1920s hairstyles: The retro looks you need to try now

All Things Hair | 23 October 2017

1920 hairstyles are back and they’re here to stay.


Let’s face it: there’s nothing we don’t love about 1920s hairstyles. There were bold bobs, dazzling accessories, and glamorous finger waves. And it was these iconic waves that really set the Roaring Twenties apart from other retro decades. But this stunning hairstyle isn’t just reserved for that bygone era, don’t you know?

1920s hairstyles have been popping up on our style radar for quite some time and we’re pleased to report that they are now fully back in fashion – and it’s about time, too. So if you’re looking for some 20s hair inspiration, you’ve come to the right place!

Below, we’ve compiled a nifty gallery of all our favourite 1920s hairstyles from the catwalks to the red carpet. So grab a cuppa’ and get ready to step back in time…

’20s hair looks: Styles to steal from the runway


front facing view of woman with finger waves 1920s hair Stella McCartney
We love these finger waves spotted at Stella McCarney AW16. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Finger waves at Stella

Stella McCartney’s fashion week shows are renowned as much for their stunning clothing designs, as they are for the amazing makeup and hair choices. So it comes as no surprise that she was quick to capitalise on the glamorous era that was the 1920s.

Models were sent down the runway sporting finger waves swept neatly to one side and styled back into low ponytails, with the combination of 1920 hairstyles and the contemporary collection working wonders to bring this look into the 21st century.

TONI&GUY Glamour Deep Waver

Editor’s tip: If you’re looking to create a similar look at home, you can do so with the help of the TONI&GUY Glamour Deep Waver and some trusty TIGI Bed Head Hardhead HairsprayRetro runway waves, here we come!

image of a woman with 1920s hairstyles finger waves from the catwalk
Create a parting and rock finger waves on both sides! Credit: indigitalimages.com

’20s hair at Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs was also quick to bring about a 1920s hair revival, just with a slightly more bold stance. The models’ hair was parted neatly down the middle, before being styled into tight, wet-look finger waves that had an alluring edge to it.

Yet while the high-impact waves may have taken centre stage, the rest of the models’ hair – worn down and textured – gave a touch of free movement to the otherwise ridged feel of the style.

two women with 1920s hairstyles - finger waves Marni hair
We’re loving these loose, laid back waves from the Marni show. Credit: indigitalimages.com

Loose finger waves

Marni‘s take on 1920 hairstyles saw the models debuted loose, voluminous finger waves. The traditional 20s hair kinks were reformed to ooze modern vibes, with the large, soft waves swept up into slightly undone updos (it must have taken a lot of hairspray to hold it all in place – that’s all we can say!).

The look came complete with ornate drop earrings and a deep maroon lip, for an undeniably cool-girl finish.

side view of a woman with 1920s hairstyles - finger waves Salvatore Ferragamo
Elegant 1920’s hairstyles were all over the catwalk at Salvatore Ferragamo. Credit: indigitalimages.com

1920s hairstyles for long hair

If you’re looking for 1920s hairstyles for long hair, this catwalk look is perfect!

Similar to Stella McCartney’s take on classic finger waves, the models at the Salvatore Ferragamo show also debuted a set of vintage waves that morphed into long ponytails at the back. Stunning!

image of a woman with 1920s hairstyles - wet look at Opening Ceremony AW16 finger waves
We’re digging the wet look seen at Opening Ceremony AW16. Credit: indigitalimages.com

20s hair: The wet look

It seems the wet look has been a firm favourite when it comes to working these retro waves on the modern day catwalk, and Opening Ceremony is certainly no exception.

The show saw the front section of the models’ hair styled into very striking finger wave fringes. The shape of the waves were exaggerated for dramatic effect, while the models’ makeup were kept minimal with just a sprinkled application of glitter to one eye.


Celebrity 1920s hairstyles inspiration


Okay, so you’ve seen how the runways work these vintage ‘dos, so now it’s time to see how the A-list elite rock it. Take a peek below for the sleek, the chic, and the edgy ways to wear 20s hair this season…

front facing image of Cara Delevingne with short hair and finger waves
Cara Delevingne gets it spot on with this 1920’s hairstyle for short hair. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

1920s hairstyles for short hair

If you’ve got a pixie cut and you’re wondering whether you can sport 20s hair – the answer is yes! Cara oozes retro glamour with this gorgeous ‘do that she rocked on the red carpet. It’s as if she just stepped out of a scene from The Great Gatsby. We love!

image of actress Zendaya with a low bun and finger waves
Zendaya rocks a low bun with 20’s hair! Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Zendaya’s low bun

The American actress and singer looks beautifully polished and put together, proving that 1920s hairstyles don’t have to be complicated. Simply style the front section of your hair into finger waves, then sweep the rest of your hair back into a low bun – sorted!

image of Karina Smirnoff with 1920's hairstyle in dark curls
We’re loving Karina Smirnoff’s curly locks and 20s hair. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Curly hair and finger waves

Karina Smirnoff definitely danced her way onto the list of best 1920s hairstyles for long hair! We love the slick, finger waves that have been teased into neat curls at the front and the contrast of tumbling curls at the back of her hair. If you’ve got long locks, this is a look to try!

image of Greta Gerwig with loose blonde finger waves - 1920's hairstyles
We heart Greta Gerwig’s laid back 20’s hair. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Greta Gerwig’s laid back look

1920s hairstyles for short hair don’t get much prettier than this! We love the laid back look of this retro hairstyle. It’s almost beach-chic meets old Hollywood glamour.

Simply create loose finger waves and then gently brush them out for a more relaxed feel. If you ever get bored with short locks, this is a great look to play around with.


If these 1920s hairstyles have you lusting for the style yourself, then you can easily learn how to create your very own finger wave hairstyle with our flapper hair tutorial. And be sure to check out our Vintage Hairstyles page to find the era that’s right for you and your hair!