Afros and Apple Jacks, BeeHives and Bouffants – Hair Don’t Care About the Air

Afros and Apple Jacks BeeHives and Bouffants – Hair Don’t Care About the Air Wayback Wednesday


With all the controversy surrounding hairstyles lately, more specifically African American hairstyles and hair care products, I started thinking about the hairstyles of the 60s and 70s.

How we wore our hair anywhere, in styles that we didn’t care, especially about the air or the ozone layer.

Afros under Apple Jacks and Beehives under Bonnets were all the rave in the 60s and 70s, it was the “Hair Don’t Care” era because we would use a full can of aerosol hairspray or Afro Sheen to keep our ‘do together and in shape.

Miss Breck Hair Spray


The Bubble, the Bouffant and then the Beehive came into fashion in 1960 which was a teased and lacquered version of big hair. Teasing and spraying, spraying and teasing for just the right look to hold it in place to last through the entire day and way into the night.



Grease and straightening combs, pomade or conked, laid to the side home fried with an  Afro pick sticking out like an antenna.  So many ways to style our hair, I even tried making afro puffs by cutting my hair with disastrous results!


Needless to say, my grandmother wasn’t very happy because she had a paid photographer coming the next day to take our pictures.



Now as you can see, my hair was too fine for an Afro but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try, as a matter of fact, my sister, Gloria and I had such thin hair that even sponge rollers would fall out and Gloria definitely didn’t like being woken from sleep for pictures!

curlers worn to bed


I was envious of my cousins who could effortlessly pull off Afro Puffs or even a full blown fro, perfectly styled like Marlena Shaw.



The government warned us that if we continued to use aerosols spray cans that we would put a whole in the ozone layer so spray pumps became popular in the 80s, as did the Jheri Curl which is another whole ball of wax!


What was your favorite hairstyle?

16 thoughts on “Afros and Apple Jacks, BeeHives and Bouffants – Hair Don’t Care About the Air

    1. Yes, I still have a few of my grandmother’s straightening combs, and fortunately, she never used it on our hair, but I always felt sorry for my cousins!

  1. Loving this. I am one of those people who had hair so curly it was just a bush.My Mom pixie cut it when I was 7 and that was the end. I begged the lady who cut my hair to straighten it but she said the first sign of humidity I would frizz up and I was too afraid to iron it myself. Mostly because it was already so short! I sooo wanted the heavy bangs, stick straight pulled back with a headband of the 60’s and the feathered Farrah Faucet look of the 70’s. Instead I wound up with a demented Florence Henderson shag!!

  2. I love the pictures! I spent 1970 and 1971 ironing my hair. When I could smell it burning I was ready to go to school. I thought I was being frugal saving the cost of having my hair straightened!

  3. Let’s see, afro puffs, jheri curls, pony tails, braided hair, fried hair and perhaps shaked and baked, LOL! Loved the article, especially the pics of you and your sister, sooo cute.

    1. I always wished my hair was thicker so I could sport a fro – but Afro puffs was the best I could do and yes, using a whole can of Miss Breck.

  4. You are so beautiful, then and now.
    I used Miss Breck and I ironed my hair. My hair was very curly, formed tight, intense, spirals, which wasn’t cool at all.
    It took me graduating high school to learn that curls and kinks kicked straight to the curb. My gorgeous daughter still wears her hair in splendid thick spirals. I am pretty old, but the curls are still on top of my 60 year old head.
    Thank you curls!
    Hugs to you Antionette!

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