Top 10 Worst Hairstyles Of Modern Times


If there is one thing we have learned from self-isolation, it is how much we depend on our hairdressers. Men and women try to tame shagginess, split ends and grey roots. Months of quarantine have provided a valid excuse for unkempt slips, but quarantine cannot be blamed for some of the worst hairstyles in modern history.

10. The Fringed Buzz Cut

A recent Dazed Beauty article suggested that the DIY buzz cut was “the biggest hair trend in isolation”[1]  With countless possible modifications, the Buzz Cut is a whole category of hairstyles. And its success depends heavily on the hair type and head shape of its wearer. But there is one special variety that will never flatter, no matter how perfect your hair and head are: the fringed buzz cut.

This trendy style is a buzz cut with baby bangs. described the fringe “doing as ‘one part Chess Club President, two parts Nazi skinhead -100 percent horrible’. While there are some not so unfortunate versions of this style, there are far more disastrous ones. Just take a look at the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo.[2]

Well, if the wearer of the fringed buzz cut decided to let the shaved part with the bangs catch up, he would have something just as horrible (and our first laudatory mention): Caesar. Sure, a Roman emperor can get away with wearing tiny, cut-off bangs, but no other adult man should try it. The Caesarean section inspired by Julius himself is tragic. Take Mark Zuckerberg, for example. Dude can afford the best hairdresser in the world, but it looks like he decides to let his 4-year-old daughter have her hair cut.[3]

9. The Beehive

It is 60 years since the hairdresser Margaret Vinci Heldt created the beehive. In the 1960s the hairstyle was praised by Priscilla Presley, Brigette Bardot, Barbra Streisand and many other celebrities. The Ronettes boasted some of the highest hives of the time.

Heldt was commissioned to create a hairstyle that was different from the Demure ‘dos of the 1950s. “[Modern Salon Magazine] called me and they said, ‘Margaret, hair styling is dead; there’s nothing exciting about it,” Heldt said in an interview in 2014. “We have the pageboy, the flip, the upsweep like the French twist, but nothing happens around the top of the head. “

Heldt was inspired by the Fez, which was popularized by Jackie Kennedy. “I would always look at that little hat and say, ‘Someday I’m going to create a hairdo that fits under the hat, and when you take the hat off the hairdo would be there'”, she said. But the resulting style was enormous and probably wouldn’t fit in a hat like that. (Today, avoidance hat head is usually the goal, as explained below).

The beehive was named after Heldt Accessorized the updo with a small pen in the shape of a Bee. More recently, beehives were sported by Marge Simpson, Adele, and Amy Winehouse, who said, “The more insecure I feel, the bigger my hair must be.”[4]

8. Helmet Head

For athletes, bikers and others who wear helmets, “helmet hair” can be a serious problem. Repeat: It is a problem– one that has led to countless products and instructions to prevent it. Why have men and women intentionally adopted the look?

As the name suggests, the helmet hair looks like the wearer is wearing a helmet. It is round, smooth and terribly unflattering for any face shape. Urban Dictionary describes it snarkily as “a haircut that forms a perfect ‘helmet’ shape around the head itself. Many times, this can be achieved by a terrible haircut and lack of morning care with one side of being a bone glib. This nontrendy look is usually seen in people named ‘Mike’.[5]

Women in the 1950s and 1960s pumped volume onto their bouffants to achieve the helmet look. The style could be brought into shape and stay that way for a whole week.[6]

In the 1970s, boys and men were the ones wearing helmet-shaped “dos”. (Think of Bobby Brady, Liberace and all the Brylcreem models.) Today, fortunately, the style has almost disappeared.

Special mention: Bobby Brady was not the only one the Bunch with helmet hair. TV mom Carol Brady, who started the series with a half size bouffant, later wore one of the most iconic hairstyles in the sitcom world. She created her own 70s economist with helmet hair on top and a mole on the bottom.

7. The Karen (aka the “Can I Speak to Your Manager?”)

Kate Gosselin of TLC es Jon and Kate Plus 8 fame took it on the chin for many public decisions: her parenthood (and coparenting) style, her less than stellar Dancing With the Stars appearance, and her decision to document her post-divorce dating life on a reality TV show called Kate Plus Date.

But one of the most notorious decisions of the famous mother was that of her hairstyle. The Karen, also known as “Gosselin”, is an asymmetrical coif that has become synonymous with Can-I-Speak-To-Your-Manager types. The much imitated style was long and smooth at the front, short and spiky at the top, and shaved at the back – three not-so-large haircuts in one. To make matters worse, the celebrity chose hard, frosty highlights that added to the growl. Fun fact: Gosselin dug up the hairstyle in 2010, but Justin Bieber revived it in 2015. (It didn’t look better on him.) [7]

Oh, and while we’re talking about unfortunate highlights, let’s not forget terrible hairstyle honor roll “Frosted Tips”. For some reason, young men in the late 1990s/early 2000s thought it would be a good idea to bleach only the tips of their short, spiky hair. We are all glad that Aaron Carter, Justin Timberlake and Guy Fieri only made short-term commitments to this stylistic flaw.

6. Mall Bangs and Hair Bands

The most popular hairstyles of the 1980s and early 1990s defied gravity and created a hole in the ozone layer. For women of all ages it was mall hair: permed or curly locks and stiff, sky-high bangs locked in place with Aqua Net. Combs could be used for teasing, but hairbrushes were not needed at all. Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks and Whitney Houston wore mall hair. So did the Facts of Life and Full House Girls. As with beehives and helmet hair, achieving the greatest height and volume was the style goal.[8]

The guys also turned up the volume – on their guitars and their hair. Twisted Sister, Cinderella and Motley Crue were just some of the metal groups known as “hair bands”. (And, to be fair, there were also female hair metal artists: Vixen, Precious Metal and Lita Ford, just to name a few)

5. The Pompadour (Quiff)

The Pompadour was named after Madame de Pompadour, a lover of King Louis XV, although she never wore such a style herself. The Pompadour usually describes hair that is swept away from the face and worn high above the forehead. The trend was popular first with women, then with men and then with women until the 1950s and early 1960s, when men claimed the style as their own and renamed it Quiff.

The Quiffs worn by Elvis, Little Richard and Johnny Cash were moderate and fashionable. But as with any hairstyle over time, it became less flattering when styled to the extreme (picture Jimmy Neutron, Teddy Boys, and Cosmo Kramer).

David Beckham types modernized the quiff by making it less perfect. The smooth, precise pouf was replaced by an angular tousled look. And there are many other variations: the psychobilly quiff, the side-parted quiff, the textured quiff and the undercut quiff, to name but a few. A study showed that women chose the Quiff as one of the sexiest men’s hairstyles. (Out of 2,000 women surveyed, 28 percent said they would wipe a man’s hair right with a quiff). [9]

In keeping with the story, women are coming back into the game. Voluminous pompadours have been seen in recent years on Alicia Keys, Natalie Portman, Gwen Stefani and Janelle Monae. [10]

4. The Klute

1970 was a big year for Jane Fonda. It began with her taking home the Oscar for best actress for Klute and it ended with her arrest on suspicion of drug trafficking. But the big story that surrounded both events was Fonda’s hair. The actress, who experienced her “first hair piphany”, dug her long blonde curls for what she believed to be a more empowering style. The iconic hat resembled the haircut that a preschool girl could give herself when she found herself alone with scissors for the first time. Part bob, part shag, it had full, blunt bangs, face-framing “sideburns” and chopped-off lengths at the neck.[11]

The Klute was an extreme example of the shag. Punctual and with a lot of face-framing it was a unisex style that celebrities like Rod Stewart, David Cassidy and Mackenzie Phillips loved.

Now, fashion mags are hugging the 1970s shag as cool, retro look for 2020. Here’s the hope that it’s a trend that’s not making a comeback.[12]

3. The Gumby

The green, clay animated figure Gumby has an angled, asymmetrical head. And in his honour, an infamous hairstyle from the 1990s was given her name. Bobby Brown debuted the Gumby in 1989 in a music video, and fans were quick to replicate it.[13]

But the Gumby was actually a mistake. Brown’s barber accidentally cut off half the singer’s high top fade hairdo. Brown embraced the quirky style and made it famous. Decades later, the Gumby is still performing

Grace Jones often added a steep angle to her sky-high fades, and singer Pink wore the Gumby in a variety of colors. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira from The Walking Dead presented their own versions of the Gumby. Romanian footballer Steliano Filip showed his asymmetric hair at the European Championship 2016. And actor Arlen Escarpata, who played Bobby Brown in the film Whitney, wore the Gumby, even though he did not impersonate the singer.

2. The Mullet

What is unfortunately making a comeback is the terrible mole. There are hipster mullets, side partial mullets, pompadour mullets and fade mullets. Jared Leto himself has sported at least a dozen variations on the iconic hairstyle.[14] And they all have the same basic basis: business at the front; party at the back.

Maybe Joe Exotic (alias Tiger King) is to blame for the mole’s resurrection. The Tiger king inspired Gwen Stefani to cut Blake Shelton’s hair in this nightmarish style.[15] And the women who chose this unfortunate “have not gotten any better: Do a web search for “Miley Cyrus mullet” and “Scarlett Johansson mullet” for yourself.

Famous mule carriers over the years have been Andre Agassi, David Bowie, Joan Jett, Bono, “Joe Dirt” and Dog the Bounty Hunter.[16]  But perhaps the worst version of the mole was carried by Florence Henderson as Carol Brady, matriarch of The Brady Bunch. “I was the mother with the mole,” she told ABC News. “I just thought it was the poshest thing!”[17]

1. The Bowl Cut

With a classic bowl cut, the Moe of the Three Stooges was a hoot. And the world laughed hysterically when Dumb and Dumber es Lloyd Christmas had a similar “do”. But many adults can remember the times when they themselves wore the incredibly unflattering style – days when they didn’t laugh a bit. The school yearbooks are filled with photos of children whose parents considered the bowl cut as a rite of passage. And so many of these children grew up to style their own children in the same way..[18]

In the fall of 2019, Style Mags decided that the shell cut could be cool again. Just change the cut with a deep side part, some highlights or shaved sides. [19] Finally, Timothee Chalamet played one for his role in Netflix’s The King. Charlize Theron, Rihanna and Zendaya rocked edgy versions of the cut on the red carpet. But it is worth mentioning that these are celebrities blessed with spectacular bone structure. The average Joe/Jo will look more like Moe than their famous inspiration. (Example: William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., recently indicted for murder for filming the killing of Ahmaud Arbery) [20]

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