The history of hairdressing: the English school

Always considered the greatest masters of haircuts, "Beehives, Bobs & Blow-Dries" is an exhibition that retraces half a century of revolutionary hairstyles: take a look at the gallery

Barnsley is an English town in South Yorkshire, which, at the end of 2009, transformed their old Civic Theatre which was closed and in disuse, into a new multi-purpose cultural space for the city. The revived The Civic is a theatre, venue for exhibitions and events, a space for meetings and conventions, and an original exhibition on the world of professional hair and hairstyle has just ended.

Beehives, Bobs & Blow-Dries wished to review the history of English hairdressing from the post-war period of the ’40s up to the present day.

Using archive photos, posters and historical objects, among others, told of a world and its evolution, linked both to that of style and to the research and development of new formulas and new products.

The intent was to explore the history and social significance of the hairdressing world, its products, and the meaning of hair as a form of self-expression. A journey into a world which passes from merely “natural” hair through to the use of wigs, which sees the advent of Afro styles, derived from the Caribbean immigration in Britain, the establishment in the ’60s of Swinging London and the big names of English hairstyling, such as Vidal Sassoon, going through the fashion trends of the ‘70s, and reaching modern day, with increasingly high-performance products and the advent of gender neutrality, even in hairstyles.

Valentina Monti