We’re raising a metaphorical glass of Guinness to the women whose hair has flown the flag for Ireland – but in a totally non-naff way
For some it’s all about donning tacky green accessories, painting glitter shamrocks on their faces and getting shit faced. For others it’s about taking to the streets to witness American marching bands, sports clubs from around the country saunter up O’Connell Street for what seems like hours and helping confused tourists figure out how to get to Trinity College.
But whatever your St. Patrick’s Day persuasion, the day should ultimately be about celebrating being Irish. And that includes giving a shout out to some of our most stylish sistas who've demonstrated iconic hair looks over the years. Others might see us as the land that gave the world titan tresses, but it’s not just gingers who've taken centre stage over the years. From Sinead O’Connor's ballsy baldness back in the early 90s to Ann Doyle’s platinum blonde bob, we’re raising a metaphorical glass of Guinness to the women whose hair has flown the flag for Ireland – but in a totally non-naff way.
For anyone born before 1990, The Corrs – the three hot sisters minus their unfortunately not-hot brother from Dundalk – were a pretty prominent source of mid-90s style and beauty inspo. I believe they were to blame for my purchase of a rather fetching nude lip liner and lipstick combo purchased from The Body Shop with my Christmas money when I was in 5th year. Andrea, Sharon and Caroline’s tousled brunette tresses were a thing of wonder.
While I don’t condone streaks as a style, there’s one exception to the rule and that’s Cathy O’Connor’s distinctive silver stripe. A teeny bit Cruella Deville, a teeny bit Sweeny Todd, Cathy’s striking do sets her apart in a sea of blonde highlights and hair extensions and shows that embracing your greys can be the ultimate style statement.
It’s official; red hair is having a moment and anyone who ever experienced some form of social stigma in the school yard is now probably feeling very smug - and rightly so. It’s hard to pick just one ginger gem but stylist and TV presenter Angela Scanlon is currently our favourite reddzer. Proving that redheads can wear ANY colour they feel like, the FROW regular always let her lovely locks take centre stage whatever the outfit or occasion.
Whatever you think about Sinead O’Connor – her music, politics, religious views, penchant for penning open letters – there’s no doubting that she solidified her place on the hair hero 4 lyfe list when she debuted her shaved head. And although it’s not technically a hair do (what with her having no actual hair in all and anyways) it paved the way for others to free themselves from the shackles of class. But apart from the dodgy makeup split ends and hairspray… and all the other things that you associate with hair.
From her stern yet sexy way of reading out the news to her collection of statement necklaces, Ann Doyle brought a certain je ne sais quoi to Six One and has been sorely missed since her departure from RTE in 2011. During her 33 year stint in Donnybrook, her platinum blonde bob undoubtedly inspired scores of housewives and also dispelled any sort of notion that blondes couldn’t be intelligent or taken seriously.
Think I’ve left anyone off the list? Let us know in the comments!
I’ve been working as a fashion and beauty journalist in Ireland and London since 2009 and I’m currently the editor of Creative HEAD Ireland - a magazine dedicated to all things hair. I’m a total magpie when it comes to jewellery, am extremely partial to a shiny red lip and love pedalling around the streets of Dublin on my beloved blue bike Penelope.