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Your Guide To 1950's Hairstyles

Updated on October 25, 2010
Lucille Ball and her poodle cut.
Lucille Ball and her poodle cut.

Many of us look back on the 1950's with a reverential sort of awe. Many people alive today still consider the 1950's to have been the heyday of modern society. Men were real men, women were real women and 1950's hairstyles were real 1950's hairstyles.

Possibly the most interesting aspect of popular 1950's women's hairstyles is that they were almost all shorter hairstyles. Short, soft, curled hair was considered the height of fashion. Compare this with today, where shorter hair is often considered unfeminine, and you'll experience a strange moment of cognitive dissonance. It would be ludicrous to accuse the women of the 1950's of being unfeminine, indeed, they were hyper feminine, maternal creatures who have been idealized through the decades. They hadn't heard of feminism or women's lib and the idea of working once they were married would have seemed strange and shocking to them.

To achieve soft curls and attract a suitable husband, women rolled their hair into rollers, pinned it in place and slept on it overnight. A similar look can be achieved with much less hassle these days by using rollers and a hairdryer to set the style in place, along with a decent dose of hairspray.

1950's Poodle Cut

The poodle cut was made famous by Lucille Ball, and was the direct result of an American obsession with the French poodle (or the Freedom poodle, as it is commonly known today.) Lucille's swept up red locks and ubiquitous puffy curls captured the hearts and hairstyles of a nation.

1950's Bouffant

Jackie Kennedy made the bouffant, a style where the hair is piled up on top of the hair in a fashion that would make Marge Simpson go weak at the knees, a national fashion. Bouffants can still be seen today, sported by starlets and women of hairdressing means at prestigious events.

1950's Scarves

The silk scarf came into its own as a fashion accessory in the 1950's. What better way to keep one's perfectly curled hair from being blown about by the wind, than to secure it with a scarf? Scarfs allowed the women of the 1950's to leave home during the day looking absolutely pristine and entirely stylish.

Tips For Creating A 1950's Hairstyle At Home

It is not uncommon for modern women to want to replicate the style and charm of the 1950's, after all, there is a whimsical quality to the whole period, a sort of wholesome image that makes one feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. If you want to try out some 1850's hairstyles on your own, it will be easiest if your hair is on the short to medium side to begin with.

Do not be afraid to invest in curlers, whilst you don't have to sleep in them, they are still the best way to get that 1950's curled look, when used in conjunction with a hairdryer and some hairspray. Large rollers will create large loose curls, smaller rollers will create smaller, tighter curls. Most 1950's hairstyles used both.

When attempting to recreate a 1950's look, remember that curls knew no bounds, and ensure that you apply curlers to the top of your head as well as the sides. No part of your hair should be left long or straight. Even bangs can be set into curlers at the top of your head for a poodle inspired appearance.

When you've finished setting your hairstyle, why not do some baking, or perhaps sew an apron? If you really want to get into the spirit of the 1950's, imagine being terrified of the prospect of Russia launching a nuke at your house. What cheery fun!


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