A bouffant (pronEng|buːˈfɑːnt) is a type of hairstyle characterized by hair piled high on the head and hanging down on the sides. It was a mainstream hairstyle in the mid-to-late 17th century in western Europe. It was thought to be created for Marie Antoinette, as she had relatively thin hair and wanted to create the illusion of having very full hair. In modern times, the bouffant was popular in Western culture in the 1960s, when it was created with the help of back-combing and large amounts of hair spray.

A bouffant cap (from its resemblance to the hairstyle) is a type of cap that completely covers the hair for use in cleanrooms and other situations where it is important to avoid loose hairs. They are usually made of polypropylene or some other non-woven material, with an elastic band around the rim to keep it tight around the forehead and the back of the head below the hairline. As they can be worn by any sex and over any hairstyle, bouffant caps are a popular and economical choice of workplace head covering. Cafeteria workers' hairnets and hospital scrub hats are two common examples of bouffant-style caps.


The word "bouffant" comes from Middle French, from present participle of "bouffer": "to puff, puffed out."

Examples of the bouffant hairstyle

* Pat Nixon, former first lady of the United States, wore her hair in a bouffant
* The Ronettes wore their hair in bouffants, as did many motown girl groups
* Amy Winehouse, British singer song-writer often wears her hair in a bouffant like style
* Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and Republican nominee for Vice President of the United States
* Miss Yvonne from "Pee-wee's Playhouse" always has her hair in this style
* Katey Sagal intentionally parodies the 1960s look for her character Peggy Bundy in "Married... With Children" by wearing a red bouffant wig.
* Joan Sutherland, Australian operatic soprano famous for her bouffant hairstyle.
* The character Fran Fine of "The Nanny" has large bouffant hairstyle.
* Kerry Fraser, a referee in the NHL is well known for his bouffant hairstyle.
* Gardevoir from the Pokémon franchise.
* Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous is rarely seen without the Bouffant in this BBC series
* Margaret Thatcher, First and only female British prime minister.
* Tracy Turnblad in "Hairspray" (1988, Ricki Lake and in 2007, Nikki Blonsky)
* Matt Groening, of The Simpsons fame, refers to Marge Simpson's hairstyle as being a bouffant. This can also be seen in other members of the Bouvier Family (Selma, Patty, Jacqueline, etc.). A character once referred to Marge as "bouffant Betty."
*Pinky Pinkerton of the Disney Channel series Bunnytown has a huge blond bouffant hairdo (which is actually a wig as her hair is brown).
*Kim Jong-Il is well known and often parodied for his bouffant hairstyle.
*Cosmo Kramer from the Seinfeld television series.

ee also

*Pompadour (hairstyle)
* Beehive (hairstyle)
* Haircut
* Big hair

External links

* [ Hairstyle archives]
* [ "Beauty and the Bouffant" gallery]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bouffant — bouffant, ante [ bufɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • XVe; de bouffer ♦ Qui bouffe. ⇒ froncé, gonflé. Un pantalon bouffant. Manches bouffantes. ⇒ 1. ballon. Subst. Donner du bouffant avec des fronces. ⊗ CONTR. Collant, 1. plat. ● bouffant nom masculin Effet d… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • bouffant — bouffant, ante (bou fan, fan t ) adj. 1°   Qui bouffe, qui paraît gonflé. Étoffe, garniture bouffante. •   Ces deux têtes charmantes, renfermées sous ce jupon bouffant, me rappelèrent les enfants de Léda, BERN. DE ST P. Paul et Virg..… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • bouffant — ouffant adj. being puffed out; used mostly of hair style, and sometimes clothing; as, a bouffant hairdo; a bouffant skirt. Syn: puffy. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bouffant — 1880, from Fr. bouffant, prp. of bouffer to puff out, from O.Fr. bouffer (12c.), from V.L. *buffare, probably ultimately imitative of puffing. First used of hairdo style 1955 …   Etymology dictionary

  • bouffant — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of hair) styled so as to stand out from the head in a rounded shape. ► NOUN ▪ a bouffant hairstyle. ORIGIN French, swelling …   English terms dictionary

  • bouffant — BOUFFANT, ANTE. adject. Qui bouffe, qui paroît gonflé. Il ne se dit guère qu en parlant Des étoffes qui ont assez de consistance pour ne pas s aplatir, et qui se soutiennent d ellesmêmes. Une étoffe bouffante. Une garniture bouffante …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • bouffant — Bouffant, [bouff]ante, Qui bouffe. Cette estoffe, cette toile est bien bouffante …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • bouffant — [bo͞o fänt′] adj. [Fr, prp. of bouffer, to puff out; akin to It buffare, to blow with puffed cheeks, of echoic orig.] puffed out; full, as some skirts, hair styles, etc …   English World dictionary

  • bouffant — adjective Etymology: French, from Middle French, from present participle of bouffer to puff Date: 1832 puffed out < bouffant hairdos > < a bouffant veil > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bouffant — [[t]bu͟ːfɒn, AM buːfɑ͟ːnt[/t]] bouffants ADJ: usu ADJ n A bouffant hairstyle is one in which your hair is high and full. ...blonde bouffant hairdos …   English dictionary

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