Long Hairstyles of the 1950's

British actress, Diana Dors. Image from Posters Guide
1950s hair cuts weren't all about poodlecuts and bouffants with bangs..there were longer, glamorous styles too, that reflected the over-the-top but structured sensuality of the 50s.

The PageBoy 

One of the most popular styles of the era was the long pageboy, so called because the rolls resembled the hair of  sweet English pageboys of old. The lower hair was curled underneath in a fat roll and sat on the shoulders or just below, while the top was swept to one side with a low side  part and kept in place by pins, a slim headband or a clasp. This style looked great with evening wear and tight-fitting, sexy clothes and showed off sparkling earrings.

The Long Ponytail

Picasso was so enthralled with a young girl's ponytail in the 1950s that he did a series of paintings about it. The girl was 15 year old Sylvette David, daughter of a prominant art dealer, who became the model for a series of Picasso paintings, including the one below...Girl With a Ponytail

Sylvette David with Picasso in the artist's studio
The long sleek pontails of the 1950s were worn very high on the head, either with everything pulled back and encased in an elastic or worn with a fringe/bangs.

This was a flattering style because it pulled everything in an upward direction and revealed the sculptural planes of the face.

The Twist

The French twist is a classic hairstyle for any era but was particularly popular in the 50s, as it offered an aura of elegance and kept everything in place.

The twist was largely a matter of hairpins and spray; the hair had to be brushed thoroughly to create smoothness and shine, then it was scooped back into a kind of hand-held ponytail and twisted around until it could be comfortably tucked under itself on one side and secured with the pins, followed by generous squirts of lacquer.

One of the salient features of all 50s hair was its 'structural integrity', that is, whatever style was chosen had to stay in its place, either through pins and hairspray or preferably both.  Long hair was rarely worn flowing loose- the freewheeling, wild-child hair generation was still a decade away.

Short Hairstyles of the 1950s