View Full Version : When did our culture shift?

September 1st, 2010, 09:15 AM
Recently on the morning radio show I listen to, they were talking about hair and someone mentioned the major change in our culture where it used to be that if you colored your hair people thought negatively about you (vain, a trollop, etc). Nowadays it seems that if you DON'T color your hair you are viewed negatively (lazy, etc.). Interesting thought.

When length came up one person metioned that "I don't like the Crystal Gayle look on women" and they all agreed that long hair was wrong. Oh well :rolleyes:

September 1st, 2010, 09:17 AM
When I was a child, coloring your hair was definitely frowned on, unless you were covering gray. I'd say this attitude shifted in the 70s.

September 1st, 2010, 09:28 AM
After hippie culture waned :(
I think that was probably my favourite time in the history of the US.

September 1st, 2010, 09:28 AM
I have been noticing this a lot too. If I go to the mall it is actually hard to spot a female who has natural hair! It is kind of sad...

frost pattern
September 1st, 2010, 09:36 AM
Fashion changes ... in Roman times bleached hair and a blonde wig were a matter of status.

I remember my mother looking down to people dying their hair (70ties), but she went to the hairdresser forpermanent waves like about 50% of the women did then. Now the focus lies more on dying and fashion haircuts I think. Many people live on fashions (such as hairdressers), and there is a most common demand for fashion and fashion talk. The people who earn money on providing the latest fashion and the people who want it feed each other's wishes ;).

September 1st, 2010, 10:06 AM
I was gonna say the 80s...my mom had purple hair once back then. I like being a rebel...so I will.not.dye!

September 1st, 2010, 10:35 AM
New products and technology have made hair color more accessible to people too. I'm in beauty school, according to our text nearly 85% of women and 30% of men have colored before or still do color their hair. I think color is here to stay, which is good because I plan to make a living off of it :D

Natural hair is beautiful too, but not for everyone. I'm glad that it's no longer a secret shame to alter your hair to suit your aesthetics.

September 1st, 2010, 10:49 AM
While it seems that the 80s were when coloring and cutting hair really hit its stride, I actually think it all began during the 20s. Even before WWII, women were bobbing their hair and bleaching it to make it blond and wearing flapper styles. The women who maintained their length and wore mor conservative clothing were seen as unfashionable. Through the depression, hair remained short, although clothing became more conservative. During the war, many, many women went to work in factories for the first time and needed convenient hairstyles that could be pinned back for safety. Most had shoulderlength hair that they pin curled or put in victory rolls, etc. Clothing remained somewhat conservative and had simple lines due to rationing of fabric. After the war, there emerged an idea of the "ideal feminine" housewife who wore poodle skirts and had shorter, fashionable hair cuts. Think Donna Reed or Leave It To Beaver. This ideal continued through the early 60s until the baby boom generation hit their teens. With the Vietnam War raging, the youth of the 60's and early 70s rebeled against these ideals, so hair got longer for women AND men, clothing became more revealing and gender roles were changing. Then came disco and then the 80s when big hair reigned supreme as well as asymmetrical styles and even more revealing clothing. In the 90s, there was actually a backlash against the "fashion cuts" of the 80s with the grunge look. With the influence of shows like Friends, it became popular to get the "in" cut of the moment and this continues today. I'm not sure what all that means for us long hairs, but I love fashion history. It's reall fascinating how the cultural ideals of "fashionable" change through the times.

September 1st, 2010, 10:54 AM
I think it changed when our culture made a big shift toward maximizing profits and figuring out mroe and more ways to get us to buy stuff. Sometime in the 80s. At the same time that being frugal and saving your money went out of fashion and credit card and debt became the norm.

September 1st, 2010, 11:29 AM
I guess it goes in cycles, you know?
In the 80's people with crazy colours were frowned upon and called rebels. Now, it is the natural hair that is frowned upon.

I guess that makes us the rebels, people :D

September 1st, 2010, 11:38 AM
I remember at school in about 2005 when I was about to be a leaver that some guy in my class "accused" me of dying my hair like it made me a prostitute or something :p

I hadnt dyed it Id just been out in the sun too much but he was really rude about it and got the whole class looking. My teacher bailed me out in the end and told him to shut up- good old sisterhood!

Its such a wierd thing, maybe it was because I was younger then. But ive noticed that dying or people assuming youve dyed it- especially blonde was premiscuous. Other girls in my class did clearly dye their hair and it wasnt an issue. I told them to go away but some guys in the class saw it as "false adversiting" that I didnt have natural blonde hair/blue eyes (which I do anyway). I lost alot of respect for some of them when they raised the genetics argument as they wanted to know what my parents heritige was too. Sigh.

It was a wierd event!

I think dying is much more acceptable and especially bold colours.

September 1st, 2010, 12:12 PM
Well...none of this means anything to me. I'll do what I want to do with my appearance and not what others want me to! :D

I need to find a shirt that says "I'm not here to decorate your world" in glitter! :D

September 1st, 2010, 12:18 PM
*ttthhhhhrrrrrrrrppppppppp* knickers to them LOL!! My hair is gonna stay it's odd slightly ginger slightly beige colour and it's gonna stay longer-than-normal :)

September 1st, 2010, 12:25 PM
I think our culture has also let go of many so-called "indicators" of sluttiness. Many of our sartorial and behavioral conventions, particularly those linked to propriety, simply are not around anymore.

September 1st, 2010, 09:41 PM
That just makes those of us with long virgin hair unique! People try to stand out by getting the hot new haircuts and dying it all sorts of colors, but really it's us that people seem to notice :)

September 1st, 2010, 09:57 PM
How dumb :( People don't dye their hair because they're lazy? How about they just want to avoid the damage and like the natural shade? Fake hair will always look fake, and if that is the standard these days, I don't wanna be the standard. Screw bleaching, fake tan, and all that crap. I wear make-up or 'trendy' clothes because and only if I want to and not because somebody thinks I should. Whatever happened to individuality or, I don't know, personal style? I know way too many young girls who all look the same.

September 1st, 2010, 09:58 PM
It must have shifted prior to 21 years ago because I always remember hair coloring as a positive thing. I do however remember the shift from curly perms being popular to straight perms being favored. :)

September 1st, 2010, 10:06 PM
I think it changed when our culture made a big shift toward maximizing profits and figuring out mroe and more ways to get us to buy stuff. Sometime in the 80s. At the same time that being frugal and saving your money went out of fashion and credit card and debt became the norm.

Hmm. you may have something there. I had never made a connection between the economy and the changing hair fashions. I guess frivolity comes and goes, as well. Not that dying hair is frivolous...for me it's a necessity :p Too young for grays!

September 1st, 2010, 10:16 PM
I'd actually say late 70s with the emergence of the Punk and Goth subcultures. This led into a lot of the big, crazy hair of the 80s and got companies cashing in on the ubiquitous desire of teens to be 'different' and rebel.
Hell, if you look at it that way, the 60s were full of people going bottle blonde for the beach-babe look.
Perhaps these weren't exactly acceptable to society as a whole at the time, but they certainly paved the way. Bleaching, at least, has been popular for even longer, but again I think there was more stigma.

September 1st, 2010, 11:03 PM
What about access to cheap(er) hair dye? And the fact that you can change your whole look by dying your hair 9with/without hair cut)?

frost pattern
September 2nd, 2010, 12:20 AM
That just makes those of us with long virgin hair unique! ...

What about access to cheap(er) hair dye? ...
How strange! Changing style and a unique look have never been more accessible and accepted than nowadays, but many people follow the same fashion, so the noticeable unique style is untreated hair :rolleyes:!

Going back to the 70ties, many people associated long hair with hippie culture and being unkempt. Perhaps there is a bit of this attitude still left in many minds, so to them (to use an exaggerated expression) following fashion and styling is equalized to being well-tended and long hair leads to self-neglect?

September 2nd, 2010, 12:33 AM
When length came up one person metioned that "I don't like the Crystal Gayle look on women" and they all agreed that long hair was wrong. Oh well :rolleyes:

Just to bump this portion of the thread:

Long hair is massively in! Think of all those girls getting extensions. Also, I've noticed in advertising campaigns that many of the girls have at least BSL hair.

Or maybe its because I'm paying more attention these hair obsessed days.

September 2nd, 2010, 12:42 AM
According to my mom and grandma dying your hair darker is still "trashy." However neither has a problem with bleaching your hair?

September 2nd, 2010, 04:22 AM
hmm bleaching hair was seen as trashy in Holland. Oh and children/teens dying their hair was a no-no, now you see it quite often.

September 2nd, 2010, 05:30 AM
[quote=eezepeeze;1238098With the influence of shows like Friends, it became popular to get the "in" cut of the moment and this continues today. I'm not sure what all that means for us long hairs, but I love fashion history. It's reall fascinating how the cultural ideals of "fashionable" change through the times.[/quote]

Longhairs are above fashion! We could have our hair cut into whatever is currently fashionable, but we choose not to.

September 2nd, 2010, 05:42 AM
Longhairs are above fashion! We could have our hair cut into whatever is currently fashionable, but we choose not to.
I second that! :D

As for the OP's question - I think it has alot to do with the beggining of mass advertizing and brainwashing of "you must look X Y Z to be cool/young/"in"/proffecional/beautifull/whatever" to make a few more bucks off people trying to fit the current "norm"...

September 2nd, 2010, 07:01 AM
I think I'll stick to being a lazy bum with the Crystal Gayle look, thank you! She has been an idol of mine since I was a little bit of a thing.

September 2nd, 2010, 08:09 AM
Sometimes I feel like there is an unknown group of individuals, be it celebrities or what not, that simply sit around stating what is "in" and what is "out" and then the majority of society feels they need to uphold what these people are saying and be like everyone else because they can't be individuals. It's ridiculous that people tell us long hair is not "in", it's a personal choice of ours and the way we want to express ourselves. I don't see why people need to go on following what others do just because it's socially accepted as a trend and then turn around and make fun of us because we want to be different, not a clone of every other person out there...

Sorry done ranting : )

September 2nd, 2010, 08:24 AM
Part of me thinks it all started with the "Only Your Hairdresser Knows for Sure" commercials for haircoloring that came out in the 60's. For the first time coloring your hair was presented as a "good thing" to the masses.

September 2nd, 2010, 09:57 AM
I think a major shift happened when women entered the work force in large numbers and then found that as they got older, having grey hair put up barriers in their careers. Suddenly all sorts of women who didn't want to color their hair felt that they had to.

December 28th, 2011, 03:36 PM
Today's lecture is called "Extrapolations on 20's and 40's Hairstyles as a Lesson in Fashion and Society." >Ahem<

First, let's examine why it was considered patriotic to have short hair in the 1940's: convenience for the workforce of women. Women would show up to work in factories with their hair in scarves la Rosie the Riveter (it protected their hair from gunk, kept it out of their eyes when performing dangerous tasks, and thus prevented mishaps. There's a reason you should tie your hair back if you're working with blow torches and power-tools, people. More on this when we get to Veronica Lake). As another bonus to this hairstyle, women didn't have to spend/waste time styling their hair, and could even keep it in rollers or pin-curls under there! Another popular style were the Victory Rolls mentioned in other posts.

However, not all hair was kept cropped short and in these styles. Hollywood actresses sometimes wore their hair long. Veronica Lake, mentioned before, was famous for her 'peek-a-boo' style. During the war, she was asked to cut her iconic hair short, though, as women were getting their hair caught in the machinery!! shudder: Other famous actresses also were known for their long hair. My favorite actress, Myrna Loy, (mainly known these days for the The Thin Man series of movies!), for instance, clearly has long hair in at least one of those excellent movies. (Consider this a high recommendation to watch those, by the way.)

As my DBF says, not everyone in a given time period will have a "fashionable" hairstyle. If we were to walk down the street, yes, there is a tendency towards certain hairstyles, but not every person you meet will have APL-length blonde hair with streaked highlights. If archaeologists try to interpret what we wore or dressed our hair like based solely on Hollywood (or worse, Haute-Couture! :p) they'd have a heck of an idea of us! (Imagine what future generations might think of us if they though Lady Gaga's meat dress was the norm!)

The truth is that out society's expression of hair and fashions falls along a bell-curve, rather than a flatline (pun referencing a heart monitor fully intended.) Long-hairs just happen to fall along one extreme, choosing not to follow the trends of the day. We've got historical precedent, too! This thread 16057 has pictures of a woman in the 40's who was in a long-hair contest, with ankle-length hair (see post 3). A common Reenactor rule of thumb is that you would do well to find at least three pictures of something happening, at which point you can start to assume it wasn't a one-time oddity. I've seen other pictures with regular women with super-long hair in the 40's, so we can safely assume it did happen to some extent.

IMHO, we fall along the smart side of the bell-curve of length, fellow long-hairs. We have options available to us that other hair lengths don't have. I can do Medieval, Renaissance, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, 20's, 30's, and 40's hairstyles (I've just figured out a way to get Classic-or-longer hair into Victory Rolls. I'll share that when I get a chance!) with my Classic so far, and am still learning new styles for it!

Contrast that to having to daily flat-iron your hair so it looks decent in the one style you can put it in, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

When women in the 20's cut their hair into bobs, they often saved the cut-off hair or had fake hair to match their own hair to try and give themselves options. I've read lots of accounts of women complaining that they couldn't do any styles that worked with formal outfits. This magazine article (about disguising long hair as a bob) from that period (link: http://www.1920-30.com/fashion/hairstyles/hair-decoration.html) says "bobbed hair or the shingle effect does not conform agreeably with the dignity of evening clothes."

In the end, the important thing is to remember that your hair is your own, and that the options you have and your own opinions of what is aesthetically pleasing more than make up for not being "trendy" at this exact moment in fashion history--there are plenty of photos of that for the Archaeologists and Reenactors already! :p

I'll stop here--I really could keep going, but will only do so if you want me to. Sorry for the essay-long post, hope some of it was at least helpful or interesting to you! :run:

December 28th, 2011, 03:52 PM
My mother always dyed her hair until she let it go grey to match my step-father's hair, when she retired.

Women in her retirement residence still get their hair dyed.

Women in the movies since the 1920s dyed their hair and fans followed suit. Trends change.

Today, many older men and women are trying to rejoin the workforce and are competing in many cases against a younger competition. Colouring hair can make one appear younger.

It is of course a matter of choice and with fun colours, younger people of both sexes can and do change hair colour for fashion and making a personal statement.

It depends on who is talking and how old they are as to whether our culture has shifted. Shifted from when exactly?

A neighbour of mine many years ago told me that her grandmother used to colour her grey hair with tea.

As to hair length, these days the trend is longer hair on many celebrities and certain classic lengths will never be dated. That is why they are classics.

December 28th, 2011, 04:08 PM
It's really sad that we haven't reached a point where it doesn't matter how we look, we should just all accept ourselves and each other no matter what we look like- how we wear our hair, what we wear, etc.

December 28th, 2011, 04:49 PM
Probably the 80's, I think it's pretty biased to say that long hair is ugly or unattractive, it's really like anything a preference. In general and through the history of mankind, long groomed hair shows that you take care of yourself and in most cultures is a symbol of health and beauty.

December 30th, 2011, 03:09 PM
Well, Piffyanne. I thought it was very interesting!

December 30th, 2011, 03:34 PM
I agree with eezepeeze and its going to change. I do miss the 70's with the long hair and the 60's. We might as well face it its over with.

January 2nd, 2012, 03:58 PM
There have always been those who march to their own drum

January 2nd, 2012, 06:22 PM
There is more money to be made by the corporations if women are unhappy with their hair. Unhappy women pay a lot of money for appliances and products, which once purchased and used makes hair more likely to need more and more products to "look" healthy. I admit though I have spent a bit of money on high quality henna and nice smelling conditioners!

January 2nd, 2012, 06:25 PM
I think the rise of marketing and 'big lie' sales tactics likely play a role in such things. Convince people of something and they'll spread it around as though it were truth.

January 2nd, 2012, 06:39 PM
Gosh my great grandmother dyed her hair black way back in the 60's and no one thought she was trashy for it. She always wore a hair net, a belted dress with a button front and those (think steam punk) black heels. My mother also did the frosted bouffant hairdo's in the 60's.

I find this thread to be very sad in a way. Why, oh, why in this modern age are people still judging others by their clothes and hair instead of their deeds?