Long gone are the days when very short hair was for boys only, but in the 1960s film Breathless by Jean-Luc Goddard, such a short cut was (literally) on the cutting-edge of fashion and beauty trends. Instead of giving the beautiful French actress Jean Seberg a masculine look, this short New Wave pixie actually emphasized her delicate feminine features.
“I never knew until I came here that somebody could be really nice to you for years, and really hate your guts. Happens all the time here.”
Her short hairstyle caused a sensation when unveiled in 1957 for Saint Joan, but it was slightly modified and made more stylish with blond highlights in subsequent films through 1960. Then she grew her hair out and returned to her natural light brown hair color for a couple of years while dating Romain Gary and appearing in the films Congo Vivo and In the French Style.
She went back to blonde in 1963 but modified “la Seberg coup” (as it was known in France) to a bit fuller and longer look, parted on the side. During the 1965 Moment to Moment era it was perfectly coifed for public events to withstand the strongest wind, which was not atypical for that time. She also went back to a brunette color for filming A Fine Madness (perhaps because there were enough blondes already in the film).
From roughly 1966, and for several years thereafter, Jean primarily wore her hair blonde and short as it required little maintenance. She would alternate styles throughout the 1970s as well. At the time of her death, her hair was not the close-cropped look of Breathless, but a fuller look. It’s interesting to note in many of her 1960s American films, she wore a wig––Lilith, Paint Your Wagon, Macho Callahan (partially), Airport. Only Pendulum showcased the Seberg style, while the reverse can be said of a majority her European films.