1950s Hairstyles for Short Hair: 10+ Vintage Looks to Rock

Frequently, we reminisce about the 1950s as a period that epitomized elegance in fashion, characterized by attire that radiated both sophistication and a sense of fun. During this time, short hairstyles took the forefront of women’s fashion, symbolizing one of the era’s defining features. These hairstyles went beyond mere appearance; they reflected the spirit and societal shifts of the time. As skirts flared and waists narrowed, the chic, short hairdos provided a harmonious counterpoint to the audacious designs of the ’50s fashion contours.

Iconic 1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair

When we reminisce about the golden age of Hollywood, it’s the 1950s hairstyles for short hair that often bring a touch of nostalgia. From screen sirens to everyday elegance, these iconic cuts are rich with history and personality.

Pixie Cut

Audrey Hepburn showcased the Pixie Cut and made this short haircut famous with her roles in “Roman Holiday” and “Sabrina.” Characterized by its short, tidy layers and often paired with soft, face-framing bangs, this style epitomized chic simplicity.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Pixie Cut
by Pinterest

Italian Cut

Introduced by Elizabeth Taylor, the Italian Cut was a variant of the bob, featuring voluminous curls and waves. Reflecting the glamorous and sophisticated side of the ’50s, it was a style that combined both ease and panache.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Elizabeth Taylor Italian Cut
by Pinterest

Curly Bob

Marilyn Monroe often sported the Curly Bob, a bubbly and feminine style with tight, well-defined curls. This short hairstyle exuded a flirtatious charm that became synonymous with Marilyn’s iconic look.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Marilyn Monroe Curly Bob
by Pinterest

Poodle Clip

The Poodle Clip, famed by Lucille Ball, was a fun and practical style perfect for the on-the-go woman of the ’50s. Marked by tight curls and resembling the groomed fur of a poodle, this cut balanced humor with earnest sophistication.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Lucille Ball Poodle Clip
by Pinterest

Styling Techniques and Tools

A vintage hair salon with 1950s styling tools on a counter, including hair rollers, combs, and hair spray

When we think of the iconic 1950s hairstyles for short hair, we’re diving right into an era where the right technique and tool made all the difference. Precision and patience were key, as was a hefty spritz of hairspray to keep everything in place.

Pin Curls

We’d start by sectioning the hair, then wrap damp strands around our fingers to form coils. Secure each curl with a bobby pin, creating a series of ‘stand-up’ pin curls. Once dry, we’d gently remove the pins, allowing the curls to fall into soft, sculptured waves.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Pin Curls
by Pinterest

Finger Waves

To achieve those glamorous finger waves, we’d apply styling lotion to damp hair, comb it into place, and then shape the waves around the fingers, using a comb to create the ‘C’ shapes. This meticulous process formed elegant S-waves, a signature style of the decade that required no heat, making it a go-to for a chic and classic look.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Finger Waves
by Pinterest

Roller Setting

For full-bodied curls, roller setting was essential. We’d wrap sections of hair around rollers and patiently wait for them to set. Once removed, the rollers gave way to voluminous curls or smooth waves, which were then arranged with a comb and secured with hairspray. Some of us preferred using hot rollers or a curling iron for a quicker set, which became more popular as technology advanced throughout the decade.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Roller Setting
by Pinterest

Distinctive 1950s Partings and Bangs

A vintage salon chair with a retro hair dryer, surrounded by vintage hair products and styling tools

We can’t reminisce about 1950s hairstyles for short hair without giving a nod to the era’s distinctive parts and bangs that redefined elegance and attitude. Let’s take a trip back and find inspiration from the artistic and playful adaptations that still intrigue us today.

Side Part

The side part was a foundation for versatility in hairstyles, lending itself beautifully to everything from sleek looks to voluminous curls. A simple shift of the hair to one side could elevate a style with a sense of sophistication and class.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Side Part
by Pinterest

Victory Rolls

Victory Rolls took the 1950s by storm, becoming a symbol of panache and victory—hence the name. Rolling the hair upward and securing it on the head created a voluminous effect that was both glamorous and defiant.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Victory Rolls
by Pinterest

Bettie Page Bangs

Emphasizing boldness, Bettie Page Bangs were a statement of their own. These blunt, curve-cut fringes sat just above the eyebrow, framing the face and creating an iconic look that still resonates with pin-up aesthetics.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Bettie Page Bangs
by Pinterest

Rolled Bangs

For those sporting a ponytail, rolled bangs were the perfect complementary flair. Whether utilizing a ribbon or a bandana as a hair accessory, rolled bangs added a playful vibe to any casual or formal ensemble.

1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair Rolled Bangs
by Pinterest

Accessories and Embellishments

A table scattered with hair clips, scarves, and combs. A mirror reflects a short hairdo with curls and a headband

We might be decades past the 1950s, but the charm of 1950s hairstyles remains timelessly alluring. Accessorizing these styles was more than a trend; it was an art that added personality and flair to the simple, elegant cuts of the era. Let’s explore how women of the ’50s brought life to their locks with headbands, ribbons, small hats, scarves, hair clips, and pins.

Headband and Ribbons

In the ’50s, a headband wasn’t just functional; it was fashionable. A simple addition could transform day-to-day hair into something special. Whether you opted for a sleek, satin ribbon or an eye-catching velvet headband, this accessory was a must to complement short hairstyles.

  • Bandana: A versatile option for a casual look or to keep hair in place.
  • Silk Ribbon: Often tied into a bow for a touch of femininity.

Small Hats and Scarves

Small hats, often called fascinators today, perched daintily atop curled and coiffed hair. They were evocative of grace and high fashion, requiring just the right tilt to make a statement. On windy days or for an added pop of color, a silk scarf would be the go-to.

  • Silk Scarf: Wrapped around the head or tied under the chin, adding elegance.
  • Small Hats: Paired with a hairpin to secure, ensuring it stayed in place.

Hair Clips and Pins

To keep those refined styles looking fresh all day, hair clips and bobby pins were the silent heroes. They were not only functional but often embellished with pearls or rhinestones to elevate a look.

  • Hair Clips: Sometimes sparkling with gems for evening wear.
  • Bobby Pins: The universal tool, discreetly holding styles together or creating a pattern as a feature in itself.

Incorporating these accessories was a subtle nod to personal style and the fashion-forward thinking that the 1950s were known for. With these embellishments, short hairstyles were never dull but rather an avenue for expression and poise.

Haircare Tips and Maintenance

A vintage vanity table with a comb, hairspray, and hair rollers. A poster on the wall shows different 1950s short hairstyles

When it comes to maintaining those classic 1950s hairstyles for short hair, we all aim for that perfect balance of glamour and hold. We understand the importance of keeping those waves in place and ensuring our locks look just as fresh as they did in the golden age of style.

Essential Products:

  • Pomade: Terrific for slicked-back looks or adding shine.
  • Mousse: Gives volume and shape to curls without weighing them down.

Here’s how we can keep our hair looking pristine:

  1. Start with the right cut: Regular trims are essential to keep those vintage styles looking sharp.
  2. Moisturize and Protect: Before blow-drying, always apply a heat protectant ($5.49) to minimize damage.
  3. Use a Low Heat Setting: Prolonged exposure to high heat can harm your hair. A blow dryer with a diffuser on a low setting works wonders and prevents frizz.

Daily Routine for Vibrancy:

  • A light dab of pomade can add sheen.
  • Mousse can revive the body of your hair.

Remember: Less is More. Overusing products can lead to build-up and a less authentic look. Opt for lightweight products that maintain your hair’s natural bounce and shine. By embracing these simple yet effective tips, our short 1950s hairstyles will continue to turn heads and spark conversations, just like they used to in those darling days gone by.


FAQ – 1950s Hairstyles For Short Hair

Was short hair popular in the 50s?

Indeed, short hairstyles gained traction in the 1950s. Women embraced styles like the bob and pixie cuts, as these looks complemented the era’s fashion and proved to be chic yet manageable for the modern woman. A notable decline in hat-wearing also influenced the popularity of shorter hair, allowing for more voluminous and sculpted hairstyles to shine.

What was the most popular hairstyle in the 1950’s?

The Poodle Clip undoubtedly became the most celebrated of 1950s hairstyles for short hair. This curly bob, embraced by women seeking both fashion and freedom, reflected the spirited optimism of the post-war era. The style was characterized by tight curls and easy maintenance, perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle.

Why did everyone have short hair in the 50s?

Short hair in the ’50s symbolized the era’s shift toward practicality and simplicity in daily grooming. With the demands of a modern lifestyle, women opted for shorter dos that required less time and effort to style. The trend evolved as a sign of liberation from the rigorous hair maintenance of the past.


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