Hairstyle File: The Evolution of "Big Hair"

What's not to love about big hair? It's fun, it's fierce, and it's wildly over-the-top, a fact that Tom Ford capitalized on when he recently enlisted Beyonce--and her gi-normous, blonde curls--to walk in his private fashion show! We've been so obsessed with her voluminous 'do, that we decided a "big hair" timeline was in order. From Diahann Carroll to Mariah, here are our favorite supersized styles of all time.
ESSENCE.COM Sep, 21, 2010

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Motown chanteuse Mary Wells always wore the most intricate, teased-and-sprayed wig styles.

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What’s not to love about big hair? It’s fun, it’s fierce, and it’s wildly over-the-top, a fact that Tom Ford capitalized on when he recently enlisted Beyonce—and her gi-normous, blonde curls—to walk in his private fashion show! We’ve been so obsessed with her voluminous ’do, that we decided a “big hair” timeline was in order. From Diahann Carroll (left, on “The Tom Jones” show) to Mariah, here are our favorite supersized styles of all time.

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In the Seventies, Pam Grier made a name for herself not only for her iconic roles in blaxploitation flicks like Foxxy Brown, but also for her super-big, sexy afro.

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On her first solo tour of Britain, Diana Ross rocked a head full of voluminous ringlets—a real departure from the structured Supremes bouffants of the Sixties.

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Chaka hits the stage with Rufus rocking an enormous, fluffy ’fro.

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In 1984, singer and legendary percussionist Sheila E. sported a much-copied mane of teased-and-sprayed curls.

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In the mid-Eighties, Tina Turner’s crimped, teased platinum wig was almost as iconic as her mile-long legs and raspy rocker girl voice!

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Patti Labelle was known for her over-the-top wigs and hair pieces in the 80’s. Here, her real hair around the hairline is blended in with a spiked, wing-like wig.

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In Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” video, she flaunted a massive tumble of amber-hued spirals.

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For her breakout “Control” album, Janet Jackson sported a waterfall of huge, flowing waves and back-combed bangs—an Eighties hair spectacular!

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In 1989, Revlon ran a groundbreaking ad featuring the top Black supermodels of the time: Beverly Johnson, Louise Vyent and Iman, all rocking lavender bodysuits and an endless amount of chestnut curls.

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When she first stepped on the modeling scene, up-and-comer Tyra Banks sported masses of adorable honey-blonde ringlets.

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At the 1998 ESSENCE Awards, Mariah Carey rocked the red carpet in a honey-highlighted, super-curly coif. Very lioness-chic.

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Iman hit an Interview party sporting a cherry red wig overflowing with face-framing, high-volume spirals.

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At the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, Halle Berry traded in her signature pixie cut for massive, waist-length ringlets.

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Jada Pinkett-Smith paired a halo of teased curls with a sleek cornrow for a textured, ultra-glam look.

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At Scott Barnes’ book release party, all eyes were on Kelly Rowland and her huge, Chaka Khan-esque tresses.

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At a private party for Tom Ford’s new collection, Beyonce hit the runway sporting huge, platinum blonde spirals.

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At a pre-Grammy bash in Manhattan, Rihanna sported a wig that was virtually exploding with wild woman ringlets. Love!

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At the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Nicki Minaj went over-the-top (even for her) in these platinum, poodle perm ponytails. We love her audacity!

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