Glamorous 1950s movie star hair styles were often achieved because of many hours of effort. Women hid their hair rollers under scarves by day and spent their nights being poked by hair clips and rows of curlers. After the hair was freed from rollers, it was often teased and then enveloped in clouds of hairspray to achieve the desired look. A few lower-maintenance styles were popularised by movie stars, but overall, the post-war 1950s was an era of hairdos that suggested peacetime, prosperity and leisure.
Elizabeth Taylor in "A Place in the Sun" (1951) wowed audiences with her short, soft brunette waves. Likewise, Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) wore her hair in cropped, youthful curls, which was a common hair style throughout the 1950s. These two sensuous stars proved that being a sex kitten didn't require a long mane of hair.
The Bubble, Bouffant and Beehive
Doris Day sported the bubble hair style in "Pillow Talk" (1959). In the movie, even while talking on the phone while lying in bed, every hair remains in place against her pillow. As the '60s neared, this style's signature bump expanded in size. Hair required a tremendous amount of teasing and backcombing on top to achieve the height necessary as the bouffant evolved into the even bigger beehive, and hairspray was used liberally to keep the mound of hair on top of the head in place.
Audrey Hepburn won an Academy Award for her starring role in "Roman Holiday" in 1953. She also immortalised the pixie hairstyle in the same film. Playing the part of a princess who longs for the life of a commoner, she gets her shoulder-length hair cut off during one scene. Hepburn's hair style, which featured short, jagged-edged fringe delicately framing the face, was a hit that was copied by women of all ages.
Ponytails, typically worn for casual occasions in the 1950s, could still evoke romance. The dancer and movie star Vera-Ellen, who appeared in "White Christmas" in 1954, sometimes opted for this pulled-back style that featured soft curls framing her forehead and full, soft waves in the ponytail.
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