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Hairstyles Of The 1950s. How Hair Has Changed

Updated on October 28, 2012

1950s Hairstyles

The fashions of the 1950s still generate tremendous interest by people of all ages, because it is so far removed from the "anything goes" style of today. Along with admiring the clothes, cars, and jewelry, we may also find ourselves fascinated by the complex, and often impeccably groomed hairstyles from this era.

The hairstyles of the 1950s were simpler than they were in the 40s. Curls on women were still popular, and trips to the beauty parlor for a permanent curl would remain a staple for women until the late 1960s. Long hair was usually curled and worn up, while shorter, bobbed hair could be more loosely curled. Teenagers began wearing simple ponytails, and the bobbysoxer look was the rage with the rock n roll crowd.

Men had finely cut hair that was never ignored for months on end. Regular trips to the local barber were as much a fact of life as were permanent curls for women. Men of the 50s went to the barber and maintained their neatly groomed look with a shave that was performed with a straight edge razor. Men who lived in this era have said that there is nothing like a professional shave with a straight razor. None of the modern, home substitutes can deliver a close and neatly manicured shave like a pro with a straight razor. Some teenagers adopted the crew cut, the buzz, or the rebel "DA" of the from Elvis Presley.

The 50s Ponytail

This was a very down to earth and simple look that was totally different from any style that had been worn previously, because it required very little as far as any planning and grooming time. It is considered to be the forerunner of what was to come as far as no maintenance styles, and the straight, no fuss look that would put many a beautician out of work during the 1970s.

The photo on the right shows an ultra simple one ponytail, but ponytails of the 50s were often curled to a degree, with the front of the hair made into a slight pompadour. It was still the 1950s and being completely lazy with regard to appearance was not yet the norm.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe Hairstyles

An example of a wavy bob worn by Marilyn Monroe.

For those who did not have very long hair in the 1950s, pin curling at night to wake up to a tight head of matted down ringlets could be brushed into beautiful, loose waves that were popular with stars, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor.

The rule of the day was that just because the hair is short is no reason to ignore your trip to the beauty parlor for a perm, and your evening "set."

Mens 1950s Hair

A classic 50s man with his finely trimmed sideburns and perfectly clean neckline.

Brilliantine or gel, were often used to keep a man's neatly groomed hair together. The photo at right shows a mature man's haircut in the 50s, however, by the middle of the decade there were a variety of variations making their way into men's fashion. Sportsmen, or "jocks" wore the crew cut , flat top or Buzz. These cuts were all cut in the same over all shape as this one, but were shorter on top.

Men looked like either no nonsense sportsmen or like distinguished gentlemen. Those were the days.

The Poodle Hairstyle of the 50s

The Popular Poodle of the 50s

The poodle style of the 50s was made popular by Lucille Ball. The top is curled an puffy as in the head of a freshly groomed poodle, with the sides plastered tightly to the head, enhancing the puff on top.

A poodle skirt with the poodle hair. What was the obsession with poodles?

Click here to See classic 50s hairstyles.

Click here to see American fashions of the 1950s.

Click here to see 1950s Vintage Fashion Icon Grace Kelly.

Check out Vintage Clothing Style.

Programs of the 1950s.


Elvis and the Ducks A**

Elvis Presley was known as much for his hair as for his music when he first hit the scene.

His hair was much longer than any man was wearing in his time, or had worn since the previous century.

It was combed back and up at the sides creating a pompadour on top, and what was called a DA in the back, standing for Duck's A**. Because the hair meeting in the back created a woven V shape.


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