Wedding hairstyles from the '50s

Updated July 20, 2017

Retro, '50s-inspired weddings are very much in style again. One look at bridal websites such as shows that vintage-inspired, all-American weddings are making a comeback. Inspired by the TV show "Mad Men" and retro style beauties like Dita Von Teese, '50s hair is a styling must. However, these classic hairstyles are great for any wedding, retro-inspired or not.

Pin Curls

The single most popular hairstyle of the '50s was "soft and curly." Straight hair was hardly seen at all. Curls were achieved by rolling the hair into different sizes of rollers, spraying to "set" them and sleeping like that. There were no blow dryers available in the 1950s, but this also meant the curls were perfect in the morning.

Classic Chignon

A chignon is essentially a low bun, but the rest of the hair is so sleek and smooth that it is hardly a simple hairstyle. It first became popular in America of the late 1940s and stayed a classic updo reminiscent of Hollywood into the '50s. This hairstyle's simplicity is what makes it so popular, but you may add flowers or pretty pins in the back to further enhance it. (A larger, more extravagant version of this was the beehive, which was another popular updo of the '50s.)

Victory Rolls

This hairstyle also originates in the World War II era and became popular because of Hollywood personalities like Rita Hayworth. This style is emphasised by two large curls on either side of the forehead. As this style is more extravagant and obviously vintage than the other styles it is best suited for a themed wedding. The victory rolls or victory curls hairstyle was usually accompanied by soft curls down the back of the head.


Extravagant hats and fascinators were also popular in the 1950s. From large bows to simple pillboxes, a hat was a sought-after accessory for the bride and important family members. Hats were sometimes adorned with nets, rhinestones, pearls or feathers. However, if a hat is not for you, pretty hair clips looked equally stylish, and a vintage find can set a perfect accent for that '50s style.

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About the Author

Julia Selch has been a writer since 2006. For two years she was the editor-in-chief of the Orient News online publication. Selch's work has been published by the Canadian Press and Passion8 Magazine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Concordia University and recently completed her first novel, The Tree of Nine Worlds.