1950s wedding hairstyles

Updated July 20, 2017

A 1950s wedding hairstyle was short and curly, or it was a sophisticated updo created by intricately twisted coils of hair. The hairstyle had to look as though the bride's hair was naturally curly or wavy. A bride's hair had to be meticulous; not one strand of hair could be out of place. Whatever hairstyle was chosen, it had to have a soft, smooth and high gloss look.

Curled Bobs

Bobs were curled all the way around the head, including the fringe. A bob hairstyle could be tightly curled all over the head, while others were loosely curled at the ends, like Grace Kelly. A 1950s bob hairstyle was created by two methods. One way was to sleep in hair pins and different sizes of plastic rollers; another way was to use a harsh-smelling chemical called a permanent, which was done at a beauty salon or by purchasing a home kit. A permanent kept a hairstyle curlier longer. Rollers and hair pins still had to be used.

French Twist

In the 1950s, the French twist was a popular hairstyle for weddings. It could be created with or without fringe. According to Hairfinder, a French twist was created by "pulling the hair from the sides, nape and rear half of the crown into a twist and arranging the top and forward half of the crown into pin curls." It was secured with hair pins. One twist could be made or two. Hair lacquer was used to make sure every strand stayed in place, and an oil or hair cream to give it a sleek look.

French Pleat

The French pleat is a hair technique used in the 1950s to create hairstyles for formal events, such as weddings. French pleats were created by twisting sections of the hair into coils to form a hairstyle. Each coil was kept in place with hair pins and hairspray. The technique was used on medium to long length hair. French pleats became a classic; they are still used for formal events.


The chignon is another timeless, formal hairstyle of the 1950s. A chignon is a bun that was worn smooth and glossy. It was created by forming a ponytail and dividing the ponytail into two sections and begin twisting the hair at the nape of the neck until it forms a coil. It was secured with hair pins. Hair lacquer was used to keep the hairs in place, and an oil or hair cream was used to make it look smooth, glossy. A chignon hairstyle could be worn with or without fringe.


Hairstyles created in the 1950s were strongly influenced by movies and red carpet appearances of Hollywood's leading ladies. Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day and Leslie Caron hairstyles were adored by ordinary women. Women desired to have the same or similar look.

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About the Author

A native of Chesapeake, Va., Jenny McClease began writing in 2010, when she interviewed a local rapper for "Entertainment Magazine.” She graduated from the Institute of Children's Literature, receiving a diploma in writing for magazines.