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1950s hair: Sets and Styles

August 3, 2011

One of the most popular hairstyles of the 1950s was the ponytail.  The 1950′s ponytail was one of the most popular vintage hairstyles and is extremely simple and easy to achieve. Still worn and loved by women and girls of all ages, the ponytail is a classic and ageless way to style hair. There is nothing to a ponytail, all you need to do is to gather the hair behind your head and secure it into an elastic or ribbon. In the 1950s, it was quite popular to wrap a chiffon scarf around your ponytail for a casual, fun look.

A classic 1950s ponytail started with the hair gathered into a ponytail and placed in the middle of the back of the head. A small chiffon scarf added a feminine accent. Younger girls wore their ponytails with a clip-on bow to match their outfits. The classic ponytail also had short bangs about mid-forehead length. Girls copied Audrey Hepburn and other Hollywood actresses whose short bangs set the trend. Sometimes girls wore spit curls with the classic ponytail. You could make side spit curls by cutting a small section of hair by the ears, wetting it with spit or water, and curving the hair on the cheeks.

Some other popular hairstyles of the 1950s:

  • The poodle cut worn by red-headed star Lucille Ball. This short, super curly style was widely popular and often achieved by getting a perm. Hollywood comedienne Lucille Ball was famous for her bright auburn hair which she often wore piled up high and curly.
  • A bouffant style was an outrageous backcombed style where the hair is piled high on the head and some hair hangs down by the sides. The hairdo dated back to the late 1950s when Life magazine profiled the aristocratic European look. This style was achieved by lots of teasing and backcombing.
  • Beehive hairdos actually resemble a beehive. This updo style has a smooth, cone-like shape and could range from several inches to a foot or more in height. Today, Marge Simpson from the Simpson’s cartoon wears this style as recently deceased singer Amy Winehouse.
  • Pin-curls were all the rage in the 1950s. These small ringlets were created by finger waving the hair and securing the waves in place by hairpins. The curls were sprayed to keep in place. Women wanted curly hair in the 50s and would sleep in curlers and rollers to achieve curls if they didn’t want permanent curls.


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