These Vintage 1950s Hairstyles Are So Chic, You’ll Want to Buy a Poodle Skirt

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Nostalgia is having a major moment in the world of beauty, and few eras capture timeless glamor quite like the 1950s. From the silver screen starlets to the pinup bombshells, the hairstyles of this iconic decade exuded an air of effortless sophistication that still resonates today. As someone who spends countless hours scouring vintage magazines and classic films, I can confidently say that these retro-inspired ‘dos are the tried and true classics.

Whether you’re a die-hard vintage vixen or simply seeking a touch of old-school charm, these trending 1950s hairstyles offer the perfect blend of vintage flair and modern wearability. So, get ready to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe as we explore the most covetable looks of the season, complete with styling tips and tricks to help you nail that coveted retro aesthetic.

The Best 1950s Hairstyles To Inspire You

1. The Vintage Vixen Bob

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Embodying the essence of 1950s glamor, the curled under bob is a timeless classic that’s equal parts chic and flirtatious. With its softly curved silhouette and elegant U-shaped cut, this style is a surefire way to add a touch of vintage allure to any ensemble. Ideal for those with fine to medium hair textures, the key is to use hot rollers or a curling iron to create those signature bouncy waves before brushing them under and securing with a light-hold hairspray.

2. The Pin-Up Pompadour 

1950s hairstyles pinup pompadaur

Channel your inner bombshell with this ultra-glamorous take on the pompadour. Featuring sweeping victory rolls on the sides and plenty of volume on top, this iconic 1950s style is all about exuding confidence and sex appeal. While it may look intricate, the right technique and products can help you nail this look with ease. Start by blow-drying your hair upwards and backcombing the top section for height, then use a small barrel curling iron to create the victory rolls before locking everything in place with a strong-hold hairspray.

3. The Retro Finger Wave

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For a look that’s equal parts vintage and modern, look no further than the timeless finger wave. This intricate style, featuring deep, sculpted waves and a chic side part, is a true testament to the art of 1950s hairstyling. While it may seem daunting, the right products and tools can help you create these coveted waves with ease. Start by applying a generous amount of setting lotion or mousse to damp hair, then use a comb or your fingers to create the wave pattern before allowing it to set and finishing with a light hairspray.

4. The Perfectly Poodle  

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For those seeking a look that’s equal parts retro and high-fashion, the iconic poodle cut is a must-try. Characterized by its tight, all-over curls and perfectly sculpted shape, this style is a true testament to the art of precise hairstyling. While it may seem like a lot of work, the right products and tools can help you achieve this look with relative ease. Start by setting your hair in hot rollers or using a small barrel curling iron, then brush the curls out and shape them into the desired silhouette before locking everything in place with a strong-hold hairspray.

5. The Beehive Beauté  

1950s hairstyles beehive

Few hairstyles are as iconic as the towering beehive – and this season, it’s making a major comeback. With its tall, rounded shape and perfectly coiffed strands, this look is a true testament to the art of backcombing and teasing. While it may seem daunting, the right techniques and products can help you achieve this gravity-defying style with ease. Start by backcombing the top section of your hair and smoothing the sides, then use a rat-tail comb and plenty of hairspray to sculpt and shape the beehive to your desired height and volume.

6. The Bouffant Bombshell

1950s hairstyles bouffant

For those seeking a look that’s equal parts retro and modern, the voluminous bouffant is a must-try. Characterized by its sky-high crown and sleek, sculpted shape, this style is all about channeling your inner 1950s starlet. While it may seem like a lot of work, the right products and techniques can help you achieve this look with ease. Start by teasing the crown section of your hair for maximum height, then smooth the sides and back before locking everything in place with a strong-hold hairspray.

7. The Chic Chignon

1950s hairstyles chignon

Effortlessly elegant and utterly timeless, the chignon is a 1950s staple that’s equally suited for the office or a night on the town. This low, twisted bun at the nape of the neck exudes a sense of refined sophistication that’s both polished and practical. Ideal for those with medium to long hair lengths, the key is to start with a sleek, smooth base before twisting and pinning the hair into the desired chignon shape. Finish with a light-hold hairspray for a look that’s sure to turn heads.

8. The Pageant Princess ‘Do

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Channeling the glamor of mid-century beauty pageants, the pageboy is a retro style that’s equal parts playful and polished. Characterized by its curved under flip at the ends, this chin-length cut is perfect for those seeking a look that’s both vintage-inspired and low-maintenance. Ideal for those with straight to slightly wavy hair textures, the key is to use a round brush and a blow-dryer to sculpt the ends into that signature curved shape before locking it in place with a light-hold hairspray.

9. The Rebel Pixie  

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For those seeking a look that’s equal parts edgy and retro-chic, the pixie cut is a must-try. While this short, cropped style may seem more modern, it actually has its roots in the 1950s – and this season, it’s making a major comeback. Ideal for those with fine to medium hair textures, the key is to keep the cut slightly longer on top and use a pomade or wax to create that signature piece-y texture. Pair it with a bold lip for a look that’s equal parts vintage and contemporary.

10. The Shagadelic Shag

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Embrace your inner free spirit with this retro-inspired take on the shag. Characterized by its choppy, layered ends and tousled texture, this style is a true testament to the art of effortless cool. While it may seem like a lot of work, the right products and techniques can help you achieve this look with ease. Start by applying a volumizing mousse or salt spray to damp hair, then use a diffuser or your fingers to scrunch and shape the layers as they dry. Finish with a light-hold hairspray for a look that’s equal parts vintage and modern.

11. The Bubble-licious Cut 

1950s hairstyles bubble cut

For a look that’s equal parts retro and whimsical, look no further than the iconic bubble cut. Characterized by its rounded, puffed-out sections and perfectly sculpted shape, this style is a true testament to the art of precise hairstyling. While it may seem daunting, the right products and tools can help you achieve this look with ease. Start by setting your hair in hot rollers or using a small barrel curling iron, then brush out the curls and shape them into the desired bubble silhouette before locking everything in place with a strong-hold hairspray.

12. The Rebel Ducktail

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Channel your inner greaser with this retro-inspired take on the ducktail. Characterized by its slicked-back sides and pointed back section, this style is a true testament to the art of precise hairstyling and pomade application. While it may seem daunting, the right products and techniques can help you achieve this look with ease. Start by applying a generous amount of pomade or gel to damp hair, then use a comb to slick the sides back and shape the back section into the desired point. Finish with a strong-hold hairspray for a look that’s equal parts vintage and edgy.

13. The Preppie Ponytail

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For a look that’s equal parts retro and refined, the high, sleek ponytail is a must-try. Channeling the polished aesthetic of 1950s debutantes and socialites, this style is all about showcasing your face and highlighting your bone structure. Ideal for those with medium to long hair lengths, the key is to start with a super-sleek base and use a boar bristle brush to smooth the hair back into a tight, high ponytail before securing it with an elastic and finishing with a light-hold hairspray.

14. The Retro Updo

1950s hairstyles retro updo

Effortlessly elegant and utterly timeless, the updo is a 1950s staple that’s equally suited for a special occasion or a casual day out. Whether you opt for a French twist or a chic chignon, these styles exude a sense of refined sophistication that’s both polished and practical. Ideal for those with medium to long hair lengths, the key is to start with a sleek, smooth base before twisting, pinning, and shaping the hair into the desired updo style. Finish with a light-hold hairspray for a look that’s sure to turn heads.

Opting for a 1950s hairstyle?

From the silver screen starlets to the pinup bombshells, the 1950s was an era that celebrated feminine allure and timeless glamor – and these retro-inspired hairstyles are a true testament to that enduring legacy. Whether you opt for the perfectly coiffed beehive or the tousled, piece-y shag, these looks offer a refreshing antidote to the typical summer hair woes, providing a touch of vintage flair that’s both effortlessly chic and utterly wearable.

Vintage Hair Q&A

1. Do these styles work for all hair types and textures?

While many of these 1950s-inspired looks were originally designed with sleeker, straighter hair in mind, there are certainly ways to adapt them to suit different hair textures. The key is finding the right products, tools, and techniques – as well as a skilled stylist who understands how to work with your unique hair type.

2. Aren’t these styles a bit too “done” for everyday wear?

Not at all! While some of these looks may seem intricate or high-maintenance, many of them can actually be quite low-effort once you get the hang of them. Styles like the vintage bob, shag, or ponytail offer a touch of retro flair while still being perfectly wearable for casual, everyday occasions.

3. How can I keep these styles looking fresh and not dated?

The key is to embrace a modern twist! Whether it’s adding piece-y texture, incorporating face-framing layers, or opting for a slightly more tousled finish, there are countless ways to give these retro ‘dos a contemporary update that feels fresh and on-trend.

4. I love the look of victory rolls, but they seem so intricate. Any tips?

Victory rolls may seem daunting, but with the right technique and tools, they’re actually quite achievable! Start by prepping your hair with a setting lotion or mousse, then use a small barrel curling iron to create the rolled sections before pinning them in place and finishing with a strong-hold hairspray.

5. How can I make these styles last throughout a busy day?

Investing in quality hairsprays, pomades, and styling products is key! Look for strong-hold formulas that will keep your ‘do in place without feeling crunchy or stiff. You can also try using a light hairspray between styling steps to help set each section as you go.

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