When it comes to hair, it's not only how healthy and shiny your hair is that counts, but a big part of your signature "crowning feature" is how you style it. Hair styles that celebrities have donned over the past few decades have shaped hair cut trends amongst the general public and will for years to come.
If you thought the power of celebrity was strong forty to fifty years ago, that's nothing compared to the trend shaping that occurs today from the Hollywood elite. Just look at what haircuts like the "Rachel" inspired by Jennifer Aniston's "Friends" character, spawned in terms of salon requests and lookalikes or spinoff hairstyles.
I even donned a style that was similar to the Rachel, only longer, as did an army of women. It was great, versatile and almost universally flattering cut that a lot of women took advantage of in one way or another. With the exception of a few of the latest tress-trends, most of them are very versatile, and that is part of the appeal. You have the longer, layered cuts, and then you have short do's that appeal to a generally smaller pool, but all in all most of them are versatile. Same goes for men's styles.
One of the more recent fads is bangs. Thanks to one adorable actress who sported shorter, but very stylish bangs, Reese Witherspoon, many hairstylists around the US began to experience higher demand for bangs, specifically bangs to copy the look of Ms. Witherspoon. Reese, another actress with a reputation for being America's sweetheart, had unknowingly started another craze in the world of hair!
When I was in high school, which was almost twenty years ago (I can't believe I just spoke that aloud!), every girl was trying to copy the look of the supermodels, like Cindy Crawford, who was the biggest supermodel back then. The look was definitely long and wild, and the bigger you could get your hair, the better. The really big bangs and perms of the eighties were out, but big, natural, sexy, just got out of bed hair was totally in.
This trend was great for women who had naturally full hair, but it had women who were on the fine and limp side grabbing up volumizing hair products off the shelves to emulate this hot look. All you had to do was look at any Guess Jeans ad, which was the biggest brand right about then, and you invariably see a model with bedhead, wild hair, and dark, sultry eye makeup. This big hair look has made a comeback recently, after a long bout with an obsession over stick straight, smooth hair.
Rewind to the nineties, and you'll find another few years that were influenced by another sweetheart of America, Meg Ryan. Her cute, curly and full bob was followed up by her signature choppy, short hair do, and women flocked to the stylist to get both. Not only was she the queen of the romantic comedy, but she was also one of the major trendsetters of the nineties.
More recently, we've seen a lot of copycats of the Victoria Beckham style, which she sported for a while, her signature hairstyle which was a very simple, straight cut that was chin length, but cut higher in the back. This was one of the more universally flattering cuts that wasn't actually long, but not quite short either.
Not as many women followed her into her pixie cut phase, but that's probably because not so many women can pull off such a cut since it can come off as severe and not very feminine. I have to admit, this was not my favorite on Posh, but she has since started to grow it out a bit from pictures I've seen, and it's much more soft looking on her.
And what of the men? Well, male haircuts don't seem to change or evolve in trends as often as female haircuts do. These days, as I write this in August of 2009, the "in" thing is to have messy, longer hair for men. Think Patrick Dempsey or Benicio Del Toro.
Out are the buzz cuts and close cropped haircuts of yesteryear, and in are the low maintenance, but product consuming hair styles that make women want to run their fingers through men's hair. Longer hair on men has garnered a certain sense of sex appeal, and men are no dummies in picking up on that, lots of them are taking the cue and growing their hair out for a more natural, individual look rather than a cookie cutter buzzed hair cut. Scissors only for men these days, no clippers!