10 Ways the Definition of Beauty Has Changed

The Ever-changing Head of Hair

What constitutes beautiful hair is perhaps the most oft-changing beauty definition in history. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the masses would pluck their hairlines, as their monarch did, and employ massive headdresses. Since then, we've seen trends that included short, bobbed hair to long flowing tresses. We'll crimp or perm our hair to get some waves or curls, then go to great lengths to straighten it. Our hair has been piled high in a beehive, bejeweled, braided, teased, spiked, dyed and highlighted. We'll spend hours trying to look like we just fell out of bed, or we'll spend hours on an elaborate style worthy of prom or a wedding. Certain hair colors will go in and out of fashion (though gray tends to remain on the outs, as we fear looking older). Beautiful hair has been a particularly tricky issue for black women. Though some black women opt for hairstyles such as the Afro out of ethnic pride and unity, others have spent thousands of hours and dollars pursuing straightening treatments or weaves.