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Favorite First Lady Hair: Then & Now

In less than a week, months of campaigning will come to a close on what will most certainly shape up to be a very interesting election day. We have seen the debates, heard what each candidate stands for, and are ready to make an informed decision when it comes time to hit the polls. Now, the only discussion about a budget I want to have is how Michelle Obama recycled that gorgeous black-and-grey Thom Browne dress for the final debate!

For over two centuries the first ladies have been a quiet force, influencing everything from hair and clothing trends to policies encouraging equality for women, many times without recognition. In honor of the upcoming election, let’s take a look at the most influential first ladies and see where some of our favorite modern trends first came to life.

Favorite First Lady Hair: Then & Now

Dolley Madison (1809-1817)

The biggest fashion moment for the first lady is the inaugural ball, and Dolley is the one to be thanked for that. She is credited as hosting the very first ball and turning it into the highly anticipated event it is today. Dolley arrived in a beautiful buff colored gown, but what stood out most for this daring first lady was the velvet and silk turban that sat upon her head of gorgeous black curls.

During the past few years, we have seen the turban trend making a comeback. Celebrities like SJP, the Olsen twins, Rachel Zoe, and Kourtney Kardashian (above) have all been spotted rocking this fun and trendy hair accessory, all thanks to Dolley Madison.

Favorite First Lady Hair: Then & Now

Mamie Eisenhower (1953-1961)

A new trend was born after Mamie returned home from a trip to Paris where she had her hair styled by the famous Elizabeth Arden. The “Mamie bangs,” as they were affectionately called, became a hugely sought after look for women in the ‘50s.

In 2011, we saw the “Mamie bangs” make a comeback when Rooney Mara sported the look in the wildly successful movie, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Since then, they have been seen on Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and runway models across the globe.

Favorite First Lady Hair: Then & Now

Jackie Kennedy (1961-1963)

When the world first met Jackie, her sense of style easily became the most envied out of all the first ladies. Her ability to conquer a timeless look is the reason why she is still influencing trends today. Jackie had several hairstyles, but what she is most known for is making the bouffant famous.

We have seen a resurgence of the bouffant in the past few years, most notably from Adele who has shown up to countless events donning the look, but also from celebs such as Miley Cyrus, Busy Philips, and Kelly Osbourne. This trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. It was spotted all over the runways this fall when the Spring 2013 collections were debuted.

For your own 60's style, check out our tutorials for the Mad Men bouffant and the Amy Winehouse beehive.

Favorite First Lady Hair: Then & Now

Michelle Obama (2009- )

It has been so much fun watching Michelle Obama over the past few years. She has a great sense of style and knows how to keep things interesting. Whether she is wearing a $35 H&M dress or a stunning Alexander McQueen, the first lady always finds the perfect hairstyle to accompany her look. I can’t get enough of her curls shown above. They are messy, yet elegant, and do wonders for highlighting those amazing cheekbones.

When you head out to vote on November 6th, make sure to channel the look of your favorite first lady!

For the love of hair and America,


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