The Bouffant Is The Throwback Hair Trend Making Waves In 2024

By Charlie Colville

5 months ago

Statement hairstyles are in this year


We’re no stranger to nostalgia here at C&TH – especially when it comes with a snazzy new (or revived) trend for us to devour. The latest to hit our radar is the vintage bouffant, a hairstyle that has been revived thanks to mid-century cinema, buzzy biopics and, funnily enough, Girls Aloud.

See More 2024 Hair Trends Here

What Is A Bouffant?

‘A bouffant is a teased and puffed section of hair, usually at the crown of the head,’ says Tyler Moore, an expert stylist at Live True London. ‘We’ve seen this hairstyle reach different levels of popularity throughout history, starting from the 18th and 19th centuries. It had a huge upswing in popularity in the 50s and 60s with the well known teased look (as seen on the likes of Priscilla Presley), as well as a small resurgence in the late 2000s.’ We’re looking at you, Girls Aloud.

@msmaverickmuse Shag Styling Series: 1960s Audrey Hepburn French Twist Bouffant 👒 Drop a 🥐 if you love Audrey! #60s #audreyhepburn #oldhollywood #vintage #hairtutorial #frenchtwist #hairtok #shaghaircut ♬ Gabrielle (From Paris When It Sizzles) – Audrey Hepburn / Nelson Riddle

Alongside its historical trendiness, we’ve seen a growing fondness for the bouffant in recent years. ‘As with any fashion trend, this one was bound to see a comeback, particularly with the release of films like Don’t Worry Darling (see Florence Pugh’s baby bouffant) and Priscilla,’ highlights Tyler. Video sharing platform TikTok has taken to the trend with enthusiasm, with the search term ‘hair bouffant’ racking up an impressive 75.6 million views in recent months – with creators showing off their larger-than-life hairstyles inspired by bygone eras.

How To Ask For A Bouffant At The Salon

If you want to try the bouffant, but aren’t sure where to start at home, you can visit your local salon and see how a stylist would create the look. For your visit, Tyler recommends bringing as many images of the hairstyle as possible: ‘Make sure to bring reference pictures so your stylist can nail the look you want – there are lots of different kinds of bouffant, whether you want all your hair down or half up-half down.’

How Is The Style Created?

As Tyler mentioned, the process of creating a bouffant involves a lot of teasing, backcombing and hairspray – making the styling part of the process a bit more labour-intensive if you’re trying it out at home.

‘To create this look, your stylist will start with smooth, brushed hair, sectioning to create your desired bouffant silhouette,’ Tyler explains, describing how a bouffant would be created in the salon. ‘They will then work by teasing the hair through the section to create height, working at the roots and being careful not to tangle. They will then set the height with plenty of hairspray, and brush back over to smooth the look, and adjust the volume as desired. Style the rest of the hair as desired.’

Tyler also highlights that this is a style that works for multiple hair types, and that the process can be adjusted to better fit to curly hair and braids. ‘If you have curly hair, your stylist will use a lot less backcombing and use your natural volume to fill the bouffant, and if you have braids, you can achieve this look by carefully layering your braids into the desired shape,’ he says.

@nickkbrownie IDC this bouffant got me feeling very Lana Del Rey coquette vinyl 💋🦢👼🏾 🍓 #priscilla #60smakeup ♬ priscilla coded – ღ

Tips For Recreating The Look At Home

Now that you’ve seen how the pros do it, you can try recreating a bouffant at home. Tyler has shared his top tips to keep in mind when giving the hairstyle a go:

  1. Be Gentle: ‘Make sure to tease your hair carefully with a professional comb to limit any breakage, and when combing out, do so gently,’ he says.
  2. Hair Spray Is Key: ‘Make sure you have plenty of hair spray on hand to keep your hair staying up,’ he recommends.

Who Suits A Bouffant?

As Tyler mentioned, this is a style that works for pretty much all hair types as it can be adapted as you go along – but he does recommend creating the look with slightly longer hair. ‘This hairstyle tends to lend itself to those with shoulder length or longer hair, as well as those without shorter layering, as this will allow for maximum volume and allow you to avoid your hair looking sparse elsewhere,’ he suggests.

Where To Wear A Bouffant

So, where can you wear a bouffant? The answer: anywhere you fancy. And if you’re not be keen to wear yours down the high street, then you’ll be happy to know that the hair style works brilliantly for occasions that require you to dress up a little more (we’re not talking about fancy dress, don’t worry). Think balls, galas, weddings, operas and any other black tie occasion. ‘These can look gorgeous and elegant for formal occasions (as seen on Anne Hathaway at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival), as well as nights out when worn more relaxed,’ adds Tyler.

Hair Inspiration

 

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Featured image: Priscilla (c) A24