Go Black-And-Blonde Like Blondie, Lady Gaga, And Cruella De Vil But Read This First

Debbie Harry circa 1970, Lady Gaga performs in Carlisle, England, on May 15, and Cruella De Vil from ’101 Dalmatians.’
Photo: Getty Images/Courtesy of Disney

Black and white is a classic trend when it comes to the best in clothes, ’80s home decor, cookies with deceptively soft consistencies, bordellos… Such a stark contrast can be a challenge in hairdos, and yet it’s been done successfully time and time again. And while there’s definitely a Cruella de Vil-ish element to Lady Gaga’s current two-tone ’do (an easy comparison to make since mama Monster actually was the fur-clad, would-be dog murderer for Halloween) it’s an interesting, extreme twist on ombre hair and would be a refreshing counterpoint to the current surge in everyone dying their hair red.

The read pioneer of pulling off black-and-white, is of course Debbie Harry. Granted, this now 65-year-old punk-rock (with moments in rap and disco) GODDESS, is the pioneer of a great many divergent trends (it is said that she INVENTED looking smoking hot but appearing largely unaware of your level of attractiveness ESPECIALLY if you’re talking to a famous person/on TV/at Studio 54), but the one thing that has always stuck out, other than how she effortlessly pulls of white pants, is that she can look badass while looking sweet and NEVER appearing costumey.

Debbie Harry circa 1970.
Photo: Getty Images

There’s just something about this hair that just does it for me. The bangs are a razor-cut mess of divergent lengths and textural weirdness, Harry’s obviously wavy locks curls at the base of her skull and is probably a nightmare to cut with any accuracy, and she’s chosen to darken some strands with seeming randomness. And that’s why it works. It doesn’t look overwrought. It’s already a choppy look so the changes in hue aren’t totally alarming. Gaga’s wig looks like a wig because the retro bob is incredibly stylized and the dye job hugely conspicuous.

If Gaga’s is the performance version and Cruella’s is the scary cartoon version, Harry’s is definitely the “Real World” example that is still enormously daring but won’t make you look deranged in a cardigan. Also, would you not KILL for everything she’s wearing on this shoot? From the teeny pendant to the shirt to the high-waisted white shortshorts to the over-the-knee pirate boot to the sunnies? AMAZING. But still, the ’do is verily the swoonworthiest, and I would LOVE to see more successful examples, so if you know someone or have it sitting on your head presently, please send us a snap. Kthx.