50s Hairstyles: Our Favorite Retro Looks, Plus 2 Hair Tutorials

1950s hairstyles to inspire your next look.

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:

Need inspo to achieve 1950s hairstyles? Keep scrolling to check out some of the top looks from the decade.

1. Wavy Ponytail

50 hairstyles with vintage headband
Chic styles abound with this look inspired by the ’50s.

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

50s hairstyles with victory rolls
Rock a classy vintage look with victory rolls.

Victory rolls are one of the 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 it 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!

retro hairstyles2

3. Italian Cut

50s hairstyles with a curly pixie
Wavy pixie haircut that you can revive in 2016. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

The “Italian Cut” of the ’50s was a great 50s hairstyle for short hair where naturally curled 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

50s hairstyles with a fake bob
A chic faux bob lets you try out a popular look in the ’50s. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

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

50s hairstyles with a short pixie
Get the gamine look with a short pixie and micro bangs. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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.

retro hairstyles

6. Poodle Hair

50s hairstyles with pineapple hair
Short pineapple hair is a cool way to tap into a look from the ’50s.

What the ’50s dubbed “poodle hair,” which we’ve renamed pineapple hair that is super popular today! This cool 50s hairstyle 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 with curls
Glossy curls give you a modern take on this vintage vixen look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

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

girl with curled bob
Create curls towards your face for a vintage 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

girl with curled vintage bangs
Curl your bangs for a ’50s retro vibe.

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.

Vlogger, Zoe Newlove shares her take on 1950s curls in an easy step-by-step tutorial. Read on for her take on a luscious curly side-parted lob style.

Step 1

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.

50s hairstyles starts with clean hair
Step 2

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.

50s hairstyles: apply some mousse
Step 3

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.

50s hairstyles and blow-dry your hair
Step 4

Curl your hair.

Using a medium-sized barrel, curl hair vertically around a curling iron or wand, starting with your loose bottom sections.

50s hairstyles are created with a curling iron
Step 5

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.

50s hairstyles require some hair pins
Step 6

Pin-curl all sections.

Repeat the process on your entire head of hair. Allow curls to set and cool for a few minutes.

50s hairstyles with pin curls
Step 7

Remove your pins.

After all your curls have cooled completely, carefully remove each pin-curl from your scalp.

50s hairstyles remove pins
Step 8

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.

50s hairstyles and comb hair
Step 9

Brush 'n fluff.

Continue shaking your curls and gently brushing them out to soften your look.

50s hairstyles created by brushing hair
Step 10

Apply serum.

Apply a shine serum from mid-lengths to ends to give your curls a luxurious, light-catching sheen.

50s hairstyles can be smoothed down with serum
Step 11

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.

50s hairstyles with a cute hairpin
Step 12

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.

1950s hairstyles seals in with hairspray
Step 13


Zhuzh it up, and you’re all set for a night out!

how to create cool 50s hairstyles

Rolled bangs paired with curls are another look that was very popular in the 50s. Want to try it for yourself? Keep scrolling to learn how!

Step 1

Start with clean hair.

Start your look on clean hair. Try TRESemmé Pro Pure Damage Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner. Towel-dry or blow-dry your hair until it is at least 90% dry.

50s hairstyles starts with clean hair
Step 2

Grab front section of your hair.

Grab the front section of your hair and place it in a large clip.

section your hair to create 50s hairstyles
Step 3

Curl your hair.

Spray your hair with some heat protectant such as with TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer SprayThen, use a curling wand to create curls throughout your hair.

50s hairstyles require you to curl your hair
Step 4

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.

50s hairstyles comb your hair
Step 5

Comb throughout your hair.

Comb throughout your hair, until you achieve the desired level of curls and bounce.

brunette woman wears 1950s hairstyles and curls top hair
Step 6

Use a foam roller.

Release the clip from the top part of your hair. Use a foam roller to grab the front section.

50s hairstyles created with a foam roller
Step 7

Pull foam roller up.

Roll the foam roller up to the crown of your head as you snap it in place. This also creates some really cool volume and length to your hair.

50s hairstyles with a roller
Step 8

Place bobby pins on the side.

Secure your mini-pouf with some bobby pins on the side of your head and in the middle.

50s hairstyles with a bobby pin
Step 9

Final look!

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!

how to create 50s hairstyles hair tutorial

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!

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