Brigitte Bardot: The Iconic Hairstyles and Their Cinematic Impact

Brigitte Bardot and one of her famous hairstyles in 1962 © MGM, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Brigitte Bardot and one of her famous hairstyles in 1962 © MGM, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Brigitte Bardot and one of her famous hairstyles in 1962 © MGM, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover Brigitte Bardot's hairstyles...


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Brigitte Bardot and one of her famous hairstyles in 1962 © MGM, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Brigitte Bardot, the French actress, fashion icon and sex symbol, has left an indelible mark on both the film industry and the world of fashion. Renowned for her effortless beauty and timeless style, Bardot's hairstyles have become as legendary as her films. Throughout her career, Bardot sported a variety of haircuts that not only defined her look but also influenced fashion trends in both France and America. This article explores three of Bardot’s most iconic hairstyles—the bouffant, bangs, and ponytail—highlighting the films she appeared in with each style and examining their cultural impact.

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The Bouffant: Height and Elegance

One of the most memorable hairstyles associated with Brigitte Bardot is the bouffant. This voluminous style, characterized by its height and fullness, became a symbol of 1960s glamour. Bardot’s  was often paired with loose waves and a slight tease at the roots to create a dramatic, yet elegant look.

Films Featuring the Bouffant

  1. Come Dance With Me (Voulez-vous danser avec moi, 1959): In "Come Dance with Me," Bardot stars as Virginie, a young woman who marries a handsome dentist named Hervé Dandieu, played by Henri Vidal. When Virginie discovers that her husband is being blackmailed, she decides to investigate and ends up getting involved in a murder mystery. In "Come Dance with Me," her bouffant is slightly tousled, giving it a more relaxed and approachable look compared to the more structured styles seen in her other films. Stream Come Dance With Me now on TV5MONDEPlus
  2. "And God Created Woman" (Et Dieu créa la femme, 1956): This film catapulted Bardot to international stardom and featured her with the iconic bouffant hairstyle. In "And God Created Woman," Bardot played Juliette Hardy, a free-spirited and sensual young woman. The bouffant style complemented her character's rebellious and seductive nature, making Bardot an instant icon of beauty and style.

  3. "Une Parisienne" (1957): Bardot plays Brigitte Laurier, the wife of a French diplomat. The plot revolves around Brigitte's efforts to win back her husband's affections and navigate the complexities of diplomatic life. Her character is witty, charming, and determined, traits that are accentuated by her chic and stylish appearance. Bardot's bouffant hairstyle in "La Parisienne" is one of the defining elements of her character’s look. This voluminous and elegant hairstyle adds a touch of glamour and sophistication, perfectly fitting the character of a fashionable Parisian woman. The bouffant in this film is less dramatic than in some of her later works, with a softer, more refined volume that frames her face beautifully. Stream Une Parisienne right now on TV5MONDEPlus

Cultural Impact

The bouffant hairstyle, popularized by Bardot, quickly became a global trend. It was adopted by numerous French and American actresses, including Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda. The hairstyle's ability to add height and drama made it a favorite among women seeking to emulate Bardot's glamorous look. Even today, the bouffant remains a symbol of vintage elegance and continues to inspire hairstylists around the world. Just make sure you get plenty of hairspray!

The Bangs: Playful and Chic

The "Bardot Bangs" are another hallmark of her iconic style. This look typically features long, slightly tousled bangs that frame the face and exude a sense of effortless chic.

Films Featuring Bangs

  1. "The Truth" (1960): In this courtroom drama, Bardot sported her signature bangs, which softened her face and added a youthful touch to her character Dominique Marceau. The film showcased Bardot's versatility as an actress, and her bangs became a key part of her on-screen persona.

  2. "Shalako" (1968): In this Western film, Bardot's character, Countess Irina Lazaar, wore her hair in a sleek style with prominent bangs. This look contrasted with the rugged setting of the film and highlighted Bardot's ability to blend elegance with adventure.

Cultural Impact

Bardot's bangs became immensely popular, influencing fashion both in France and internationally. The style was embraced by many women who wanted to capture Bardot's carefree and youthful spirit. American actresses like Goldie Hawn and Farrah Fawcett were among those who adopted the Bardot fringe, further cementing its status as a timeless and versatile hairstyle.

The Ponytail: Casual and Sophisticated

Bardot's ponytail is perhaps one of her most versatile and enduring hairstyles. Whether worn high or low, the ponytail added a touch of sophistication to Bardot's look while maintaining a casual and approachable vibe.

Films Featuring the Ponytail

  1. "A Very Private Affair" (1962): In this film, Bardot played a famous actress named Jill, who often wore her hair in a simple yet elegant ponytail. The style reflected her character's dual nature—both glamorous and down-to-earth—making the ponytail an integral part of her on-screen image.

  2. "Viva Maria!" (1965): Bardot's character, Maria, sported a playful ponytail throughout the film. This adventurous comedy allowed Bardot to showcase a more carefree and spirited side, with the ponytail enhancing her character's youthful exuberance.

Cultural Impact

The ponytail, as worn by Bardot, became a symbol of chic simplicity. It was a practical yet stylish choice. Actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood also embraced the ponytail.

Brigitte Bardot's Influence on Fashion and Film

Brigitte Bardot's hairstyles were more than just personal choices—they were statements. Her ability to effortlessly switch between different looks made her a fashion icon and a trendsetter. Bardot's influence extended beyond the silver screen, impacting the beauty and fashion industries in profound ways.

Fashion Legacy

Bardot's hairstyles have continued to inspire fashion designers, hairstylists, and celebrities. Her bouffant, bangs, and ponytail each represent different facets of her personality and career, allowing women to find inspiration in her varied looks. The resurgence of vintage fashion has brought Bardot's styles back into the spotlight, with modern interpretations of her classic hairstyles appearing on runways and in magazines.

Impact on Film

In addition to her impact on fashion, Bardot's hairstyles played a significant role in shaping her film characters. Each style helped to define the persona she portrayed on screen, from the seductive and rebellious to the sophisticated and carefree. She was one of the first actress to use her hair as a tool for character development.

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