The popular 50s hairstyles are a total goldmine of ideas for how to style your hair today. It was an immensely dynamic era of change in the U.S. and it showed in everything, including people’s hairstyles. Although there are still some ‘40s hairstyle holdouts (looking at you, victory roll), a lot of change happened to women’s hair during this time. Some grew it much longer than what used to be acceptable, while some cropped it extra short.
No matter what your hair length is now, you can take inspiration from the 50s. Read on to get inspired:
50s Hairstyles: Our Favorite Retro Looks
Need inspo to achieve 1950s hairstyles? Keep scrolling to check out some of the top looks from the decade.
1. Wavy Ponytail
The wavy ponytail is one of the easiest 50s hairstyles you can try out. Simply pull your hair into a mid-to-high ponytail and secure it with a hair tie. Take your favorite curling wand and curl the ponytail in two or three sections, depending on how thick your hair is. Finish by lightly brushing out your curls with a boar bristle brush. Bonus points if you pair this hairstyle with a ’50s-inspired polka dot dress, headband and some cool micro bangs.
2. Victory Rolls
Victory rolls are one of the most quintessential 50s hairstyles for long hair. To re-create this style you will just need to practice your pin curl skills. Split the front of your hair into two even sections and lightly tease your hair. Teasing the hair that will go into the pin curls will give you more volume and grip. Roll the hair upwards and pin in place, one on each side of your part. Set your style for all-day wear by using some of the Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray and you’ll be good to go!
3. Italian Cut
The “Italian Cut” of the ’50s was a great 50s hairstyle for short hair where naturally curls girls could fashionably wear a pixie cut. This was a pretty short pixie that left the hair a little longer on top. Recreate this style today by using Suave Luscious Curls Curl Defining Cream on naturally curly hair. If you don’t have naturally curly hair, check out our tutorial for curling short hair.
4. Brushed Under Bob
For a simple ’50s style try out the brushed under bob, or the faux bob, as we call it today. Work extra volume into your long hair by creating bouncy curls. Then, create a ponytail as you tuck your long hair underneath, resulting in a cool and modern take on this classic look.
5. Gamine Pixie
Women sporting short hair was nothing new in the ’50s, but the cool gamine pixie certainly was. This more boyish, playful take on the traditional shorter cuts took the world by storm. Add extra body to your short pixie with Bed Head by TIGI Manipulator Cream. Work a small amount of the cream through your hair and twist small sections of your for added texture.
6. Poodle Hair
What the ’50s dubbed as “poodle hair,” we’ve renamed to pineapple hair that is super popular today! This cool 50s hairstyles uses the woman’s natural curls to create a super fun look. To re-create this pineapple hairdo follow our step-by-step tutorial.
7. Sophisticated Waves
1950s hairstyles for long hair were all about glamour featuring sophisticated, brushed-out waves. Start this style by curling all of your hair away from your face. Wait until your curls have cooled down all the way before brushing. After your curls have cooled, brush them out with a boar bristle brush for a looser wavy that was super popular in the ’50s.
8. Curly Soft Bob
Hairstyles in the 1950s were all about curls that curled under and towards your face. To achieve this soft bob look, create a deep side part and curl your hair towards your face and then lock the style in place with hair spray.
9. Curled Bangs
Bangs are very popular in vintage hairstyles, especially in the 1950s. For a look inspired by this era, create a curl with your bangs going in towards your face. You can pair this look with a retro updo or wear your hair down.
Tutorial 1: 1950s-Inspired Curly Curly Side-Parted Lob
Start with clean, freshly washed hair.
Zoe Newlove starts off with washing and conditioning her hair with a moisturizing system that helps repair damage but without the weigh-down, like Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Shampoo and Suave Professionals Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Conditioner.
Apply some mousse.
To prime your hair for curl-styling, apply a golf ball-sized amount of mousse, like Nexxus New York Salon Care Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam, onto your hair.
Blow-dry and tie your hair.
Blow-dry your hair on a medium-heat setting until completely dry. Then tie hair into a half-updo or top knot.
Curl your hair.
Using a medium-sized barrel, curl hair vertically around a curling iron or wand, starting with your loose bottom sections.
Pin curls up.
After releasing each section of hair from the barrel, secure it down onto your scalp with a bobby pin. This pin-curling method sets the curl, allowing for a more defined ringlet.
Pin-curl all sections.
Repeat the process on your entire head of hair. Allow curls to set and cool for a few minutes.
Remove your pins.
After all your curls have cooled completely, carefully remove each pin-curl from your scalp.
Comb out your curls.
Using a fine-toothed comb, gently comb out your curls from top to bottom to separate each spiral. Zoe points out that you should now have soft “S-waves” instead of tight ringlets.
Brush 'n fluff.
Continue shaking your curls and gently brushing them out to soften your look.
Apply a shine serum from mid-lengths to ends to give your curls a luxurious, light-catching sheen.
Add a festive touch.
A glitzy or metallic hair accessory, like a micropavé gold or silver barrette, is a fitting final touch to this style. Clip it onto your minor parting.
Finish with hairspray.
Seal in your look (and prevent any wintertime frizzies and flyaways) with some hairspray. Zoe gives her sexy curls an allover misting with TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray.
Tutorial 2: How to Create 1950s Hairstyles
Rolled bangs paired with curls is another look that was very popular in the 50s. Want to try it for yourself? Keep scrolling to learn how!
Start with clean hair.
Grab front section of your hair.
Grab the front section of your hair and place it in a large clip.
Curl your hair.
Spray your hair with some heat protectant such as with TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. Then, use a curling wand to create curls throughout your hair.
Comb out the curls.
Using a wide-comb, loosen the tight curls with a comb. This will keep the curl intact but create a bouncer feel.
Comb throughout your hair.
Comb throughout your hair, until you achieve the desired level of curls and bounce.
Use a foam roller.
Release the clip from the top part of your hair. Use a foam roller to grab the front section.
Pull foam roller up.
Roll the foam roller up to the crown of your head as you snap it in placce. This also creates some really cool volume and length to your hair.
Place bobby pins on the side.
Secure your mini-pouf with some bobby pins on the side of your head and in the middle.
There you have it – a fun, simple and cool 1950s hairstyle that is sure to look awesome in the present. Hold your curls together with some of TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hairspray Smooth Hold Level 2 and you are good to go!
There are many ways we can bring styles from the 1950s into the looks we wear today. Share your vintage hairstyles with us on Instagram @AllThingsHaisUS!