By far, pop culture has had the greatest influence on fashion and by inclusion hair styles and designs. The creativity of the music and film industries have literally spearheaded the ‘must have styles’. Actors such as Gregory Peck introduced us to classic suave hair do’s, and actresses like Audrey Hepburn introduced us to elaborate elegance in high piling ‘Bee Hive’ styles. In later times John Travolta brought classic finesse to an end and introduced us to the new era of the romantic rebel and grease…literally.

Music pop-culture has had no different impact on the ever changing world of fashion and hair designs as musicians continued to push the envelope and adoring fans continued to covet their look. Over the years we have seen The Beatles Cut, Elvis’ forehead finger curl, Pink Floyd’s psychedelic scheme and Queen’s flamboyant front man flaunt his low cuts. The Glam era showed us the flashy side of hair and style and at its close, we saw the emergence of Gothic/Horror Punk rock where we learned to wear the Devil’s Lock as the mark of rock music and the Mohawk as a mark of punk music.

And then there was the 80’s.  Skid Row to Bon Jovi to Madonna; no one knows exactly what was going on there because everyone was covered in hair!

In the world of hip-hop and rap music we’ve seen Run-DMC rock hats, Flavor Flave rock clocks (mostly to distract everyone from looking at his hair, among other things). We saw Kid n Play compete for the world records in the ‘Tallest Hair’ division and the ‘Longest Hair Part Ever Made’ division, and we certainly saw too much of Vanilla Ice’s hair version of Gumby’s head.

And so it is that fans and imitators alike copied the styles of their favorite artists through the years. Why? Possibly because fans truly admired these artists and wanted to show support, or possibly because these artists were rich and famous and looking like they looked would also make the fans feel like a rock star, or possibly because everyone just wanted to be ‘in the know’ and go with the flow, waiting for the next ‘it’ thing. But whatever it was one thing is for certain, culture, especially pop culture holds the monopoly over fashion and hair design and we see it even today. Britney Spears gets hair extensions and in a few days all the girls you know suddenly have knee length hair. Halle Berry goes for the straight and sleek look and the next day there is a shortage of flat-irons worldwide. If that’s not influence then what on God’s green earth is?

Well, probably that’s just how the world turns, or cultures change or eras evolve.  But on the bright side, we’ve gotten a lot out of historical culture; we’ve laughed, we’ve cried and we’ve been frightened out of our skins by some of the hair styles the years have showed us. And with ever increasing technological advancements in the cosmetic industry, we should expect a lot more laughs, tears and scares when people reveal their latest fashion ‘style’ and hair ‘design’.

More on appearance – Vocabulary

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