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When Vidal Sassoon cut Mia Farrow’s long locks into a cropped pixie cut for Roman Polanski’s psychological horror movie, Rosemary’s Baby, it became the most famous haircut in history. Filmed for the world to see, it changed the perception of femininity. The short style was a shocker. It ushered in a new era for fashion and beauty.

Before the 1960s, women were conditioned to wear their hair longer; it was ‘set’ for hours at the salon, and the style was kept day after day. Going short meant liberation from the fetters of set styles, and from the preconceived ideas of beauty. Suddenly women were wearing short hair, A-line dresses, military-inspired suits, and other aspects of mod-inspired androgyny. Not only was it fashionable, the look fitted the lifestyle of a new generation of women who wanted to go to work, and play hard –– which left little time for roller-setting at the salon.

Seeing  Mia, an alluring film star, lose all that length and expose her natural beauty  –– wide eyes, angular cheekbones, elegant petiteness –– inspired a new beauty consciousness. Hair and fashion became intrinsically linked. Woman wanted to feel the power of transformation. Nowadays, individualism reigns, and women can wear any kind of cut, color, shape, or style. Yet it all began with that luxurious, eye-catching crop. Learn more about it below.

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Submitted by Isobel Hinks, stylist and educator for iconic British hairdressing brand, Vidal Sassoon, this versatile short hairstyle bares the hallmarks of a classic Sassoon cut, yet with the texture, softness and movement of a chic contemporary style. Somewhere between a bowl and a pixie, the cut also features a veil that covers a hidden fringe, which can be exposed and parted for a tailored finish. Learn more about the shape and style of this look in the notes.

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In the 20th century, original It-Girl Clara Bow and hairdressing pioneer Vidal Sassoon popularized the bob. Now, more than fifty years on, a sixties fashion revival and the celebrities who are driving it are bringing the bob back into style. For a contemporary take, we love the tousled and piecey crops worn by models Frida Gustavsson and Elena Perminova in a recent Neiman Marcus campaign. The messy style marries bobs, bed-heads, and beach waves –– and is easy to achieve. For tips on wearing a textured bob, click through to style notes. — Michelle Rotbart  

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