The 50s were a landmark decade when it comes to fashion. There are a lot of iconic hairstyles that are almost synonymous with the 50s, made famous by musicians and singers.
Most of these hairstyles are still fashionable today. Let’s take a look at the most popular hairstyles from the 50s.
What Hairstyles Did Men Have In the ’50s
Men had a lot of distinct and unconventional hairstyles during the 50s. Slicked back hair was trendy, and so were quiffs and pompadours. Most of them were short and looked very sleek, but some younger males preferred to rebel with long hairstyles.
30 Most Popular 50s Hairstyles
A greaser hairstyle looks exactly like it sounds—a lot of product is used to style the hair in a short, wavy look. People mainly preferred it for a ‘bad boy’ look.
It can be combined with many different styles like mullets. It needs to be styled every day, so be prepared to spend at least half an hour in front of the mirror every morning.
A widow’s peak is a classic 50s hairstyle. The hairline is pointed, with the tip facing downwards at the center of your forehead. The rest of the hair is left to its natural texture.
It suits people with all kinds of hair types and enhances the face’s natural shape. If you are looking for a professional yet distinct style, the widow’s peak might be the best choice.
A ducktail is when you brush your hair back from the sides to make it meet in the middle of your head at the back, looking like a duck’s tail. It is trendy among men who like classic hairstyles.
It takes very little maintenance and can be customized however you want. You can add a fade or play with the length of the hair to keep it looking fresh.
The Ivy League is an ideal and professional hairstyle. The hair is kept very short on the sides of the back and the hair on top was carefully styled in a spike or slicked back.
The sides and back can also be cut in a fade and you can style the top however you want.
A pompadour remains in vogue even now. You need more length on the top than the sides and back. Get a hairdryer and brush your damp hair upwards. Use a product with good hold, like oil-based hair pomades for men and work it into your hair.
You can also get a taper fade to get some contrast between the top and the sides.
A modern undercut is just a slicked-back hairstyle made modern with the help of an undercut. The slicked-back hair means that you need more length on top. The sides are cut in an undercut, so the hair is very short on the sides and back.
An interesting contrast can be seen when this look is viewed from the back, as the slicked-back hair hangs over the undercut.
Elvis’s look was perhaps the most popular with young men around the 50s. His fans adopted his hairstyle and dressing sense and the Elvis hairstyle quickly became all the rage.
The hair is longer on top and slicked back entirely on the sides. The top is worked into a messy quiff with some pomade. You can also achieve this elegant look using hair gel.
Many black men sported a flat top during the 50s. You need a lot of volume for this look and having a curly or kinky hair texture complements this look.
The hair is styled very high and almost entirely flat on top. The back and sides are usually styled in a fade to give a gradual feel to the flat top.
The quiff was famous among artists of all kinds, be it musicians or actors. The hair is typically long on top and shorter on the sides. The long hair is brushed upwards and styled using hair gel or hairspray.
It is a quick and easy hairstyle that never fails to impress.
A crew cut is a very short, no-nonsense hairstyle. You can go for a classic crew cut if you don’t feel adventurous enough for a pompadour or a quiff.
This military-style haircut has very short hair trimmed close to the scalp. The hair on top is slightly longer than the sides but still pretty short. It needs no styling or maintenance.
A side part is a pretty straightforward, everyday look. Just part your hair on the side and comb it well. You can use a gel or hair wax for better hold if your hair doesn’t always stay in place.
A comb-over screams old Hollywood. You part your hair on the side and brush the hair to the sides and style it up using hair spray or pomade. The hair is swept over to the side and held there using a product. This is a very low-maintenance and chic look.
Frank Sinatra has an effortless and straightforward hairstyle. The hair was kept wavy and cut short. You can add a taper to add a modern twist to the look. You will need to trim it frequently to maintain the length of the hair.
A pompadour fade is precisely what it sounds like—a regular pompadour with a close fade on the sides. The fade makes the pompadour more prominent and highlights the wavy texture of the hair on top.
You need healthy volume and length on top to pull off this look. If you’ve been experiencing hair loss, try a powerful hair oil for men to improve your hair’s health.
A ducktail mohawk is a more extreme play on the ducktail. The hair on the sides is either shaved off completely or trimmed very close to the scalp and the hair on top is brushed backward and styled in a ducktail.
If you frequently get such extreme hairstyles, you should consider investing in a razor for head shaving to maintain your look at home easily.
This was another hairstyle brought to the limelight by Elvis. You need slightly longer hair for this look.
Dampen your hair and work in some pomade while it is wet. Sweep the hair up to the side, like a side-swept quiff.
If your hair is especially difficult to tame, try using oil-based hair pomades for men.
The teddy boy is a distinctive look inspired by British rock culture. Start by using hair gel to slick back the hair around your ears. Start sweeping the hair on top to one side so that the bangs hang down over your forehead on the other side.
A contour has a flip in the front, where the hair is flipped backward. It looks a little like a quiff. The hair is parted to the side and the sides feature a taper cut. It is one of the classic side part haircuts of the 50s.
A reverse trunk is a kind of like the opposite of a ducktail. The hair is brushed towards the middle and center-parted like a regular ducktail, but the sides are trimmed very close to the skin. The ducktail ends in a flip to give it a little twist.
An ombre trunk has short hair on the sides and long, wavy hair on the top and middle. The longer hair is colored ombre to set it in contracts from the sides. Try the world’s best hair dye to get a perfect ombre.
You need more length on top for a long quiff. If you’re having trouble growing your hair longer, try a gentle hair tonic to nourish your hair. Style the hair on top in a quiff. You can pair it with a fade on either side to add contrast to the look.
A façon is the precursor to the insanely popular fade haircuts of today. The hair length is shortest on the side and longest in the middle. Ask your barber to give you a fade from the side to the middle to get a façon.
A slicked-back hairstyle is an iconic 50s hairstyle. You need to slick your hair back using hair gel or hair cream. Do not create a specific part anywhere to keep the look sleek and classy.
A side-swept hairstyle is halfway between a pompadour and a side part. The hair is parted to the side and styled up in a much smaller pompadour or quiff. It is more low maintenance than a full pompadour.
James Dean was synonymous with the bad boy look during the 50s. The haircut is very textured and left messy. There is little to no product used and there is no attempt to make the hair look sleek or well-groomed.
A flop is like a longer version of the quiff. The hair is shorter than shoulder length but long enough to hang on the sides of the face. You can use hair gel to give it more hold it keep it natural and messy.
Bowl Cut Fade
If you want a 50s look but favor short hair, you can try a bowl cut fade. The hair on the sides and back is cut in a very close fade, while the hair on the crown is slightly longer, giving the appearance of a bowl cut.
You can go for messy waves if you don’t like slicking your hair back or doing quiffs and pompadours. The back and sides are kept short, while the top and front are left long and wavy. The hair hangs messily on the forehead for a just rolled out of bed look.
A jelly roll is a more vintage style. The hair on top is longer than on the sides. It is rolled into a quiff towards the middle from both sides and held in place using hair gel or pomade.
You can add a modern twist to this look by adding a face to the sides.
Black Men’s Hairstyles for Curly Hair
There weren’t a lot of options for black men’s hairstyles during the 50s. There were variations like the Afro widow’s peak or the flat top. These styles worked well with curly hair and didn’t need much maintenance.
What was the most popular hairstyle in the 1950s?
Slicked-back hair was the most popular hairstyle during the 1950s. It was a part of most hairstyles because the 50s were a time when men preferred a sleek, sophisticated look and slicked-back hairstyles were glamorous yet professional at the same time.
Did men have long hair in the 50s?
Long hair was not very popular during the 50s. Short hair was much more common. It would be styled big with pompadours or quiffs, but there wasn’t much experimentation with length. Long hair started getting popular in the 60s.
How did men style their hair in the 1950s?
Men used a lot of hair gel, pomade and hair clay to style their hair. Ducktails, pompadours and quiffs were very popular back then and all of them required a lot of product to style correctly.
The 50s were a time when we were introduced to many iconic hairstyles. There was not a lot of experimentation, but there were a lot of variations within the existing hairstyles.
If you’re looking to get a 50s hairstyle, check out our list of the 30 most popular 50s hairstyles for men.
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