Platinum Hair Revealed as the Biggest Trend of the Last DECADE

As another year starts drawing to a close, a new study of magazine front cover archives has revealed the most popular looks of the last 100 years with platinum blonde coming out on top.

Neal & Wolf’s 100 Years of Hair report compiles data from archives of four leading fashion and beauty publications to highlight the most popular front cover hairstyles of the last century. Haircare professionals Neal & Wolf delved into 385 covers to record and rank the top 10 featured hairstyles of the last 10 decades.

To expand the research further, the team looked into TikTok hashtag data to identify the styles that are most popular today, finding that 70% of the top 10 viewed styles of 2022 are inspired by previous decades, as early as 1920.

Neil Capstick, founder of Neal & Wolf commented “Our report has signified the influence of previous eras when it comes to the hairstyles we are seeing celebrities and influencers wearing today. Use our top 10 and get the look tips below to try out a new old hair do.”

The most popular magazine cover hairstyles of the last 100 years are: 

  • Platinum
  • Side-swept hair
  • Middle part
  • Pixie cut
  • Wispy updo
  • Chin length bob
  • Slick back
  • Beehive
  • Side fringe
  • Blowout

In first place is platinum blonde, accounting for 15% of magazine front cover styles from the last 100 years. With celebrities such as Kim Kardashian still sporting the look today as well as Rhaenyra in The House of the Dragon, it’s no surprise that this silvery shade continues to trend with over 491 million views on TikTok placing it in the top 10 styles of 2022 as well. Creating the look is all about eliminating brassy tones by using brightening shampoos and conditioners as well as toning products.

Featured on 12% of front covers is side-swept hair – a casual and easy choice that is styled by grabbing layers of hair from one side of the head and pulling them across to the other. This trend is still popular now with 9.3 million TikTok views of tutorials on how to get the look.

In third place is the middle part which is created by using a pintail comb to separate hair down the centre of the head to create a definitive line. First featured in 1934 and photographed on 8% of front cover hairstyles, the middle-part is a timeless style that has been front cover of magazines in every decade of the last century.

The timeless pixie cut sits at 4th. Made famous by the likes of Twiggy in the swinging sixties and Emma Watson’s Prada campaign today, the cropped cut continues to evolve with tendrils and a textured top proving to be popular features of the style in the 2020s.

The study also revealed that the 1930s, 50s, 60s and 70s are the most influential eras for hair trends of the last 100 years, with 80% of the top 10 styles deriving from these periods.

Neil Capstick commented on the findings: “We conducted this research to learn more about the journey of hair to see how trends are created and updated over time. Results from our 100 Years of Hair report show that many of the popular hairstyles of today, that we now follow on TikTok, were actually popular up to a century ago. I predict that the next biggest retro haircut as we head into a new season will be the 60’s inspired Italian bob, which has over 41,000 views on TikTok, as well as the pixie cut which has been spotted on Emma Watson.”

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.