Hairstyles From the Early 1900s

Written by emilia lamberto
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Hairstyles From the Early 1900s
Hairstyles of the 1900s consisted of lots of curls and pins. (Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Hairstyles of the 1900s consisted of lots of curls and "puffing" to create volume. Because technology wasn't as advanced as it is today, curling irons had not yet been invented and hair products and chemicals were not as widely available. Despite this, the hairstyles of the early 1900s still had a sophisticated look to them.

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Men's Hairstyles

In the early 1900s, men toned down their hairstyles and the change was drastic compared to the white, powdered pulled-back wigs of the late 19th century. Men kept their natural hair down and short. Oil or pomade was often added to the hair and then the hair was slicked back. Some men kept facial hair such as a moustache, beards and sideburns.


A hair piece called a "transformation" came about in 1902. It was made of real human hair that was waved. Some referred to the piece as a "pompadour frame." The piece was placed on the hair as a base and the real hair of a woman was wrapped around the piece and smoothed over the transformation. Hats were often placed on top of these hair pieces. Because the piece sat so high on the head, hats often appeared to be floating over the head.

Pinned Updos

Long, flowing hair wasn't nearly as popular in the early 1900s as it was in the late 1800s. Women were actually pulling their hair toward the back and top of their heads and pulling a few face-framing pieces down and curling them. Also, women were using natural "shedding" hair that they pulled out of their combs and brushes to add to areas of their head that weren't as "puffed" as the rest.

Sausage Curls

Young boys, along with girls and grown women would wear their hair in the sausage curl hairstyle. By wetting hair, wrapping it around the finger and then pinning it to the scalp, curls were formed. After allowing the pads to dry overnight (sometimes longer), the pads were removed and the hair would hang in soft, barrel-like ringlets. When the curls fell out, the hair would still remain wavy for months. Because hot water was not as accessible as it is today, baths weren't taken daily and in fact, sometimes individuals went months without a shower and hairstyles were kept intact.

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