Of spray nets and iconic hairstyles

This new ad from a personal care brand hit home…” My hair, my say” goes the battle cry of its shampoo brand. I have had my share of bad hair days too: bad because regardless of how the cut would look on me, it would be the take of other people …friends and family members alike who would size up if the cut suit me. I was never content with sporting the same haircut or hairdo for a long time. And in the previous years, I had sported short haircuts with the Kpop and Hallyu idols in my mind.

But with a short haircut, I started looking like a “boy”, as onlookers would say; and they started treating me like a “boy” too. Not that I expected to be given seat as a “lady”, yet …

I recalled one time, the foreigner boyfriend of my girl best friend commented when he met me the first time: How could (you) find someone to get interested in you if you look like “that”. He meant, if I looked “boyish” in my haircut, not to mention that I was in jeans and shirt.

Well, “my hair, my say”… quite empowering to shot back at people like him with such myopic notion of “beauty”, let alone “femininity”, I must say!

Nevertheless, hair, per se, can be interesting. I have witnessed the evolution of hairstyles spanning from the late 70s to present. I tried a couple of them too (each time ending up cursing the hair cutter). I can cite a few iconic ones and how these styles made news, thanks to the Aqua Net and the hair blower.

Kiss me (early 70s)
TwiggyAla Twiggy bob with exaggerated sideburns, I may say. A classmate of mine in kindergarten in mid-70s donned a short bob haircut with wide sideburns curled outward, touching the cheeks. She looked like a doll, but beats me how she (or her mom who would do up her hair) managed to keep those sideburns glued to her cheeks all day (Hair gel was non-existent during that time). Meanwhile, my mother’s office mate also wore the same hairstyle. The sideburns were very distracting.

Keempee (early 80s)
keempee de leonThe hairstyle, locally “popularized” by then matinee idol Keempee de Leon, with center part bangs and undercut sides.Leonardo di CaprioOther celebrities and “feeling pogi” commoners followed suit. I think the hairstyle was a spinoff from Leonardo de Caprio’s Titanic hairstyle, which back then also became a rave elsewhere.

Phoebe Cates (80s)
Phoebe CatesI am not sure now how the Phoebe Cates (of Paradise fame) look was called back then (shaggy?), but I recall the big hair being adopted by many female celebrities.Gretchen Baretto and Dawn ZuluetaI could just imagine the tons of spray net and the lot of brush flicking done on the hair to achieve the tamed lioness mane effect. A lot of height and width, this hairstyle has surprisingly become a classic especially among older women attending galas and other formal functions.

Siete (80s)
Aga MuhlachThis hairstyle featured squarish sides with longer cut at the back.When you go to the parlor or barbershop, you could just say, “siete (or seven)” and the haircutter would readily know what to do. I think this cut would suit smaller, thinner faces; but back then, because it was popular as it was also easy to style and maintain, even those with angular jaws and rounded cheeks would elect for a siete haircut.

Lady Diana (80s) / Demi Moore (90s)
Lady DianaThe short, wispy, layered pixie imbibed the casual, romantic, feminine appeal when Demi Moore (of the film, Ghost) and the late Lady Diana (Princess of Wales) wore them. A number of female celebrities started chopping off their hair in favour of this shorter but versatile piece. Demi MooreSadly, they also started doubling up their makeup and wearing large hoop or elaborate dangling earrings to compensate for the short hair to look feminine. Read: hair does not define femininity.

F4 (2000s)
Hero AngelesInspired from the tousled long layered mane of the F4 members ( Taiwan) who were also the main cast in the series Boys over Flowers, this early 2000s hairstyle was a hit but was quite challenging for local hair cutters to imitate. Most of the time, I observe patrons ending up with a siete cut, which could be frustrating! I mean…that was so 80s!

There are still a few hairstyles, which had caught the fancy of Pinoys regardless if they suit their face shapes and lifestyles. But who cares. For those affected, let us find comfort in this chant:  Their hair, their say.

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