how to rock tight ringlets in your hair

Retro Hairstyles to Try Right Now

The coolest curlicues. 

Finding the right look to wear to an event or party is key, but so is finding the right hairstyle! And since there are endless events to attend during the holiday season you don’t want to repeat the same look for all of them. One option that we love during this time of year are retro hairstyles. Not only will you give off the appearance of some major blast from the past vibes with a modern twist, you’ll have fun trying out a new hairstyle that you probably wouldn’t typically wear. Each one is classic, fun and guaranteed to be different enough from your everyday style to help you feel ‘done up’ and to complement even your simplest black dress.

Another bonus? These retro hairstyles are easy-to-create and once you have them in your arsenal you can fall back on them anytime. New party dresses might not be in the budget after all that holiday shopping and trying on clothes can be stressful during a month when celebrating includes lots of  treats and drinks. Learn more about how to create these retro hairstyles for instant glam to undoubtedly make you feel party ready:

Retro Hairstyles to Check Out Now

retro hairstyles
If you aren’t yet sick of bows from wrapping holiday gifts… this is the style for you.

1. Bow Hairstyles

The easiest way to take your regular hairstyle from standard to glam is by accessorizing. Adding a thick black headband with a large bow on the side is a classy nod to the holiday season and a playful addition to any party outfit. For sleek strands featured in the photo above, use Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner, blow-dry your hair and then straighten it. How easy is that?!

retro hairstyles
Combing your hair away from your face will make your face look more open and joyful – especially in photos!

3. Teased Hairstyles

Calling all regular curl wearers and those new to the curl department alike! Run some mousse throughout your damp strands and either blow-dry or air-dry your hair. Create simple curls using a small curling iron, then tease the front of your hairline with a comb, focusing on combing away from your face. This style will open up your face and give you a chance to show off that bright red holiday-ready lipstick.

retro hairstyles we love
Pulling some hair down across your forehead emphasizes gorgeous angles in your facial structure or helps fake some where are none.

3. Glam Curls

Hairspray is a must when it comes to locking in your structured curls. Using a one and a half inch curling iron, create large curls through all of your second or third day hair. Pulling out a two inch section in the front, gather the rest of your hair into a knot at the back of your head and pin it into place. Coil that front section down across your forehead and pin it first at your hairline and then extend it to the back of your head where you can incorporate it into the bun. Spray some hairspray onto both the front and back sections of your hair. This will create a structured and shiny finish that’ll last all day (and night!) long.

retro hairstyles short curly hair
Loving these curly retro hairstyles.

4. Cute Short Chop

We’re a bit obsessed with super short curly hair right now. After what seems like decades of the short curly hair look being frowned upon we’re glad this look is back in action. Ruffle up those short tight ringlets with some mousse, and get ready to rock this look.

retro hairstyles wet look
The slicked back look totally works for curly hair, too. Photo credit:

5. Wet Hair Look

There is nothing quite as cool as the wet hair look. This style is super cool and high fashion, making it pretty awesome for a special event. To get this look with tight ringlets, wash and detangle your hair. Then, apply TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Gel and scrunch it throughout your hair. And that’s it! Don’t fuss with your hair and the extra gel will create that wet look.

retro hairstyles bow
Bows are highly encouraged. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

6. Mini Bouffant

We love this sort of 60s-inspired style! It’s a great way to wear the tight ringlets look and keep your hair off of your face. You can follow our tutorial for creating this half-up bouffant ‘do. When you wear this style, make sure you take it easy with the teasing if you have natural curls.

retro hairstyles with bangs
All the volume for ’80s fans. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

7. Voluminous Tight Ringlets

For gals with naturally curly hair you can achieve this cool voluminous look really easily by breaking one big curly hair rule. Brush your hair. Yep! With a regular old hairbrush. The more you brush your hair the more voluminous and fluffy it will look. Just make sure you don’t overdo it so you can still see your curly hair texture.

retro hairstyles slicked-down hair
Wear this look out for a fun event. Photo credit:

8. Slicked-Down Roots

This look is a little more ’70s, but we still love it. To get this cool girl look, you’ll need to get back together with your BFF, hair gel. Start by parting your hair right down the center. Then take Nexxus Exxtra Hold Sculpting Gel and apply it to your roots. Brush down your roots and rock your curly locks.



Brunette woman with tight ringlets and pinned back
Pin it back to change the shape of your curly do. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

9. Pinned Back Hair

Take some of the volume out of your tight ringlets by pinning them down! This style looks super cute on short and long hair alike. All you need are a couple of bobby pins. On each side of your head, just above your ear, pin down your hair and go!

retro hairstyles half-up curls
A mini topknot works too.

10. Half-Updo

Half updos are always a good idea. We like to style tight ringlets in simple half-up ponytails to let all the emphasis fall onto your curls! You can also do a cute half-up bun look for a little more volume on top.

Need more ways to wear your tight ringlets? Check out these vintage styles for curly hair.

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