1920s hairstyles: long hair updos

Updated March 23, 2017

Throughout history, women have used their hair to express personality and sense of style. In the 1920s, women became more adventurous with their looks. During this decade, many women began cutting their long hair in favour of a shorter flapper look, but long hair updo's were still popular for special occasions.

Finger Wave

One of the most popular styles of the 1920s was the "finger wave". Finger waves are S-shaped waves that are shaped and sculpted with a setting lotion. This is a very easy style to achieve, no matter if your hair is straight or curly. By using a few pins and styling gel or lotion, you can turn this look into a wavy updo. Use pins to secure sections of your hair while leaving long wavy pieces around the face.


The difference between a plain bun and a chignon is that a chignon would be loose around the ears instead of being pulled tight against the scalp. Part hair down the middle and pull back into a bun at the nape of the neck. Wavy hair will give this more of a 1920s look than straight hair, which may give you more of a 1970s appeal.


If you want to add more style or versatility to your look, try styling your updo with fringe. Bangs can be styled to minimise or shorten high, long foreheads, or to cover hairlines that have been damaged from over-styling. Bangs can also add volume to your tresses for a fuller appearance. You can also style your fringe to completely cover the forehead while being cut to come to the top of the eyebrows. Add fringe to a low bun or pin your up high in a twist and secure with a sparkly barrette.

Half Updo

Whether you're attending a 1920s flapper costume party or simply trying to reinvent your sense of style, there are a lot of fabulous 1920s styles to choose from. Finger waves, water waves and fringe are just a few of the styles that you can update for a half updo. Make a part around the crown of your head and pull the top part of your hair back into a pony or bun. Use a curling iron to create long ringlet curls with the remaining hair.

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About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Jody Wilber has been freelance writing since 2004. Her articles have appeared in "Christianity Today," "The Upper Room" and "The Review Journal." She is formally a high-school English and journalism teacher. She graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to achieve her Master in Education from Sierra Nevada College.