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Swell & Groovy Hairdo’s of the 1950’s & 60’s

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Swell Hairdo’s of the 1950’s

Ah, the 50’s. James Dean, velcro, hula hoops, saddle shoes, & Beatniks. Buddy Holly & Richie Valens had their records on the jukebox, & the carhop’s roller skated around with trays of food. Meanwhile, the world was recovering from war, & a surge of scientific & technological advances was taking place.

Though the hydrogen weapon was being born & there was a drive to round up Communists, It was also a time of innocence & censorship. Desi & Lucy slept in separate beds, Elvis could only be filmed above the waist because the way he moved his hips was sc&alous. That wasn’t swelled, but they all had good hair.

Here in Canada, the family rate was escalating at a furious pace like the rest of the free world. By 1955, our people had reached over 15 million. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but all of our fashionable babies were adorned with sausage roll hairdos. My mother would have given me one….if I’d had one hair up until the age of 2. What were they studying?

Yes, times were different, & naturally, the hairstyles of the day reflected that. They were swelling.

Generally speaking, do’s of the 50’s were soft, & they featured curls. A stark contrast to the dark & heavy make-up the ladies wore, & to those cat’s eyes glasses that the vision impaired sported.

Naturally, the beginning of the decade was still dragging remnants of the 40’s along. Hairstyles still showed some of that look that stars like Joan Crawford was known for – curly, poufy & often parted in the center. Somehow, it managed to look that way, even when tied back & pinned up. They always had vertical hair. Perhaps they wanted to appear taller. In all likelihood, it was due to the popularity of ‘Permanent Wave’ hair treatments the women went to the hair salon for. Those who couldn’t afford a professional used either the Toni or the Bobbi Home Permanent Kit, which included smelly, caustic chemicals & perm rods.

North America in the 1950’s was growing rapidly, & as morays became more relaxed, so did the popular hairdos. They evolved, getting shorter & < ** gasp – spell it, don’t say it! ** > s-e-x-i-er. While the ever classy & classic Audrey Hepburn managed to pull off both at once, Marilyn Munroe sometimes wore her hair at mid-length. Women like Bridget Bardot & Jayne Mansfield stayed with longer styles. The tight curls of 1950 had given way to the later part of the decade to a more relaxed & accentuating sultriness that transferred well to the screen. They also lost a lot of that high helmet-head appeal that carried over from the previous decade.

As North American women looked to the actresses & starlets of the decade for their style cues, they soon followed suit with their hair, adapting the celebrities’ styles as their own as closely as they could, ever-changing to keep pace.

If you’d like to emulate any of the swell hairstyles of the 1950’s, you will need to get a perm. Sorry ladies, but it’s a fact. For women with curly hair or those who just want the pin curls, simply get a mountain of bobby pins, wrap individual hunks of hair around your finger & then press to head & pin securely in place. The tighter of curl you want, the thinner the str& of hair you should use, & the tighter you need to curl it. Keep working until the whole area you want to be curled is done. The curls hold best if the pins are crossing each other like an ‘X.’ You will likely be more satisfied with the outcome if you use this process on wet hair, & add some Dippity-Do to each. You may leave in overnight, or all day. When ready, remove pins & style. Don’t worry about frizz, that’s part of it.

You’ll look swell!
Men’s Swell Hairstyles of the 1950’s

From the time of their first haircut, males of the 1950’s went to a barber. There were no such things as uni-sex hair salons; they hadn’t been invented yet. It is highly doubtful that they would have been used by men at that time anyway. Men & women were still a long way apart regarding equality. Each gender had specific roles that they were expected to adhere to. When it came to haircuts, men went to barbers.

That’s not to say that the men lacked style when it came to their hair. They had the crew cut, the flat top, & for the teens, the ever popular duck tail.

I’m not sure what they call the style my dad wore. The back is regularly cut, & the front has a big dippy wave in it. He trained it that way in his teenage years & still wears the style today. He has never changed it.

Check out the movie, Rebel Without A Cause starring James Dean, if you need a visual reference of men’s hair fashions of the 50’s.

If you’re thinking of emulating these retro styles, find yourself a retro barber & a bottle of Vitalis or a tube of Brylcreem.

Swell & Groovy Hairdo’s of the 1950’s & 60’s94
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By Shirley &erson

Hair, clothing & footwear styles of the 1950s (no sound)
Starlets 1950 – 1957
Virginia McGraw (1950)
Virginia McGraw (1950)
Lana Turner (1951)
Lana Turner (1951)
Ruth Roman (1953)
Ruth Roman (1953)
Bridget Bardot (1953)
Bridget Bardot (1953)
Marilyn Munroe (1954)
Marilyn Munroe (1954)
Audrey Hepburn (1956)
Audrey Hepburn (1956)
Jayne Mansfield (1957)
Jayne Mansfield (1957)
Swell Hair Fashion
How to H&le Long Hair — Recreating Glamorous 1950s Hairstyles How to H&le Long Hair — Recreating Glamorous 1950s Hairstyles
Price: $16.95
Sash Belt / Hair tie / Scarf Yellow Pink Red Floral Sash Belt / Hair tie / Scarf Yellow Pink Red Floral
Price: $5.99
List Price: $8.00
Hair Spray – Hairdo Fashion Motif Fabric Shower Curtain “faux pearls” Hair Spray – Hairdo Fashion Motif Fabric Shower Curtain “faux pearls.”
Price: $24.99
Who’s That Girl With the Beautiful Hair? It’s Barbie!
Barbie’s long golden, tied-up hair is a perfect compliment to her stylish poodle skirt & saddle shoes! She’s the belle of the Barbie Ball & queen of the sock hop!
Barbie’s long golden, tied-up hair is a perfect compliment to her stylish poodle skirt & saddle shoes! She’s the belle of the Barbie Ball & queen of the sock hop!
Swell Hairdo’s of the 1950’s

Ah, the 50’s. James Dean, velcro, hula hoops, saddle shoes, & Beatniks. Buddy Holly & Richie Valens had their records on the jukebox, & the carhop’s roller skated around with trays of food. Meanwhile, the world was recovering from war, & a surge of scientific & technological advances was taking place.

Though the hydrogen bomb was being born & there was a drive to round up Communists, It was also a time of innocence & censorship. Desi & Lucy slept in separate beds, Elvis could only be filmed above the waist because the way he moved his hips was sc&alous. That wasn’t swelled, but they all had good hair.

Here in Canada, the birth rate was escalating at a furious pace like the rest of the free world. By 1955, our population had reached over 15 million. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but all of our fashionable babies were adorned with sausage roll hairdos. My mother would have given me one….if I’d had any hair up until the age of 2. What were they thinking?

Yes, times were different, & naturally, the hairstyles of the day reflected that. They were swelling.

Generally speaking, do’s of the 50’s were soft, & they featured curls. A stark contrast to the dark & heavy makeup the ladies wore, & to those cat’s eyes glasses that the vision impaired sported.

Naturally, the beginning of the decade was still dragging remnants of the 40’s along. Hairstyles even reflected some of that look that actresses like Joan Crawford were known for – curly, poufy & often parted in the center. Somehow, it managed to look that way, even when tied back & pinned up. They always had vertical hair. Perhaps they wanted to appear taller. In all likelihood, it was due to the demand of ‘Permanent Wave’ hair treatments the women went to the hair salon for. Those who couldn’t provide a professional used either the Toni or the Bobbi Home Permanent Kit, which included smelly, burning chemicals & perm rods.

North America in the 1950’s was growing rapidly, & as morays became more relaxed, so did the popular hairdos. They evolved, getting shorter & < ** gasp – spell it, don’t say it! ** > s-e-x-i-er. While the ever classy & classic Audrey Hepburn managed to pull off both at once, Marilyn Munroe sometimes wore her hair at mid-length. Women like Bridget Bardot & Jayne Mansfield stayed with longer styles. The tight curls of 1950 had given way to the later part of the decade to a more relaxed & accentuating sultriness that transferred well to the screen. They also lost a lot of that high helmet-head appeal that carried over from the previous decade.

As North American women attended to the actresses & starlets of the decade for their style cues, they soon followed suit with their hair, adapting the celebrities’ styles as their own as closely as they could, ever-changing to keep pace.

If you’d like to follow any of the swell hairstyles of the 1950’s, you will need to get a perm. Sorry ladies, but it’s a fact. For women with curly hair or those who just want the pin curls, simply get a mountain of bobby pins, wrap individual hunks of hair around your finger & then press to head & pin securely in place. The tighter of curl you want, the thinner the str& of hair you should use, & the tighter you need to curl it. Keep working until the whole area you want to be curled is done. The curls hold best if the pins are crossing each other like an ‘X.’ You will likely be more satisfied with the outcome if you use this process on wet hair, & add some Dippity-Do to each. You may leave in overnight, or all day. When ready, remove pins & style. Don’t worry about frizz, that’s part of it.

You’ll look swell!
Much Ado About Hair-Do’s (the 1950s) Hilarious Narration! *** don’t know why, but this vid has been removed from youtube – sorry, it was great!

Vintage 1950’s hair Tonic Commercial
Vintage Brylcreem TV advert the US
Men’s Swell Hairstyles of the 1950’s

From the time of their first haircut, males of the 1950’s went to a barber. There were no such things as uni-sex hair salons; they hadn’t been invented yet. It is highly doubtful that they would have been used by men at that time anyway. Men & women were still a long way apart regarding equality. Each gender had specific roles that they were expected to adhere to. When it came to haircuts, men went to barbers.

That’s not to say that the men lacked style when it came to their hair. They had the crew cut, the flat top, & for the teens, the ever popular duck tail.

I’m not sure what they call the style my dad wore. The back is cut regularly & the front has a big dippy wave in it. He trained it that way in his teenage years, & still wears the style today. He has never changed it.

Check out the movie, Rebel Externally A Cause starring James Dean, if you need a visual reference of men’s hair fashions of the 50’s.

If you’re holding of emulating these retro styles, find yourself a retro barber & a bottle of Vitalis or a tube of Brylcreem.

Adorn Hair Spray 1960’s TV Commercial
Vo5 hairspray commercial
How to Updo in 60’s Style – Labour Intensive
Twiggy
All eyes, no hair
All eyes, no hair
Groovy Hairdo’s of the Swinging Sixties

Time to switch gears. Come out of that rock & roll age of swinging chicks & glamorous hairstyles, & into the Age of Aquarius. Think peace rallies, mini skirts, go-go boots & hotpants, white lipstick, enormous hoop earrings. Groups like The Supremes, Herman’s Hermits & of course, The Beatles, are all coming out of your transistor radio. It’s really neat, & later on in the decade, it will be far out! But mostly, it will be groovy. So, hoist up your bell bottoms, put Tiny Tim on the record player, & let’s talk hair. After all, it was an important enough topic in the 60’s that it spawned a whole musical.

Hairstyles changed with the times & fashion as they always do, & all the styles had names, with new ones cropping up with each fab change in the mod meter of the era – from neat to groovy to psychedelic.

The beehive, the bouffant, & the pageboy were just a few of the stylish hairdo names. Updo’s were big (literally), as were ponytails. All needed work. In 1968, I used to scotch tape my bangs to my forehead every night so they would be straight in the morning. I would have red tape marks on my face all day, but at least I wasn’t walking around mortified that my hair was not stylishly straight.

When styling of your hair, sometimes you would set your rollers to make your hair flip up, occasionally to flip down. Enormous rollers were well used in the sixties. You could also use juice tins if you didn’t have actual curlers large enough to give you the big, smooth hair of the day. Try it sometime. It’s not as easy as it sounds. If that doesn’t work for you, just iron it & go with the straight look, as we did.

To be hip, you usually needed to set your hair. For a beehive, you had to tease the bejeebers out of your hair to raise it up high enough. Good luck when it came time to comb it out. It would have been easier & a lot less painful to just shave your head. I’m sparing you exact instructions. You can thank me now.

People like Twiggy ushered in the anorexic fashion, complete with extremely short, straight hair. Meantime, people with hair like mine tried to hide behind shag haircuts. They were so pitiful. Luckily, Afro’s came on the scene eventually, & I fit right in.

After a few years, the Flower Children & Hippies appeared, removing all need to be concerned about hairstyles….or hygiene. At this point, things were far out. Think Cheech & Chong. They would make their public debut as a team in the early 70’s. I think society was getting ready for them.

 

Men’s Groovy Do’s of the 60’s

The whole sixties decade was a time of constant, rapid change.

Men’s hairstyles eased into the era still shorter from the 50’s & grew into a Beatles’ cut to match the wildly popular Moptops (influenced by The Beatles, natch!) of the day. While the women’s hair got shorter, the men’s got longer.

By the end of the 1960’s, many men had hair below their shoulders & sometimes down to their waists. Many a parent complained that from behind, they couldn’t tell the boys from the girls. In fact, it was easy – the girls had the short hair. It was all very groovy!
One Day….

All the hairstyles that are in the world right now will appear in a article & be presented historically. To give it a polished look, it will contain photos & videos & other currently unknown mediums.

So take lots of hairstyle pictures & make notes. You’ll be recording for posterity & future HubPages contributions.

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