As long as there has been hair, there have certainly been curls. They come in all shapes, sizes, and textures — even on the same head (take it from a curly girl who has looser curls on the sides and back of her head and tighter ones on her crown). For years, women have been manipulating, enhancing, or even faking theirs in order to get a look that kept up with the styles of the times. And they’ve managed to create amazing trends.
In the ’20s, Marcel Waves were the look of the flappers, who favored super short cuts and the dramatic, slicked-down texture the waves provided. In the ’50s, it was all about the poodle curl, the perfect match for the ubiquitous poodle skirt. After all, if you’re going to have all that glorious volume on your bottom half, you might as well balance it out up top. Flash forward to the ’90s when crisp, super defined candy curls, (expertly rocked by R&B singer Mary J. Blige back in the day) were the look that was one part ’round the way girl, one part diva.
Today, curls are more popular than ever, and it shows. The natural hair movement has inspired women with curls and kinks to ditch chemical straighteners and let their texture fly free. Whether they’re just air-drying their curls naturally, or adding flexi rods to shape their strands, curl definition (and for some looks, lack thereof) is everything these days. If you take a quick scroll through almost any Instagram hair account, you’ll see women with straight and wavy hair wrapping their strands around everything from fidget spinners to pencils, in hopes of revealing some springy, bouncy, curls.
It’s a bonafide curl revolution. But how did we get there? Watch the video above to see how curl styles have changed in popularity over the last century.
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