1950's Hair Looks and Styles

Written by emily bennett
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1950's Hair Looks and Styles
Actress Debi Mazar with a 1950s hairstyle. (Vince Bucci/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

The 1950s introduced several hairstyles that women had never worn before, such as the beehive, the bouffant and the poodle curl. It also embraced older, more traditional styles like pin curls and French twists. The decade of the 1950s provides a wide spectrum of hair looks and styles.

Pin Curls

Since women didn't own hair dryers in the 1950s, they typically slept with curlers or pins in their hair to achieve the styles they wore the next day. Pin curls were stylish and fairly easy to create. Women would wash their hair and while it was still wet, they would roll small sections of their hair into curls as if onto curlers. Then, after fastening these curls to their heads and sleeping through the night, they would wake up, take out the pins and find a lovely hairstyle. Pin curls provided the texture and volume many modern styling tools provide today.


The classic ponytail is one style women still wear today. it is very simple, playful and appropriate for casual and daytime events. Women applied gel or mousse on the roots of their hair and brushed it though, making sure there were no tangles. They pulled all of the hair up high onto their heads and secured it with a ponytail holder. Then, using a curling iron, they curled the ends of the ponytail to give it more bounce.

French Twist

Another classic style is the French twist. The appearance of this style is extremely elegant and simple. Women gathered their hair into a low ponytail and twisted until all of the hair was in a spiral. Then, they pulled the ponytail up to the top of their head, pinned the bulk of the hair to the back of the head, then tucked any loose ends into the top of the hair. After finishing with hairspray, this look could be appropriate for day or evening.


The bouffant was a fun, volume-packed hairstyle that came about in the 1950s. Women took their dry hair and, in sections, teased the hair from the roots to the tip using a fine tooth comb until the hair resembled a bird's nest. Once all the hair was teased, women parted the hair, smoothed out the surface of the hair, and sprayed it with hairspray.


More extreme than the bouffant was the beehive. Instead of teasing all the hair, women took the back half of their hair and twisted it into a French twist. After heavily teasing the front section of hair and spraying it with hairspray, they folded it back over the top of the French twist. The goal was to get the hair to stand up as high as possible. An extreme example is the wonderful bouffant on Marge Simpson.

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