Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Lurking in even the most stylish woman's fashion past is at least one hair trend that begs the question, "What was I thinking?"
It's easy to shudder at the teased bangs, chemical perms and bowl cuts of yesteryear, but at one point these infamous dos graced the pages of fashion magazines as sincere trends.
No matter how questionable the look, if the right starlet sports it women around the world follow.
Some celebrity-inspired hairstyles are timeless: Mary Tyler Moore's flip, Audrey Hepburn's updo, Jennifer Aniston's bouncy layers.
Others should stay tucked away with not so fond memories of shoulder pads and neon spandex.
Which celebrity tresses are women copying this year, and should you jump on the bandwagon?
Local senior stylist Courtney Colby at the Strand Salon in downtown Gainesville gives us long and short of it.
"The bob is back," Colby explained. "But there are countless ways to wear it."
By definition, a traditional bob is a blunt, one-level cut that ranges from a length just above the ears to just below the ears.
The short style, which was introduced in the '20s as a symbol of minimalism and female independence, was brought back to popular culture in the 1960s by hair tycoon Vidal Sassoon.
"It never really went out of style," Colby said. People just continue to reinvent it.
The bob that dozens of celebrities - Victoria "Posh" Beckham, Katie Holmes, Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson - and thousands of women are cutting today maintains the same simple sophistication but with a modern twist (like bangs, a side part and/or stacked layers).
"It's OK for every age, face and hair because there are so many variations," Colby explained.
"Victoria Beckham's cut is what we call the A-line bob," she said. The former spice girl's style, nicknamed the "pob," is longer and more angular around the frame of the face. The do exposes her neck for a dramatic, polished look.
Katie Holmes' cut is slightly longer than the "pob," with more hair in the back and a fuller swing in the front.
Without these slight variations the bob may appear too harsh, Colby said.
A blunt, one-level bob, parted in the middle, brings out the asymmetry in a face.
"If one eye is bigger than the other, if your nose is slightly off, it will stand out," she said.
A side part or bangs (like Katie Holmes') adds softness to the cut.
"With the bob, anyone can find a variation that works for them," Colby said.
Willing to go even shorter?
According to international trend news wire and "fashion bible" Women's Wear Daily "cropped top," boyish cuts are forecasted for the new year.
After a year of long layers and side-swept bangs, Colby said some daring celebrities are opting for shorter cuts and fuller bangs.
The no- to low-maintenance "pixie" cut (think actress Rumer Willis and model Agyness Deyn) takes hair above the ears and is usually fuller at the top.
Before chopping it all off, Colby suggested consulting a stylist.
When contemplating a cut, some general hair styling rules apply.
Women with smaller foreheads should stay away from bangs, and heavier or wider-set women should maintain longer cuts that help balance their proportions, Colby said.
She suggested bringing in a picture of the celebrity style you want to copy as reference for the hairdresser.
"You'll know that you're at least on the same page," she said. But, it's best to keep an open mind. If the stylist is skilled, he or she will suggest ways to adapt the look to your individual hair texture, face shape and lifestyle.
"Most hairstyles can be achieved that day in the salon," she said. "But will you be able to do that at home?" she said.
Hairstyles to avoid
The Strand's senior stylist Courtney Colby counts down the celebrity cuts women beg their stylists to avoid.
5. Amy Winehouse's beehive revival
4. Mary Lou Retton's super short bob
3. Dorothy Hamill's bowl cut
2. Anything Carol Brady sported
1. Billy Ray Cyrus' mullet
Celebrity hair history
The hair icons that launched thousands of good (and disastrous) hair days.
This glamorous actor's impeccably styled "finger waves" defined the look of the decade.
During the time of beehives and french pleats, this legendary starlet stole hearts with voluminous platinum blonde curls.
Her signature updo in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" can still be seen on the red carpet. Just pin the end of a pony tail up with bobby pins and fluff.
Mary Tyler Moore
She wore the famous "flip" under a sprayed and teased bouffant. The style instantly caught on and is still sported by women of all ages.
This "Charlie's Angels" star changed fashion history with rough cut, feathered layers. Her look is arguably one of the most emulated celebrity dos in hair history.
Believe it or not, Florence Henderson's she-mullet inspired women across the country to cut the "business in the front, party in the back" style. The fashion mullet, a longer version, is still worn by people around the globe.
This diva immortalized the long, super straight hair style that branded the '70s.
Although the '80s delivered countless fashion disasters, this actor's tousled short layers, known as the "Meg Ryan Shag" often earned as much attention as her films. The cut catapulted Ryan's stylist Sally Hershberger into superstardom. Hershberger now charges $600 per cut.
This material girl's wildly teased and colored punk hairstyles were copied by fans around the globe.
The women of "Dynasty"
The leading ladies of this soap opera are prime examples of the bigger is better mentality that defined hair fashion in the '80s. Equipped with mousse, gel and a bottle of hairspray women teased their hair to match.
Known as the "Rachel" or the "Aniston," this actress' bouncy layers were copied by millions.
When this actress and style icon chopped off her locks to reveal a cropped do, countless women found the courage to do the same.
Long to short, blonde to brunette, every time this singer/actress changes her tresses a new "it" style is born. She's best known, however, for the soft, long layers best achieved by extensions.
Katie Holmes and Victoria "Posh" Beckham
The bob was revived in 2007 and 2008 by Holmes and Beckham's trendy adaptations. The blunt, one level cut was modernized with bangs, side parts, cropped layers and varying angles.
Vanessa Garcia can be reached at 352-338-3166 or email@example.com.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article