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The English word bouffant comes from the French bouffante, from the present participle of bouffer: "to puff, puff out."
The modern bouffant, considered by one source to have been invented by British celebrity hairdresser Raymond Bessone, was noted by Life in the summer of 1956 as being "already a common sight in fashion magazines."
The style became popular at the beginning of the 1960s when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was often photographed with her hair in a bouffant, and her style was widely imitated. Generally speaking, by the mid-1960s many well-dressed women and girls were wearing some form of bouffant hairdo, which in one variation or another remained the fashionable norm until supplanted by the geometric bob cut at the end of the decade, and the looser shag or feathered styles of the early 1970s.
Middle-aged women who dressed conservatively clung to the style a little longer, while their teenaged daughters, imitating the look of popular folk-rock singers such as Joan Baez, Mary Travers, and Cher, began abandoning bouffants in favor of long, straight "ironed hair" as early as 1965.
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