One of the 1960s’ signature hairdos has endured over several
“The Flip” was hip and initially favored by younger
women-shoulder-length hair was backcombed slightly at the top and then
curled out at the ends.
There were flips that were totally ‘out to there’ Some women
combined the flip with a bouffant (This style was achieved by setting
the hair to dry in very large rollers, often as many as 25 (!), using
a LOT of hairspray followed by vigorous teasing, and was completed by
brushing the top layer into a smooth barrel or bubble shape.
And there were often rather complicated instructions for
brushing or combing out to achieve just the right look, “a bouncy flip
with flair through the bang section and a saucy up-turned effect on
each side demonstrate the simple casual look for medium length hair”.)
The classic style that Mary Tyler Moore wore on “The Dick Van
Dyke Show” was considered a flip/bouffant combo (MTM could carry this
off; she looked very cute in it!) And this became very popular (along
with Jackie Kennedy’s classic bouffant) among famous and “civilians”
alike throughout the decade.
Lesley Gore had a SERIOUS flip (I bet it took an entire can of
hair spray to hold THAT do in place!). Patty Duke sported one for a
while, as did Dolly Parton, who had a HUGE country-style one early in
Many Miss America and other beauty contestants wore a flip (or
a variation of one) so often, it became commonly referred to as “Miss
America or beauty pageant hair”. Actress Delta Burke, herself a former pageant winner,
wore a longer, far less bouffant version.
Phyllis George, a former Miss America (1971),and Cybill
Shepard, yet another pageant winner, also sported this look. (Even in
the late ‘90s, many contestants still used this style in updated variations.)
Diana Rigg wore a flip as Mrs. Emma Peel on the British import
series, “The Avengers” (Didn’t she look great as she was kicking
butt?). And who can forget Marlo Thomas’ great flip (for the first few
seasons) in “That Girl”?
Elizabeth Montgomery started out with a flip on “Bewitched”,
then grew it out into a more casual version, with soft waves. Or at
least it seemed so.
Thanks in large part to Condoleeza Rice, the Flip has made a
bit of a fashion comeback, but in softer, modified versions.
Rice has softened her ‘do; she had a rather tight, severe looking one
at first. The new version looks so much better on her, don’t you
This style is very flattering to all types and ages, and gives
any face an uplifting look.
(Oprah Winfrey, Cathy Moriarity, Ellen
Barkin, Barbra Streisand, Jessica Alba, Jodie Foster, Kim Basinger,
Calista Flockart, Jennie Garth, and Hilary Clinton have all worn
modern versions of the flip.)
Most people will look best with a flip that ends somewhere between the
chin and the ears.
(A longer one will be harder to maintain and more
prone to drooping, thus dragging the face down.
Flips are now easier to create with a curling iron, hot air brush, or
those ever-reliable rollers.
And there are a variety of techniques.
looser flip, for example, will require larger rollers or a
large-barrel curling iron.
For a tighter one, small to medium curlers
or curling irons will be needed.
to Rewind the Fifties Home
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Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore
Diana Rigg wore a flip as Mrs. Emma Peel