The Perfect 1960s Bob Hairstyle Designed by Celebrity Hairstylist Kenneth

A perfect bob haircut and style can offer many looks for you when you are styling your hair vintage. With different curls and varying the volume, you can emulate a 1920s hairstyle, a 1940s look… all the way up to 1960s bouffant. This 1960s bob, designed by Kenneth, might be just the haircut you need.

Kenneth Everette Battelle, known by the vintage hairstyling world as Mr. Kenneth or most often just called Kenneth, was among the most well-known celebrity hairstylists of his day.

Kenneth styled the hair of some of the most iconic women of the 1950s and 1960s. Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were regular customers of his.

Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, both styled by Kenneth

Glamour Magazine hired Kenneth to write for them regularly on educating women on haircare. In this July 1963 issue, he shares a collection of bob hairstyles that represent variations of the classic 1960s hairstyle in an easy-to-follow grid. He also shares his secrets for his signature bob haircut.

This kind of sharing did get Kenneth a little shade from his hairstylist peers though. They were worried that sharing these trade secrets would threaten their livelihood.

You might also like: Short Vintage Hair Trends of the 1950s and 1960s

The Haircut

The haircut is a blunt bob cut. He describes the cut steps as:

  1. To get the right length, pin up the top layer.
  2. Cut the back underneath hair first.
  3. Bring down the rest, section by section and match the length to the first section.
  4. The length should be even all around, but just a tiny bit longer at the front.

The Hair Roller Set

Kenneth also might be whom we have to thank for the large, plastic curlers we use today for volume curl sets. Described in the book, Kenneth: Shear Elegance by Giuseppe Longo, he wanted to design a new hairstyle for his regular client, Jacqueline Kennedy in the 1950s.

But the way he wanted to set her hair could only be done with large, rigid hair rollers, and those did not exist yet. No companies were making anything like that, so Kenneth had rollers specially made out of plastic.

You get out of a set. exactly what you put into it.

Kenneth, 1963

Kenneth’s Tips for the Hair Setting:

So that the hair is smooth and taut on the roller, he stretches the hair in the opposite direction from which it’s being rolled. (On-Base curls)

  1. Pull the top sections forward before rolling back.
  2. Pull the side sections up before rolling down.
  3. End Papers (Wraps) are a must for smoothing the ends and preventing hooking.
  4. Sections for the rollers must be even and straight.
  5. He uses smaller rollers in the front and sides of this hairdo for more body.
  6. When he completes the set, he sprays it again with setting lotion.

The Brush-Out

The hair must be completely dry before removing the rollers. Kenneth describes that he always brushes straight back with a natural bristle brush, so that the curl is evenly distributed.

You might also like: Adding Hairpieces to Your Vintage Hairstyle

Fresh Hairdos Grid of 1960s Bob Variations

The article continues with a grid of variations of the bob haircut and style, created by Kenneth.

If you made it to this point, I’d love to know which bob you like the best from the grids! Comment with the hairstyle number… i.e. 23D, 39A. Thank you for reading!

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Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

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