top of page

All things London & Natural Hairdressing

Short Hair Through the Ages: A Chronicle of Iconic Styles and Self-Expression

When it comes to personal style, few things make as bold a statement as our choice of hairstyle. For centuries, women across the globe have used their hair as a form of self-expression, pushing the boundaries of societal norms and gender expectations. This article takes a closer look at the history and significance of short hairstyles for women, exploring how these styles have evolved over time and the role they've played in women's self-empowerment journey.

Pixie haircut brunette

Table of contents

The Ancient Times: From Greek Widows to Joan of Arc

The first recorded instances of women adopting short hair date back to 1100 B.C. when Greek widows would shear off their locks as a tribute to their deceased husbands. This practice was not about fashion or self-expression, but about mourning and loss.

Fast forward a few centuries, and we find a young Joan of Arc taking a decidedly different approach. At just 13 years old, Joan cropped her hair into a short style popular among knights, not as a sign of mourning or submission, but as an act of defiance and strength.

The Roaring Twenties: The Age of the Bob

The 1920s brought about a seismic shift in women's hairstyles. This was the era of the "bob," a short, sleek cut that was as much a statement of independence and rebellion as it was a fashionable choice.

The bob gained popularity amidst a backdrop of societal change. Women were pushing back against traditional gender roles, seeking greater freedom and independence. The bob, with its clean lines and androgynous appeal, embodied this spirit of rebellion and change.

Pixie haircut light hair

World War II and the Rise of Short Hair

World War II brought about another shift in women's hairstyles. With many women working in factories and serving as military nurses, shorter hair became a practical necessity. This period saw a significant increase in women adopting the bob, a trend that historians attribute to the convenience and hygiene considerations of the time.

The 1950s: The Birth of the Pixie Cut

The 1950s saw the emergence of the pixie cut, a short, chic style that was popularized by actors like Audrey Hepburn and Jean Seberg. Much like the bob, the pixie cut became a symbol of nonconformity and empowerment. Women who adopted this style were making a statement: they were not afraid to challenge societal norms and expectations.

Pixie haircut brunette

The 1960s: The Pixie Cut Goes Mainstream

The 1960s brought about a cultural revolution that ushered in new ideas about gender and sexuality. Icons like Twiggy and Mia Farrow took the pixie cut to a new level, going even shorter with their styles. Their daring choices helped to cement the pixie cut's place in the popular culture of the time.

The 1980s: The Return of Short Hair

The 1980s and 1990s saw a resurgence of short hair styles. During this period, the pixie cut evolved to become softer and more feminine, yet still impactful. Celebrities like Cyndi Lauper, Linda Evangelista, and Princess Diana embraced this trend, helping to redefine what it meant to be feminine.

Pixie haircut bleached hair

The 1990s: The Pixie Cut as a Symbol of Individuality

By the late 1990s and early 2000s, the pixie cut had become less about gendered rebellion and more about individuality. Celebrities like Toni Braxton, Halle Berry, and Winona Ryder adopted this style as a means of empowerment, challenging the narrow beauty ideals of the time.

The 21st Century: The Era of the Pixie Cut

Today, the pixie cut remains a popular choice among women of all ages. This style is seen as a symbol of strength, individuality, and freedom. It's no longer just a haircut; it's a powerful statement of self-expression.

The Future of the Pixie Cut

So, what does the future hold for the pixie cut? Experts predict that this style will continue to evolve, with more women embracing cuts that have structure and shape.. The pixie cut of the future will be as unique and varied as the women who wear it.

Pixie haircut auburn hair

The Power of the Pixie Cut

The pixie cut is more than just a hairstyle; it's a symbol of empowerment and self-expressio. For many women, getting a pixie cut is a transformative experience, a way to reclaim their identity and assert their individuality. In a world where women are often pressured to conform to certain beauty standards, the pixie cut stands as a bold statement of resistance and freedom.


From the ancient Greeks to Joan of Arc, from the bobbed flappers of the Roaring Twenties to the iconic pixies of the 1960s, short hairstyles have played a significant role in women's history. They have served as symbols of strength, defiance, and empowerment, helping women to express their individuality and challenge societal norms. In the future, it's likely that the pixie cut and other short styles will continue to evolve and inspire, serving as powerful tools for self-expression and empowerment.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page