The 1950s was an era when style made a statement. Cars, fashion and hairstyles presented an image. Haircuts were precise and neat, with every hair in place. Even bad boys carried combs they could whip out of their back pockets to smooth their hair. Young girls and women wore styles that were both casual and neat, with every hair in place.
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Men young and old wore their hair away from the face, slicked back with creams or gels. The look was neat and precise, with no hair out of place. Hair was cut medium length on top and in back to give it some shape in styling, but cut short above the collar and the ears. Some men parted their hair with a sharp side part, which looked more pronounced on dark-haired men.
Elvis Presley and James Dean made sideburns edgy and cool in the 1950s. They both wore prominent sideburns, reaching from the ear to the upper jaw. Made more prominent by the style of having hair cut above the ears, their sideburns made a statement.
Women wore their hair shorter in the 1950s. Bangs dominated popular haircut styles for women. Pageboy bobs, with heavy fringe and face-framing layers, were common haircuts. Younger girls and women preferred to wear their hair longer but pulled back in a neat ponytail with fringe.
Short styles that showed off pin curls or permanent waves styled to look like natural curls were fashionable in the 1950s. Side parts dominated these styles, with curls and waves framing the face. Curls were neat, not frizzy, like the defined curls on Shirley Temple.
The outrageous short, cropped hair of the pixie haircut burst on the scene with the release of "Peter Pan" in 1953. Tinkerbell's hair became a pop sensation in the 1950s, with young girls and women wanting the same close-cropped yet feminine style.
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