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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Long hair dressed so as to puff out from the head, as by teasing or ratting.


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  • Big hair is a term that can refer to hairstyles that emphasize large volume or largely styled hair. Big hair was popular in the late 1970s, as popularized by Dolly Parton and Farrah Fawcett, a development from earlier bouffant styles. The term is also used in the punk, goth and alternative cultures and is particularly associated with alternative fashion of the 1980s, or inspired by the period. In either usage, big hair in modern times generally suggests an eye-catching, untidy, tangled, voluminous hairstyle, worn by conformist women in the 1970s, non-conformist of all sexes in the 1980s.

    Often achieved through teasing, backcombing or ratting the hair.

    February 3, 2008