Great Headbands Throughout History

As I was stitching together a new batch of headbands for Planet Pinup, I began to wonder: who invented the headband? When did it come into vogue? Who are some icons that made headbands so popular? Then I decided, rather than do a bunch of tedious research, to google some photos of Mary Tyler Moore. Turns out, Mary Tyler Moore didn’t actually wear a headband. I don’t know why I thought she did.

You mean that’s just hairspray?!?

Clearly that line of thinking was getting me nowhere, so I needed to go back much, much further in time, way back to when the first caveman looked at the first cavewoman and noticed her hair was in her eyes, and helpfully handed her a strip of fur he had ripped off a recently killed saber-toothed tiger. To which she said “Eeewwww, this is all bloody!” and they realized that they needed to come up with more sanitary manufacturing methods if this thing was ever going to take off.

You’ve come a long way, cavey.

In the 1940’s, the men went off to war and the women went to work in the factories. Rosie the Riveter set a good example by using a bandana to keep her hair from falling into a mechanical press and becoming part of a B-52 bomber.

Touch-a my bandana,
I punch-a you face.

It wouldn’t be long before pin-up icon Bettie Page was spotted wearing smaller, more feminine headbands, and she looked shockingly frumpy and unattractive! Just kidding, Bettie couldn’t have looked ugly if she tried.

Naughty or nice? Bettie sure was versatile.
And flexible.

A few years later, or possibly a decade (anybody want to look this up? I’m busy), the gorgeous French model/actress Brigitte Bardot kicked things up a notch by sporting a super-wide headband on her pretty French head. Of course she looked amazing, because she would look amazing with a nest of maggots in her hair, and then every young model would run out and pick up some hair maggots in the hopes that people would mistake her for Brigitte Bardot.

For Bardot, it’s all about the girth.

Then in the fake 1960’s, fashionable cast members of the incredibly awesome show Mad Men wore a lot of super cute headbands, just as fashionable cast members did in the real 1960’s. In keeping with the awesomeness of this awesome show, they looked awesome.

Are you a Peggy or a Betty?

The fake 1960’s (or possibly 1950’s – seriously a research assistant would be great) also brought us Grease, along with it’s far superior sequel: Grease 2. Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy Olson wore a headband and inspired John Travolta to change his whole outfit in order to win her love. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Stephanie Zinoni did NOT wear a headband, and her dark roots looked just terrible.

Has a Headband vs Needs a Headband

As I may have mentioned, I was stunned to learn that Mary Tyler Moore didn’t wear a headband. Not on the Dick Van Dyke Show and not on the Mary Tyler Moore show, leaving me with no option for a 1970’s photo other than this:

Notice me! Notice meeeeeee!

In the 1980’s, Lisa Bonet’s Denise Huxtable broke all the rules: posed nude in a semi-creepy movie, pissed off Bill Cosby, and wore headbands every which way but loose. She went on to inspire young co-star Raven-Symone to also buck the Hollywood system by being famous and talented despite not being a size 0.

If only she had used one of those headbands to cover her lady parts, Bill Cosby might still be her friend.

Fast forward to present day (**hopes you won’t notice that Mad Men is technically present day**), and everywhere you look there’s another talented young fashionista like Reese Witherspoon, Sienna Miller, Zooey Deschanel and Mary-Kate Olsen being photographed wearing headbands of all shapes and sizes. See? Headbands rock.

If only she had more heads, she could wear more headbands.

So as I had started to tell you, I was working on a new batch of really great headbands when I decided it would be way more unproductive to look up a bunch of photos of headbands on the internet. My point is, if you want to be super cool, you can buy yourself some handmade headbands, hair ties, or hair flowers at my store, Planet Pinup, by clicking on the pretty blue letters.


2 responses

  1. LOL, love this post. Headbands rock! I wear one of yours at least 3 times a week!

  2. That was fun. Thanks!

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