Asian woman with short hair in a vintage hairstyle

12 Vintage Hairstyles That Still Look Elegant Today

Step back in time and discover the charm of vintage and retro hairstyles.

Vintage trends often come back again and again. In fact, a lot of today’s modern-day trends are heavily influenced by past styles that have been reinterpreted into contemporary versions. The same goes for vintage hairstyles. They are representative of the highlights of each decade when it comes to music, fashion, and entertainment. These vintage hairstyles give us a peek into the different eras and what makes each one unique and truly fascinating.

If you’re in need of new ideas to style your hair, take a good look at the vintage and retro hairstyles that reigned supreme in the past. Granted, those curls and updos require a bit of work—they’re not exactly no-fuss, low-maintenance styles—but oh boy, are they pretty! Check them out in this roundup of #throwback looks.

Our Favorite Vintage Hairstyles

1. Vintage Bob

Asian woman with a short vintage bob with bangs wearing a lace blouse
This short bob looks bold, thanks to its short and straight cut. Credit: All Things Hair Team

It’s all about the glitz and the glamour back in the roaring ’20s. This classic bob embodies that, with its straight and polished look. It’s typically cut just below the ears or gracing your jawline. It also has blunt ends, giving it a defined shape and a bold look.

The vintage bob symbolized liberation and modernity during this decade. Its length and appearance were a far cry from the long, elaborate hairstyles of the previous era. Women who would cut their hair and get a short bob in the 1920s were often dubbed “The New Woman.”

Bottle of TRESemme Keratin Smooth KERA10 Shampoo

Editor’s tip: Don’t let frizz put a damper on your short, straight bob. Use TRESemmé Keratin Smooth KERA10 Shampoo daily. It has KERA10 Protein Complex that penetrates your hair up to 10 layers deep to nourish it. This shampoo also gives your hair 10 salon benefits in one wash. It has an anti-frizz and anti-humidity formulation. It also makes your hair soft and smooth, adds shine, detangles, tames flyaways, provides heat protection, leaves a long-lasting fragrance, and strengthens your hair. 

Bottle of TRESEMME Keratin SMooth KERA10 Serum Conditioner

Pair TRESemmé Keratin Smooth KERA10 Shampoo with TRESemmé Keratin Smooth KERA10 Serum Conditioner to get the best results. This conditioner has KERA10 Protein Complex and oleo serum to nourish and moisturize your hair deeply. 

2. Soft Pinned Curls

Vintage hairstyles: Asian woman with pinned curls hairstyle wearing an off-shoulder dress
Romantic waves and curls defined the 1930s. Credit: Hariono Halim

Romantic waves were all the rage during the ’30s. Among the most popular hairstyles were soft pinned curls, which are characterized by a deep side part, straight hair at the top, and soft and luscious curls at the bottom. This hairstyle signifies a less uptight style compared to the previous decade.

3. Finger Waves

Vintage hairstyles - Finger waves Credit: Shutterstock
Finger waves add volume to a short bob. Credit: Shutterstock

Finger waves consist of small, defined ‘s’ shapes near your scalp. They are perfect for framing the face. It was popular in the 1920s. Up the vintage-chic factor by wearing it with a beret.

4. Flipped-Out Short Bob

Flipped-out short bob: Closeup shot of an Asian woman with short black hair wearing a yellow dress against a blue background
Jazz up your bob for parties by going for this ’60s hairstyle. Credit: Hariono Halim

An iconic, retro hairstyle during the 1960s, the flipped-out short bob spells proper, polished, and in control. If you’re feeling extra, add some volume by teasing the hair on your crown.

5. Bouffant

Christmas party hairstyles: Asian woman with long black hair in bouffant hairstyle wearing a black long-sleeved dress
Wear a headband that contrasts well with your hair to complement your bouffant hairstyle.

Speaking of teasing, here’s a vintage hairstyle you can create with it: the bouffant. Its key feature is the volume on your crown, which you can achieve by teasing sections of hair in this area. Continue teasing your hair until you create a pouf-like shape on your crown. Then, smooth out this pouf by gently brushing it.

Bottle of Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Hair Fall Defiance Ultra Conditioner

Editor’s tip: Teasing your strands can cause hair breakage and damage. Use Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Hair Fall Defiance Ultra Conditioner, which has revolutionary fiber actives that work up to a cellular level to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage. It also gives your hair the benefits of three keratin products in one: keratin relaxers to tame frizz, keratin serum to moisturize and smoothen hair, and keratin essence to add shine and revive damaged hair.

6. Beehive

retro hairstyles vintage hairstyles
Spell glam with a voluminous vintage hairstyle.

The beehive is the bouffant’s taller, bolder cousin. It was not afraid to make a statement, making it the hairstyle of choice of legendary movie stars and iconic fiction characters alike. This hairstyle also requires teasing your locks, just like the bouffant. Tease more sections of hair to create a more voluminous pouf, then secure it in place with bobby pins.

TRESemme Compressed Micro Mist Boost Hold Hairspray

Editor’s tip: Nail voluminous hairstyles with the help of TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Boost Hold Hairspray. It gives your hair an all-day hold that’s still brushable, so it won’t leave your hair stiff. 

7. Pin-Up Hair

Pin up hair: Closeup shot of an Asian woman with pin up hair singing with fairy lights in the background
Don’t have a big bow? Tie a scarf bow-style around your head to nail this hairstyle.

Big bows on your hair were a hit back in your mom’s or tita’s day! A wide scarf paired with oversized shades gives off a glamorous, leisurely vibe, while a slim ribbon with a fun print adds a dose of preppy playfulness to your hairstyle. Complete the vintage look with an updo and curled bangs.

8. Pin-Up Curls

Asian woman with curly vintage hair wearing a black top
Elegant waves and curls have always been in. Credit: Natasha Estelle

This is one of the most popular vintage hairstyles: glamorous pin-up curls. This was the ‘do of choice of the most famous back then. Today, they’re also called Hollywood waves and are perfect for formal events.

Tube of Dove Keratin Repair Conditioner

Editor’s tip: Curling your hair using heated tools like curling irons and curling wands can damage your hair. Help your hair recover by using Dove Keratin Repair 1 Minute Serum Conditioner. It has keratin-infused serum capsules that go deep into your hair to repair damage from within. 

7. Victory Rolls

Vintage hairstyles: Asian woman with long dark hair in victory rolls
Nail a vintage look with gorgeous victory rolls.

Believe it or not, this hairstyle became popular during the war years—proof that the most beautiful things can have the strangest, saddest beginnings. It just happened to be a great style for keeping hair away from your face while working, which was a big consideration for women of that era. The fact that it’s such a pretty style probably helped boost its popularity as well!

10. Gibson Roll

Vintage hairstyles - Gibson roll Credit: Shutterstock
Vintage hairstyles – Gibson roll Credit: Shutterstock

The Gibson roll (or tuck) is another vintage hairstyle that’s still just as beautiful today. You can wear it to almost any occasion, but it especially works during formal events. The Gibson roll is loveliest with frizz-free and silky strands.

11. Textured French Bob

Asian woman with textured French bob hairstyle smiling
This hairstyle can help add volume to short, thin hair. Credit: Dennie Ramon

A French bob is typically cut at chin-length and worn with full, blunt bangs. Give this vintage hairstyle a modern touch by adding texture. Here’s how: First, curl your hair one small section at a time using a curling iron with a small barrel. Then, loosen the curls to make your hairstyle more relaxed by finger-combing your hair.

12. Retro Ponytail

Asian woman with a vintage ponytail hairstyle
This simple retro hairstyle never fails to impress. Credit: Natasha Estelle

Glam up a regular ponytail by adding a vintage, retro twist. Gather a section of your hair on your crown and tease it to add volume. Then, light brush your hair to smoothen it and tie it into a ponytail just above your nape. Wrap a section of hair around your hair tie and secure it with a bobby pin for a sleek, polished look.

There you have it! Whenever you want to enjoy a little blast from the past, shake up your ‘do and try one of these vintage and retro hairstyles. You may not be literally going back in time, but these looks can help you feel like you did.