Hairstyles From the Play Grease

Updated April 17, 2017

The rock and roll musical Grease first took the stage at the Kingston Mines Theatre in Chicago in 1971. Written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, Grease was set during 1959 around Rydell High School, where a group of teenagers focused on the leading roles 'Danny Zuko' and 'Sandy Olsson,' falling into an emotional battle of love. Bringing new fashion, music and an incredible hype, Grease became a Hollywood hit and created a new era that continued into the late 1970s by bringing hairstyles of the '50s into the '80s. Hairstyles from the play Grease are still worn today around the world.

The Tony Curtis

The Tony Curtis hairstyle that was used for the teenage boys in the play 'Grease' was a combination of the quiff, side burns and the ducktail. The method of this popular 1950s hairstyle is an easy one. During the 1950s, boys used 'Brilliantine' to grease back their hair, but today there are many hair products available in stores that provide the same effect. Cover the hair in grease or a similar hair product and comb the hair back, leaving the sideburns down. Create a quiff by using a comb, at the front of the hair or bang area and finally comb the sides of the hair to the back, meeting each side in the middle at the back of the head. This will create the ducktail effect at the back of the hairstyle.

The Shag

Girls hairstyles during the 1950s included the shag, a popular hairstyle for characters in 'Grease.' In reality, teenage girls would not wear straight hair and would use curlers to curl or shag their hair if it was going to be worn down. Curlers were placed on the bang area as well as the sides and lower back areas of the hair. Some girls simply brush into the curls to emphasise them. The other method for this 1950s style was to tease the curls before brushing them over them into place.

The Bob

The bob hairstyle was another popular 1950s hairstyle seen in Grease. The bob hairstyle was cut above shoulder length. But for the 1950s bob hairstyle, a bob with layered edges was not the fashion. It was fashionable for the edges of the hair to be curled inward all the way around the head, including the fringe.

The Ponytail

The Grease hairstyle of the ponytail included brushing the hair back into a high ponytail, located in the centre of the rear crown area of the head. The ends of the ponytail was curled as well as the fringe. To finish the ponytail hairstyle off, a thick colourful ribbon would be tied into place around the root of the ponytail into a bow.

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About the Author

Based in Spain, Jennifer Burdett has been writing alternative medicine and health-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Inland Magazine" and in newspapers such as “Euro Weekly,” “Round Town News” and the “Sol Times.” Burdett received the Holistic Back Practitioner Asset Award in 2008 and qualified as a holistic back practitioner at StoneBridge College, U.K.