Retro 50s hairstyles

Updated July 20, 2017

In the 1950s, women's hairstyles tended to be both feminine and simple. With natural-looking colour, soft curls and easy-to-do chignons, a '50s gal had effortless class, style and beauty. If you wish to replicate a 1950s retro hairstyle, put away the blow dryer -- they didn't use it back then. Get out your curlers, pins and headscarf and get ready to look like a lady.

Soft Curls and Side Part

If you have thick hair with full body, you can create an iconic '50s hairstyle with soft curls and a side part. Part your hair to one side at the forehead and curl from there with hot rollers or a curling iron. Use hairspray to hold the curls. If you want to dress it up, slide in a pin to one side of the hair. This hairstyle looks classic and glamorous and works well with an elegant evening gown.

Tight Curls

With short hair, tight curls work well. Again, part your hair on the side at the forehead, and use either hot rollers or a curling iron to create soft curls. Smooth on mousse or sculpture gel to hold the curls, and press them as close to the head as possible. Not only is this style glamorous -- it looks daring as well.


Women in the '50s often wore head scarves. Just put your hair back in a ponytail, wrap a scarf around your head and tie a knot in the back. With a scarf, you easily keep hair away from the face while giving your ponytail a little decoration.

Simple Chignon

Reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in "Roman Holiday," a simple chignon works for both day and evening wear. With sleek, smooth and straight hair parted on the side and pulled back into a low ponytail, split the ponytail into two sections. Twist and wrap each section around the base of the ponytail and secure with pins. For embellishment, add a flower or a beaded comb, or wear an ornate headband.


In the late 1950s, beehives became a craze. This dramatic hairdo looks sexy and glamorous and is easy but somewhat time-consuming to create. Start by moving an inch back from the fringe line and brush the hair forward. For the rest of your hair, break it into sections, hold each section up, and tease toward the scalp until you create desired hivelike volume. Gather all the teased sections and mould them around the volume you created, securing with hair clips. Gather the hair you combed to the front and wrap it around the "hive," then secure with hair clips in the back. Use hairspray to hold the beehive.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Triston Liu started her freelancing career in 2010. She is currently the entertainment contributor and the beauty contributor for an online publication. She has a Bachelor of Science in information systems from Missouri S&T University.