Hair With Flair; Popular 50s Looks March 14 2013, 0 Comments
Fashion of the 1950s – from pencil skirts and tight-fit knits to swing dresses with bright flat pumps – has experienced a huge renaissance of late. Rockabilly chicks and retro lovers can’t wait to get their hands on genuine threads from the era, or lovingly crafted replica pieces. But the clothes are just one part of the overall look. For the essence of 50s glamour, you’ve got to get the hair just right! So, what were the 1950s about?
At the beginning of the decade hair was typically worn short and only changed slightly towards the end of the decade when hair was fashioned a little longer. Eventually it would be worn long enough for a ponytail, made popular by the youth of the decade (with the advent of rock and roll, and the birth of the ‘teenager’). The era saw a wider range of hair care products come to the market, making different styles possible.
In the early 1950s, the luxury of a home hair dryer was still out of reach of the the average girl. Women therefore would curl and set their hair wet and sleep in the style until it was dry, softly brushing the style to give a natural appearance. Portable drying units were in use by the latter end of the decade, making this less of a necessity.
The birth of the Technicolor movie also influenced products of the time and, with innovation in cosmetic science, women were wearing brighter shades than during the 40s. Cherry and fire reds were a popular choice for hair along with groomed brows and a fresh overall appearance. Hair changed slightly with use of styling products and advances in things we take for granted, such as hairspray. The perm made fashions such as the ‘puffy’ look and the beehive popular towards the very end of the decade.
Popular style icons of the 50s included:
Audrey Hepburn: Her striking cropped pixie hairstyle was popular at the beginning of the 1950s. The style was a revamp of the flapper cuts, so popular in the roaring 20s. Many women copied this style, as it was chic and elegant – and pretty easy to maintain!
Lucille Ball not only popularised the so-called poodle cut – think short, tight frizzy curls unlike that of the poodle dog – but also famously used henna dye to turn her brown hair into a vibrant red. This was a style copied by a huge number of women in the 1950s.
Marilyn Monroe was, of course, the most popular and well-known pinup of her generation. Her blonde bombshell look is a style that we all love today – we doubt it’ll ever go out of fashion. Hair was dyed until it was almost white in colour and had lots of volume and shape.
Barbie – yes believe it or not, the Barbie doll was where we saw the first ever ponytail in popular culture. It was a style that became very popular amongst teenagers at the end of the decade.
Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of American president JFK – and icon in her own right – fashioned the most popular hairstyle of the 1950s, the bouffant. This marked the beginnings of the later beehive, but began as a shorter haircut known as the bubble cut.
This post was kindly written by the lovely Lipstick & Curls girls. If you would like to find out more about the services they can offer please visit their website, twitter or facebook.
Lipstick & Curls was the brain child of Amanda Moorhouse. Studying hair and makeup at the London College of Fashion Amanda began a 10 year career in fashion and media. In 2009 a passion for all things vintage led her to set up Lipstick & Curls to help make the world more glamorous.
Amanda has worked hard to grow her business and has been able to work with some of the biggest stars in the land. Amanda now has 15 fully trained hair & makeup artists aiding her in her world domination. So watch this space!
Lipstick & Curls specialises in hair and make-up from the past and can transform you into a jazz era flapper girl, a golden era Hollywood starlet, a rock n roll pin-up or a Mad Men sex kitten.