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Fashion archive: Put your rollers away, women advised

Hair, like other aspects of fashion, is in a constant state of change. Some people are quite happy with their hair and remain faithful to the same style for several years; others enjoy the chance of a change. For them there is nothing more dating than wearing last year’s style.

Over the years, hair fashion has seen some dramatic changes – from Vidal Sassoon’s geometric cut of the sixties, to the wild freaky ‘afro’ style of the early seventies. Now, well into the second half of the seventies, hair is becoming much more natural; even those addicted to that great invention of home hairdressing, heated rollers, are casting them aside in favour of an ‘undone look.’ The French call it décoiffé, and indeed it’s from France that the look came.

At its most extreme, it’s a raggedy, pulled-up-on-top-of-the-head look, with wispy escaping ends. At its most wearable, it’s a soft, shaggy, pretty look. Much easier on the face than a straight-across fringe, or hard-edged style, it’s a young fluffy style and very flattering.

The cut depends for its success on layering. Not the lion’s mane layering of some years ago, with the long straggly ends. This is a much less extreme sort of layering with only slight differences in the hair lengths.

The style is simple and easy to look after, but can go desperately wrong in inexperienced hands. It is at its best when allowed to dry naturally and brushed with the head upside down to give the slight flyaway look at the sides. If it is necessary, you can do a little light drying with the hair wrapped backwards around a brush (nylon is better than bristle). It is at its worst when over-styled and curled into a sort of sausage roll, joining up with a curled fringe.

There’s a very subtle difference between success and failure. To illustrate this, we photographed Betsy La Casse to show you the right way to wear this style, above, and the wrong way, below. As you can see, although the change is not tremendous, it makes a world of difference.

…and the wrong way. Photograph: Lorenz Zatecky

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