Hair from the Age of Aquarius: What’s Old is New!
Aquarius, your time is now.
Now is also a great time to look back to the original Age of Aquarius and the hair trends that followed.
The memorable musical, “Hair”, debuted in 1967, moving to Broadway shortly thereafter. By 1969, the Fifth Dimension recorded “Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”, which won record of the year at the Grammy’s the following year.
“Hair” was really risqué for its time. The cast was nude at one point, the music was 60’s vibe as opposed to traditional musical “clean cut”. The plot centered around hippie culture and demonstrations against war.
And then there was the hair.
“Hair” celebrated long, messy hair along with natural ethnic hair. Hair was celebrated as a way to make a political statement and to literally wear your politics on your head.
Setting the trend for decades
We think of the hairstyles today as being modern and new. But the truth is that the Age of Aquarius ushered in hairstyles that were brand new, revolutionary even but that are still popular today. “Hair” also increased the variety of hairstyles, popularizing long and short hair for women and men, curly and straight, and encouraging African-Americans to embrace natural hairstyles.
- Long, messy hair. Think Janis Joplin. This hairstyle was anti-stylist, and just required growing out hair with very little attention to the hair. Parted or no-parted, this long hair made parents crazy for decades as they yelled at their kids to pull their hair off their faces.
- Natural, ethnic hair. The Afro or “the natural” became a symbol of Black pride, and was the impetus for lots of African-Americans to quit trying to straighten, smooth or relax their hair chemically and embrace their curls.
- Pixie cuts: Popularized by the model, Twiggy, the boyish pixie was an alternative to long hair and was just as rebellious.
What we learned from “Hair” is that everybody’s hair is unique, that diversity of hair looks is good and that we should all “Let the Sunshine In!”