Introduction to 1970s Hairstyles for Background Actors

MARCH 27, 2023
Men and women’s 1970s hairstyles.
Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video)

Were you just booked as a Background Actor in a 1970s-set production? Getting booked is exciting, but it’s just the first step. Now it’s time to read your details and put together your hair, makeup, and wardrobe look for your role. To help give you some inspiration, here’s a quick guide on 1970s hairstyles for Background Actors.

Always start with your details

First, before you start crafting your look, it’s important to read your booking details fully and carefully. Your details will have all the information you need for your role and may include a very specific hairstyle to emulate or may give a general overview of the intended style with room for you play around. So whether you’re booked as a rock fan in Daisy Jones & the Six, a boxing spectator in Quantum Leap, or a magazine publisher in Minx, you’ll know the type of ‘70s look production is going for.

Keep in mind that each production has its own unique aesthetic and role requirements can vary. So don’t assume a ‘70s hairstyle you used for Gaslit will work for your next 1970s role.

‘70s style overview

From fashion, to makeup, to hair, the 1970s were all about expressive freedom and eschewing the restrictive style norms of previous decades. While many hair standards began to change in the 1960s, like longer lengths on men and edgier looks for women, the ‘70s tended toward more natural styles with volume and movement.

If you’re interested in booking 1970s background roles, the good news is many looks from the ‘70s became classic and the foundation for modern cuts, making them easier to style than some common looks from previous decades.

1970s hairstyles for women

Hair lengths for women ranged from super short, like Grace Jones’ crop, to extra-long, like Cher’s signature straight style. Hair coloring also surged in popularity, especially highlights and frosting to achieve a sun-kissed beach look. While natural colors were in the mainstream, bleached blonde and neons were common in the Punk and counterculture scenes.

One of the most defining hairstyles of the 1970s was Farrah Fawcett’s iconic look from Charlie’s Angels. Usually best with medium-long hair, this feathered style involved brushing hair back and outward at the sides. Similar styles were all about volume, with bouncy curls, blowouts with curtain bangs, and flipped bobs.

On the opposite end, long straight hair parted down the middle or at the side was also a common look and usually included, curtain, blunt, brow-skimming, or parted bangs.

Coming out of the 1960s, afros and natural curls continued to be popular for Black women and were the chosen style of stars like Pam Grier and Diana Ross. Braids and cornrows were gaining popularity, especially after Cicely Tyson’s Jet magazine cover in 1973.

Examples of women's 1970s hairstyles.
Minx (Starz) | Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video) | Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video) | Charlie’s Angels (ABC)

‘70s hair for men

The men’s long hair movement began in the 1960s, but was still frowned upon in business and professional settings in the early part of the ‘70s. As the decade wore on, long hair and facial hair became an accepted part of everyday style. Long hair consisted of anything covering the ears or longer and was worn naturally tousled or blown out and curled in at the ends for a more polished look.

Even shorter looks were rarely close cropped and instead were styled to create volume, like backcombing for lift. Those going for a Punk look wore these shorter styles spiked and even bleached or dyed bright colors.

Afros were a popular style for Black men and were shaped in natural, professional, flat top, sportsman, and a variety of other looks. Dreadlocks were gaining popularity through Bob Marley and the Rastafari movement.

Sideburns and facial hair were also incredibly popular. Sideburns varied in length, ranging from neatly trimmed to full mutton chops. Facial hair also varied from handlebar mustaches to full untrimmed beards and everything in between.

Examples of men's '70s hair.
Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video) | Minx (Starz) | Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video) | Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video)

Want more tips for creating period looks? You can find all our decade guides in our wardrobe, hair, and makeup article categories.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

Article Category:

Hair & Makeup