty standards. Natural hair symbolizes an acceptance of oneself and one's culture (people with chemically straightened hair accept themselves and their culture, too. It's complicated.) Thus, natural hair is a symbol of the tolerance and acceptance that America is moving towards.

Many women wear short, colorful springy afros while transitioning their hair to its natural state. Once women's hair grows, often they rock a twist-out, or tight fluffy coils. Others have worn updo's such as Janelle Monae's legendary hair. Obviously, the afro has come in vogue with the movement, but it is not the same as a twist out. A twist out is structured and stylized, while an afro is near total freedom of one's hair to do what it want. An afro is an achievement because of its tendency to get tangled, and because it's the manifestation of the beauty of natural hair.

Hairy Styles

The past 3 years in pop culture have been a messy battle between a strong desire to pay homage to the early 1990's to 1996, and finding the generation's own voice. Newswise, it's been equally messy. The hair trends follow this struggle. Perhaps Rihanna's transition from a frightening mullet to a soft wavy ombre look best exemplifies this, as does the year's wet look, in which stylists made models' hair look wet without liquid. However, for the most part, most hair trends have not been as strange.

From Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Watson, the pixie cut has made its return.  Grace Wilson
From Jennifer Lawrence to Emma Watson, the pixie cut has made its return.
Zooey Deschanel has conquered the past years with bangs, allowing people to embrace their quirky personalities. Most notable is the emergence of the blonde pixie cut. Whether side swept or neatly cropped, celebrities have cut their hair. Beyonce most elegantly pulled this off in August 2013, when she released photos of a golden bob with the same notice of her new album. However bold moves from Anne Hathaway and Charlize Theron proved that a haircut makes them look even more angelic. Although for the most part, Blazers that sport pixie cuts haven't dyed their hair blonde as well, the trend has stylishly taken over the hallways.

The top knot bun which has become especially popular in the last two years. Grace Wilson
The top knot bun which has become especially popular in the last two years.
Another trend that translated well in Blazer hallways was the braid. Whether fishtail, or a simple braid to keep hair on one side, the braid became a staple for the generation's hairstyles. On the runway, a messy braid has been most popular. Last is the topknot, or a bun that rests on the top of one's head. The topknot serves the purpose of giving women sophistication in a casual setting, or on a bad hair day. It is a necessary hairstyle that saves women with naturally curly hair and women with straight hair alike.

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