Updo Hairstyles of the 50s

Written by jeffrey norman
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Updo Hairstyles of the 50s
Crafting a 1950s updo can bring your look some style and pizazz. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Updo hairstyles seem to be perennially popular coifs. Yet the vertical style enjoyed near ubiquity in the 1950s. Many of the era's celebrities and standouts opted for the elegance and classiness that were embodied in the updo. Fortunately, several 1950s updo varieties remain current and can be worn today to similar appeal.

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The simplest updo of the 1950s, and also the easiest to replicate for today, was the ponytail. The method of designing this hairstyle largely remains the same today as it did back in the '50s. The hair is gathered with a brush and tied back with an elastic band. Adding a curl is a delicate yet meaningful adjustment to help your ponytail hearken back to the 1950s. Mousse, gel or hairspray can be applied to maintain the look.


The bubble hairdo really popped beginning in the late 1950s, and its popularity lasted well into the following decade. Looking like an especially round mushroom, women would tease and bunch their locks upward into order to achieve that globular look. The essential move needed to revivify the bubble for contemporary fashion is to sweep the hair backward and upward. As long as this move is adhered to, modern-day ladies can vamp and improvise the coif as they see fit.


Similar to the bubble, but a bit more extreme, is the beehive. The do is erroneously thought to have begun in the 1960s. Actually, 1958 saw its inaugural appearance, and its appeal became mainstream in the following 10 years. The look of the beehive can be described in its other name -- the B-52. Audrey Hepburn and Dusty Springfield worked the hive in its heyday. The coif lives on in such interpreters as Amy Winehouse and Snooki.

French Pleat

One of the 1950s' most ornate styles was the French pleat. Its complexity has not stopped the do from remaining popular for gracious occasions today. Also known as the French roll, hair is required to be completely free of tangles before the style can be built properly. Those who take this on will also need plentiful hairpins, arranged in a criss-cross manner, to hold the hair in place. Hairspray is also liberally applied to uphold the hair's shape.

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