Silent Movie Hair (the Bigger the Better!)

I often remark that people tend to forget that the silent era lasted over 30 years and many hairstyles came and went during that time. Silent movie hairstyles were about more than just Louise Brooks bobs and Rudolph Valentino oil slicks. Let’s talk about hair that was… bigger.

(As always, I will be linking to my review of the GIFs source.)

One of the best big hairstyles of the silent era was sported by Nazimova in Camille. She was NOT messing around and bless her for it! Not even Valentino could stand up to her mass of curls and acting talent.

Read my review here.

While not quite as bouffant as Nazimova, Nathalie Lissenko still manages to get some height in her hair for The Burning Crucible, a splendidly weird mystery/comedy/drama.

Read my review here.

Big hair wasn’t just for the ladies. Here is Douglas Fairbanks showing off his new ‘do in A Modern Musketeer. At the time, he was famous for his modern adventure comedies and costume pictures were seen as a risky change of genre. That explains the, “Hey, look at this crazy getup, guys!” expression.

Read my review here.

Bobs and bangs notwithstanding, Mary Pickford’s curls were probably the most famous follicles of the silent era. Here she is in M’Liss showing off their full glory.

Read my review here.

Before she pranced about with bubbles and fans, Sally Rand was a contract player in Cecil B. DeMille’s troupe. Here she is in The Fighting Eagle, wearing a gown by Adrian and a mad curly beehive.

Read my review here.

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12 Replies to “Silent Movie Hair (the Bigger the Better!)”

  1. What great .gifs, as always. Love how Pickford finger combs her ‘do and casually flips it backward. As M’Liss, I unloose and scorn rag-wrapped curls, so there!

    Was not aware that Sally Rand made any silents. Her oral history interview in Studs Terkel’s Hard Times……wow. Quite a woman, in every way.

    1. Thank you! Yeah, Rand was a WAMPAS Baby Star but her movie work was pretty much supporting roles. Fortunately, several are quite easy to find and her empowered role in The Fighting Eagle is fun.

  2. I always enjoy reading your reviews…I always learn something new too. I admire the way you organize the different posts here. It is a fresh chance to see them again or if some may have missed them before, they have an opportunity to read them now. 😊🌷

  3. Wow…love the Mary Pickford GIF, it’s hard to stop watching it. I always knew her hair were one of her trademarks, but who knew she could rock those dainty curls like this??

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