It’s been almost four decades since the defining ’70s hotspot
Studio 54 closed its doors with a final blowout party in February 1980. The fête marked the end of the decade of sex, drugs, glitz, and glamour. To wit: While the beloved dance club reopened for several years in the ‘80s, it just wasn’t the same.
But no matter how many years have passed, there’s one carryover from the time that we’ll never let go of: ‘70s hairstyles. Feathered, flat-ironed, or big, glorious Afros, there’s no expiration date on really, really groovy hair.
“The ‘70s were really all about four distinct personalities,” says celebrity hairstylist and colorist
Harry Josh, who we consulted to help us figure out how to translate our most-loved looks into modern life not just for Halloween, but for every day. “It was either bohemian straight, punk, sex bomb, or disco.”
Whether you see yourself as a chic hippie with long, straight hair parted down the center, the halo-like curls of a disco queen, or the choppy, undone layers of rock ’n’ roll, cop these looks inspired by our favorite icons of the age and you’ll be ready to boogie all night long.
This story was originally published on February 1, 2014.
Photo: Courtesy of Chrysalis Records.
Debbie Harry The unrivaled princess of punk, Blondie's frontwoman gave the band its name from the nickname she'd acquired from her two-tone platinum dye job. Bright blonde in front, but brown in the back — all because she couldn't reach that part of her hair. "All the breakage is what makes it look cool," says Josh. "Most girls with platinum hair can attest to the chemical haircut: It creates a halo of rock 'n' roll layers that are broken and torn."
We simply can't recommend frying your hair with chemicals just to get Harry's unfussy layers — haircuts are so much easier (and less damaging) in the long run. Next time you go to the salon, request plenty of varied layers worked in to your cut, and don't leave without a bottle of volumizing spray. Aim it directly at the roots, then use your fingers to tousle your hair haphazardly into Harry's amped-up, CBGB-approved 'do.
Down & Out Dirty Spray,
Photo: Ernest Allen/Associated /REX USA.
Diana Ross Otherwise known as "The Boss," the former Supreme rocked a multitude of looks throughout the era. We're especially captivated by the curls in this photo, which could evolve into a good hair day for over a week. "You could go up to 10 full days without messing with it," he says. "The style would just evolve as the curls loosened and the shape evolved every day." A style that actually gets better over a week? Sold.
Small-barrel curling irons like this are great for adding definition to an already curly style. Josh advises drying hair with a diffuser to keep natural volume at the roots, then use a curling iron on 1/2" to 1" sections, winding any pieces that need defining tightly around the barrel. Next, slide the barrel out to keep the curl intact. Repeat until all your curls are to your desired shape, then mold the style with your fingers — no finishing spray needed.
Ceramic Pearl Professional Curling Wand,
Photo: STEVE WOOD/REX USA.
Jerry Hall The Texan supermodel has a legendary mane — to say the least. "She was famous for never cutting layers into her hair," says Josh. Yep, folks, that shape is all just regular end trims, no advanced techniques necessary. Let us feast upon its magnificent glow.
In order to get Hall's halo of hallowed strands, you'll need a loving hair-care routine and a hair dryer with enough chutzpah to kick up the volume. This powerful dryer can give you sleek strands or serious lift with just a flick of its ion switch.
Harry Josh Pro Tools
Pro Dryer 2000, $250, available at
Harry Josh Pro Tools
Pro Dryer 2000,
Photo: Rex USA.
Farrah Fawcett Here it is: The '70s style that launched a million posters and inspired a decade (decades?) of copycats. The Charlie's Angels star's flipped-out style was made even more marvelous by her own natural texture. "Her hair was actually curly, and the look was achieved by this very thick, layered cut coupled with blowing and curling her hair away from her face," says Josh.
The technique of getting Fawcett's sexy '70s volume is to add as much air to the root as possible and keep it there. In order to get the-higher-the-hair-the-closer-to-God lift, go for a lightweight (yet potent) mousse to help those roots reach for the sky. Farrah's voluminous curls were a success because her hair was naturally curly: Blow your hair out with a round brush, then bump the hair from mid-lengths to ends with a large-barrel curling iron, or ribbon curl your strands with a flat iron. Just be sure to curl away from the face: It's the key to this sex-bomb style.
Full Thickening Mousse,
Photo: SNAP/REX USA.
Cher The TV singing-and-comedy sensation's hair was famously achieved by rather drastic measures. "She used to actually iron her hair on an ironing board to get it that straight and smooth," Josh says. Fortunately, we now have actual flat irons for that — but talk about dedication.
In the age of blowouts and flat irons, we all know how to achieve smooth Cher hair — the trick is keeping it that way. Josh advises giving your 'do a shot of a heat-activated straightening spray. "The spray is activated by the heat of the flat iron to actually seal in the straight style," advises Josh. Three days of sleek strands? Um, yes, please.
Frizz Ease 3 Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray,
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX USA.
Pam Grier One of the most influential actresses of her time, the '70s action star brought Black Power to the cinema and further punctuated women's claim to their own unrelaxed, natural beauty. Right on.
"The key is in the haircut," advises Josh. "With unrelaxed, completely natural hair, you want a cut that's completely round with no angles so you can pull it out into a rounded shape." Girls with natural curls also know hydration is key to maintaining a perfectly foxy texture, which is easily achieved with a moisturizing hair oil to keep hair supple and healthy.
Carols Daughter® Black Vanilla Moisture and Shine Pure Hair Oil,
Photo: Paul Fievez/Associated N/REX USA.
Bianca Jagger Bianca Jagger, the Nicaraguan beauty-turned-jet-setting style icon, remained famous long after her famous Stone (Mick, of course) had rolled on. The woman rode into her Studio 54 birthday party on a white horse like Lady Godiva, for disco's sake. We still want to be her.
If your hair wants its own Studio 54 nightlife look, go for ample volume at the roots and a gorgeous blown-back blowout for hair with moves like Jagger's. "Bianca's hair was always very styled, very glamorous. A good volumizing product sprayed into the hair will prep the look, then blow the hair backward with a round brush for weightless body," advises Josh.
Instant Volumizing Mist with Rosewater,
Photo: Courtesy of Casablanca Records.
Donna Summer The disco queen had hair for days — and the original "Bad Girl" owes her gorgeous mane to layers of nighttime-lovin' lift. "Curly girls can add lots of layers around their face to get this style, so the curls stack in a different way [rather] than just straight out or vertically," advises Josh.
In order to boogie down without worrying about your 'do, be sure to hydrate your coiled style with a curl cream that loads them with hydrating goodness while it seals in the shape. This one should do the trick.
Intense Curl Cream,
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