1950's & 1960's Hair Styles

Written by andrea griffith
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1950's & 1960's Hair Styles
Many men and women are looking to past decades for hair inspiration. (hair styling image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

As one decade changes into another, the fashion of that previous era changes also. A great thing about fashion (both clothing and hairstyles) is how many of the looks will start to reappear in later decades and for later generations. As leggings, skinny jeans, tunics and rockabilly dresses have re-emerged recently, so have some the hairstyles from the 1950s and 1960s.

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1950s Women Hairstyles

In the 1950s, women began to become dominant in movies. Most of these women had in common a specific glamorous style. After World War II (and clothing was no longer being rationed), designers like Christian Dior began creating voluptuous, luxurious outfits and dresses for the Hollywood elite. With a new fabulous look, a new hairstyle was needed to go with it. The hairstyle look for women became Hollywood Glamour (we now refer to it as "Old Hollywood Glamour"), after Hollywood greats, like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Shirley MacLaine. The hair was shorter (about shoulder or chin length) in wavy curls, and ratted and sculpted into glamorous styles.

For this look, put your hair in tiny, heated rollers and leave them in for ten minutes. Remove the rollers from your hair and spray in some hairspray. Lightly brush the curls out to give your hair a full, curly look.

1950s Men's Hairstyles

In the 1950s, men were back home from the war and off to work again, and the look was either the clean cut or the "greaser." The clean cut look isn't too far from the way many men wear their hair today, that is parted on the side and then slicked back. Some men would "puff" up the front portion of their hair, then slick it back. The "greaser" look was a little more edgy in that the entire top of the head is fluffed up (sometimes falling forward into the eyes) with the slides slicked back using a lot of pomade.

To get the clean cut look, wet a fine-toothed comb in water. Comb you hair all the way back starting at your hairline. Part your hair to one side of your head (not down the middle). For the shorter side of the part, slick back along the sides, while combing the longer side of the part to the back of the head to create the "puffed" look.

For the greaser look, take two nickel-sized clumps of pomade and push it through the side of your hair. Use a comb to distribute the pomade evenly and to keep the hair perfectly slicked back. Use a little pomade to bring the hair on top of the head up (think faux hawk, but softer and slightly "fluffy").

1960s Women Hairstyles

The big, glamorous hair of the 1950s was no longer en vogue in the 1960s. One of the most popular styles among young women was to have the hair flipping up (rather than under). The hair was normally kept about shoulder length and many women had thick fringe. In the early 1960s, although the hair was as big as in the '50s, many women still liked to rat their hair in the back to give it some extra volume. In the late 1960s, many women wore their hair parted down the middle and poker straight.

Use a large barrelled curling iron to get a larger flip. Hold the curling iron barrel upside down (so the clasp of the iron is facing inward). Place your hair in the middle of the clasp and the barrel. Pull the iron down; and just as you reach the last two inches of hair, slowly turn the iron up. This will give a perfect flipped look. Rat the very back of your hair to add volume and keep your fringe heavy.

1960s Men Hairstyles

In the 1960s, many of the male youth began to wear their hair slightly messy. Although the hairstyle then is also still worn by many men today, at that time it was consider horrible and a form of rebelling. The hairstyles were taken from some of the biggest names in music, such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan. The Beatles had a more bowl-shaped hairstyle, while Morrison, Hendrix and Dylan kept their curly hair au naturale.

For the Beatles' look, brush wet hair forward in the front and keep it flat in the back. Keep the hair in the front brushed forward as you blow your hair dry. For curly hair, after wetting your hair, apply a small (less than the size of a dime) amount of gel to your hands, rub your hands together, and then mess up your hair. Massage your hair, run your hands back and forth through it, and shake your head from side to side. Let your hair air dry messy.

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