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10 Most Iconic Hairstyles

Nothing beats a good hairstyle - it defines you as a person and is a part of your identity. In fact, the phrase describing your hair as your "crowning glory" dates back to Biblical times and is found in the Book of Corinthians, so styling has been important for a long time!

Whether you're a trend-setter, a rebel, bold, conformist, shy or outlandish, your hairstyle reflects your personality. Read on to find out more about the 10 most iconic hairstyles of all time.

1. The quiff

Superstars such as James Dean and Elvis Presley were firm fans of the quiff, which is a 1950s men's hairstyle featuring a short back and sides, with longer tousled hair at the front. It was popular in the UK with the Teddy Boy movement of the '50s and enjoyed a fresh surge of interest in the 1980s, when the New Romantic genre was in vogue. It's a style that traditionally signifies teenage rebellion, although the name is believed to be derived from the 14th century French word, "coif" - a close-fitting cap that left a tuft of hair sticking up at the front.

2. The Rachel

When the American television sitcom Friends was at the peak of its popularity in the 1990s, The Rachel was the most sought-after hair-style in salons among women of all ages. Actress Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel in Friends, inspired a host of copycat looks, thanks to her famous layered, mid-length style that was bouncy and simply fell back into place. It was created by hairdresser Chris McMillan of Estilo salon in Los Angeles.

3. The Asymmetric Crop

Back in the swinging sixties, fashion designer Mary Quant was a close friend of celebrity hairstylist Vidal Sassoon. He created his world-famous asymmetric crop for her and the style was quickly copied by women all over the world. It was something of a hairstyling revolution, since it was a precision-cut, wash-and-wear style to replace the need for women to backcomb and tease their hair into the elaborate bouffant styles of the 1950s.

4. The "Madchester" look

Back in the late 1980s and early '90s, the Manchester music scene was at the forefront of innovation, thanks to bands such as the Happy Mondays, Oasis and the Stone Roses, whose distinctive guitar and vocal sounds created a genre that became known as "Madchester". Singers such as the Stone Roses' Ian Brown and Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis sported the mid-length hair that was tousled and worn long over the ears and face.

5. The "Purdey"

The short symmetrical haircut named after Joanna Lumley’s famous spy character in the hit TV series, The New Avengers, was created by celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke and became fashionable in 1976. The blunt, severe cut with its long, heavy fringe and straight jaw-level sides has recently gained a new lease of life - 50 years on, Prime Minister Theresa May sported a version of the Purdey in April 2017.

6. Dreadlocks

A symbol of the Rastafarian faith, dreadlocks were famously worn by legendary singer Bob Marley, who washed his hair but didn't comb it to achieve his look - using bees' wax to help keep the dreadlocks in place. It took the singer years to achieve his long, thick trademark mane of hair. In 2003, a four-inch long dreadlock of Marley's hair sold for £2,585 at an auction of pop memorabilia - double its estimated value and a record price for a musical icon's hair.

7. Farrah Fawcett flick
Star of the 1970s TV detective series, Charlie's Angels, Farrah Fawcett had one of the most iconic hairstyles of all time. Her feathered, bouncy curls radiating around her face were the envy of many teenage girls of the era. Styled by celebrity hairdresser Allen Edwards, her big, bold tresses created a new, soft hairstyle for the '70s after the rigid, straight bobs that became so popular in the 1960s.

8. The afro
The afro gained popularity in the 1960s and became a symbol of rebellion against chemically-processed straight hair that was believed to be an attempt to mimic European beauty standards. Embraced as part of the Black is Beautiful movement, natural afros evolved into the voluminous hairstyles of the '70s, when music icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson inspired natural hair trends.

9. The wedge
A popular haircut of the 1970s, the wedge was famously worn by Olympic women's figure skating champion Dorothy Hamill in 1976. It consists of a short bob, with lots of tapering layers. Created by celebrity hairdresser Trevor Sorbie, the style became immensely popular after Hamill's Olympic glory. Her variation of the classic wedge was created by Japanese hair designer Yusuke Suga and became known as the "Hamill Wedge".

10. Peek-a-boo Bangs
This glamorous hairstyle from 1940s Hollywood was made famous by the film noir femme fatale, actress Veronica Lake, who used her golden locks to create an air of seductive mystery. Her hair was styled in a long, side-swept fringe that almost covered one eye and became her trademark. She even satirised her own hair when she made the 1942 film, Star Spangled Rhythm, with Dorothy Lamour and Paulette Goddard. A song from the movie, called "A Sweater, a Sarong and a Peek-a-boo Bang", referred to Lamour's famous sarong costume and Goddard's nickname, the "sweater girl".

Coruba stocks a range of rubber matting products that are suitable for hair salons, including our anti-fatigue rubber matting. Designed for free-standing areas where fatigue is a common problem, our matting products can provide some much needed relief for anyone who has to stand for prolonged periods. Please contact us for further details of our products.

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