Mens 50s Hairstyle Inspiration: 10 Classic Looks 2024

When reflecting on iconic fashion figures, the men’s hairstyles from the 1950s are undoubtedly at the forefront of our thoughts. This period merged the burgeoning affluence following the war with the emerging popular culture, creating an array of hairstyles that radiated self-assurance and a daring allure. From the glossy pompadours sported by cinema idols to the impeccably styled side parts preferred by professionals, each hairstyle conveyed a unique narrative about the individual it adorned.

10 Iconic Mens 50s Hairstyle

When we talk about mens 50s hairstyle, we’re looking back at a decade of daring and dapper hairdos that have withstood the test of time. From volume-packed pompadours to the sleek Ivy League cuts, these styles were all about individual expression.

1. Pompadour

The Pompadour was all the rage, with icons like Elvis Presley sporting the volume upfront. This style requires longer hair to create the pronounced front bulge, pairing well with a textured pompadour or pompadour fade for modern twists.

mens 50s hairstyle Pompadour
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2. Slicked Back Hair

Slicked Back Hair was synonymous with sleek sophistication. Achieved by combing the hair back and using a glossy product, this hairstyle made a statement of clean-cut elegance and was a staple for the suave gentlemen of the era.

mens 50s hairstyle Slicked Back Hair
by Pinterest

3. Side Part

A sharp Side Part added instant class to any look. Whether it was the more formal, deep side-parted hairstyle or a casual flick, this versatile style could be seen everywhere from the office to the silver screen.

mens 50s hairstyle Side Part
by Pinterest

4. Flat Top Crew Cut

The Flat Top Crew Cut, a military-inspired hairstyle, was common among men who preferred a no-nonsense, clean-cut appearance. It was characterized by the flat, level effect on the top of the head.

mens 50s hairstyle Flat Top Crew Cut
by Pinterest

5. Rockabilly Quiff

The Rockabilly Quiff combined the rebellious energy of the rock and roll era with the sophistication of the quiff. It’s a more voluminous take, often paired with a leather jacket and a mischievous grin, embodying the spirit of youthful rebellion of the 50s.

mens 50s hairstyle Rockabilly Quiff
by Pinterest

6. Ivy League (Harvard Clip)

The Ivy League, also known as the Harvard Clip, was preppy and polished. It featured short hair on the sides and back with enough length on top for a side parted hairstyle, making it a classic choice for college guys and businessmen alike.

mens 50s hairstyle Ivy League (Harvard Clip)
by Pinterest

7. Greaser Hairstyle

Greaser Hairstyle referenced the subculture that embraced a “wetter” look using a good deal of pomade. Think John Travolta in Grease — slick, glossy, and undeniably cool.

mens 50s hairstyle Greaser Hairstyle
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8. Ducktail

The Ducktail, or “D.A.” (for duck’s ass), split the back hair down the middle and combed it to each side, creating the look of a duck’s rear. This iconic style was a classic ducktail emblem of edginess and rebellion.

mens 50s hairstyle Ducktail
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9. Buzz Cut

Simple and low maintenance, the Buzz Cut was a go-to for men who favored a more utilitarian approach to their hair. It’s a style that signifies simplicity and a clean, uniform length all over.

mens 50s hairstyle Buzz Cut
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10. Comb Over

Lastly, the Comb Over was a practical style for men thinning at the top. By combing hair from one side to the other, it provided a sophisticated, yet manageable look for the everyday man.

mens 50s hairstyle Comb Over
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Historical Context of 1950s Men’s Hairstyles

When we look back at the 1950s, we see a landscape rich with cultural shifts that heavily influenced men’s fashion and grooming. In mens 50s hairstyle, everything from the emergence of new music genres to film icons played a pivotal role.

Influence of Pop Culture Icons

The 1950s was a decade where American pop culture truly flourished, and with it came a slew of style icons that left an indelible mark on men’s hairstyles. Leading the charge were individuals like Elvis Presley and James Dean, whose looks encapsulated the rebellious spirit of the rock and roll revolution. Hairstyles like the classic pompadour, synonymous with Elvis, or the effortlessly cool quiff sported by James Dean, were not just mere styles but a form of personal expression that challenged the status quo.

Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra also influenced the era, each with their own signature look that men across the country sought to emulate. Brando’s brooding appearance in films like “The Wild One” introduced a tougher, rugged aesthetic, while Sinatra’s slicked-back style and sharp dress sense offered a more sleek and sophisticated alternative.

Iconic Styles from the 50s:

  • Elvis Presley’s Classic Pompadour
mens 50s hairstyle elvis presley pompadour
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  • James Dean’s Casual Quiff
mens 50s hairstyle James Dean Casual Quiff
by Pinterest
  • Marlon Brando’s Brooding Greased Look
mens 50s hairstyle Marlon Brando's Brooding Greased Look
by Pinterest
  • Frank Sinatra’s Polished Hairstyle
mens 50s hairstyle Frank Sinatra
by Pinterest

Evolution from the 1940s

Emerging from the 1940s, men hairstyle in the 1950s transitioned from the more utilitarian, military-influenced looks to ones that highlighted personal flair and freedom. The relatively conservative and restrained styles of the previous decade gave way to bolder choices that reflected the prosperity and optimism of post-war America.

Out went the neat, short back and sides, and in came longer, voluminous hairstyles such as the conked hair, a chemically straightened style favored in the jazz scene, and various iterations of the retro hairstyle that allowed men to showcase their individuality. These styles were not only a statement of the times, but they also signaled the increasingly important role that personal grooming and aesthetics played in the lives of men during the 1950s.

Styling Techniques and Products

When we turn the pages back to the mens 50s hairstyle, we’re looking at a time where grooming was an art and the right products were essential. In this part we will tell you how these classic styles were achieved and what you might need if you’re aiming to replicate them.

The Use of Pomade and Gels

In the 1950s, pomade was the go-to for most hairstyles, helping to achieve that signature gloss and hold. Unlike gels that can dry hard and flaky, pomade gives a slick, shiny finish that’s pliable throughout the day. To get the look:

  • Apply a small amount of pomade to slightly damp hair.
  • Distribute evenly for a consistent texture.
  • Choose between oil-based for maximum slickness or water-based for easier washing out.

Sculpting the Perfect Slick Back

To nail the slick back, a staple of 1950s men’s hairstyles:

  1. Start with either pomade or gel, depending on the desired shine and hold.
  2. Comb your hair back from the forehead to the nape, keeping the comb lines clean.
  3. For a stronger hold, use more product and consider finishing with a hairdryer on low heat to set the style.

These classic looks relied on the right balance of product and technique, transforming men’s hair into sculpted works reminiscent of pompadours and greasers.

Cultural and Fashion Influences

Back in the 1950s, men’s hairstyles were more than just a means of groomed appearance—they spoke of cultural allegiance and fashion movements and were influenced by different subcultures.

Rockabilly and Teddy Boy Movements

The Rockabilly scene was a blend of rock ‘n’ roll music and hillbilly country, and it left a remarkable mark on men’s hairstyles. Central to this style were pompadours and quiffs, often styled with a generous amount of pomade to achieve that glossy finish. Some styles even went as bold as to incorporate vibrant colors, a nod to the flamboyant fashion these movements adored.

Teddy Boys, on the other hand, brought a British flair to the 50s. Known for their drape jackets, Teddy Boys showcased slicked-back hair with a side part, creating a polished and rebellious look that mirrored their edgy sartorial choices.

The Greaser Subculture

The Greaser subculture was inextricably associated with leather jackets and a tough demeanor, a style immortalized by film and music icons of the time. Their choice in hairstyles leaned towards a “wet” look, the hair combed back and sometimes paired with a ducktail at the back. These hairstyles were a declaration of identity and an embrace of a non-conformist attitude.

Greaser hair required meticulous grooming with products like pomade or Brylcreem to maintain its distinctive slicked-back appearance throughout the day. This greased look wasn’t just about aesthetics but was also symbolic of the “bad boy” image that greasers celebrated.

Our Opinion On Mens 50s Hairstyle

When we think of mens 50s hairstyle, it evokes a sense of nostalgia and timeless class. The decade brought us iconic cuts that have withstood the test of time, like the pompadour and greaser styles.

We appreciate the versatility from the 50s. The variety of 1950s haircuts for men offered something for every man, from the rebel without a cause to the pinstripe-suited businessman.

We favor the commitment to maintenance these styles usually require. Applying pomade and daily styling can be seen as a ritual, a nod to a slower pace of life. The sleek, well-groomed lines of these cuts represent a bygone era where every strand of hair was deliberately styled.

Our take on mens 50s hairstyle salutes the mix of sophistication and edge. Whether one wants the rebellious edge of a Greaser or the suave look of a side-part, these styles project confidence. We feel they’re as relevant today as they were decades ago, perhaps because good style truly never goes out of fashion.


FAQ – Mens 50s Hairstyle

What was the hairstyle of men in the 50s?

In the 1950s, men embraced diverse hairstyles, relying on styling products for upkeep. The Pompadour, swept upward and high, and the Ducktail, tapering at the back, were iconic. The low-maintenance Crew Cut, a military-style short haircut, was also a timeless favorite.

Can I modernize a 1950s hairstyle for a contemporary look?

Yes, indeed! 50s hairstyles offer a timeless charm easily adapted for modern trends. Try incorporating fades or tapers for a contemporary touch, rejuvenating classics like the Pompadour or Quiff. Experiment with hair products to achieve a texture that complements your unique style.

How can I achieve a 1950s Greaser hairstyle?

For the 1950s Greaser hairstyle, grow your hair to a sufficient length on top, apply quality pomade to damp hair, and comb it back for shine and hold. Consider a side part or straight back for the classic Greaser look. Complete the style with a leather jacket for maximum effect.


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Marvin Huber
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