It’s official: 20s hair was the original party hair.
Whenever we think of 1920s hairstyles, an image of Prohibition-era speakeasies comes to mind: men and women glamorously decked out, all enjoying some spirited conversation, liquor and great jazz in a dimly lit room. The now-iconic Flapper look, which features bobbed hair often embellished with a feathery accessory or two, is definitely one of the famous styles of this decadent, festive era—and as we’ll come to see in the roundup below, certainly not the only one of note.
From revolutionary bobs to fabulous finger waves to yes, those Flapper-year headbands, scroll on down to get a deep dive into the most recognizable looks that work well beyond Halloween.
1920 Hairstyles: 22 Glamorous Looks from the Roaring Twenties
BOBS and ACCESSORIES
As far as 1920s hairstyles for short hair go, bobs were certainly the definitive look of the decade. Women wore their hair (and hemlines!) in shorter lengths as a statement of independence, and accessorized it in a myriad of ways: Fascinators, ribboned headbands and bejeweled pins were superbly in vogue, as well as played up the dazzling opulence of the Jazz Age.
1. Blunt Bob
Precise and razor-sharp, the blunt ear-length, bob remains a classic look of 20s hair to this day.
A bleached version offers a bit of modern edge to this iconic hairstyle.
3. Floppy Hat
Offset the crisp silhouette of the helmet bob with a folksy, floppy topper perfect for fall.
There’s no cutting corners with these sharp edges, which work best with a narrower jawline.
5. Super Short
Part Flapper, part punk, especially with a tiny hit of a micro fringe.
6. Multi-Strand Pearls
Before their renaissance on the latest runways, we first saw them during the 1920s as the gem of the decade, with women using them to adorn everything from their décolletage, via long-strand necklaces, to their hairstyles, as high-end hair accessories.
The bobbed length also lent itself to different textures, with the trendy zigzag finger wave being one of them.
Slick your waves over to one side for a minimalist yet stylish evening look. We love the control and sheen we get from Suave Professionals Firm Control Sculpting Gel.
9. Forehead Fascinator
Embellished headbands we usually worn above the brow, with an accent piece off to the side that mirrored the rest of your jewelry—and gave a short 1920s bob more pizzazz.
10. Braided Headband
Elastic braided bands or embellished ribbons that cut across one’s forehead were popular looks for parties and social events.
Rhinestones and gem-encrusted lace offered women another glitzy option.
FINGER WAVES and PIN CURLS
There were two wildly popular ways to texturize 1920s hairstyles for long hair during the Flapper years. The first was the finger waves technique, which entailed using your finger (surprise!) to mold hair in a zigzag strip down your forehead, sometimes using pins to secure it in place; the second was pin-curling, where hair was twirled around and pinned in place manually to set a curl. Both produced solid, slightly damp-looking ringlets and bends, commonly reinforced with a bit of pomade, a widely used hair product during the time.
12. Finger Waves with Low Bun
Prep hair with some wave cream (we like TRESemmé Make Waves Shaping Gel Cream), then use a fishtail comb to mold the forehead fringe in a wide wave. Do the same on the opposite side and gather the back in a low bun.
13. Finger Waves with Gibson Tuck
Alternatively, you may also gather the rest of your hair in a loopy bun at your nape, commonly known as a Gibson tuck. Click here for a video tutorial.
14. Low-Key Finger Waves
If you want a mere hint of the trend without going overboard, use fewer pins. We like creating a small crescent moon shape from the hairline, then tucking it back in with a bobby pin. Repeat one more time before the ear.
15. Finger Waves with Ponytail
16. Traditional Finger Waves
Hair hack: A closed flat iron achieves this true-blue Roaring Twenties look in half the time. Click here for a tutorial on curling short hair with a flat iron.
17. Pin-Curled Fringe
Make like the hotsteppers at NYFW’s Helmut Lang S/S 2018 show and curl your bang area inwards for a neo-noir take on evening hair.
18. Wet Look
Finger waves look both authentic and futuristic with a sharp center part and a wet finish.
19. Blown-Out Pin Curls
For a traditional, all-American take on the pin-curl, blow-dry hair and split into several sections. Next, use your index and middle fingers to help curl each section inward on itself, securing the inseam with pins to your scalp. Tip: This is also an effective heatless curling technique, so skip the blowdry—and prep hair with a curling mousse, like Dove Style+Care Curls Defining Mousse—instead!
20. Tight Pin Curls
Repeat the pin-curl process, this time in smaller sections, for tighter corkscrews when unraveled.
A glamorous way to set hair in and out of the boudoir was to cover it with a scarf or snood, as seen here. Bring this into 2017 with the use of a trendy paisley-print twilly!
We’re surmising this demure, pin-coiled fringe, teamed with rows of pearls, was the ultimate 1920 debutante’s look of choice.