This prosperous post-World War II decade of 50s introduced new dimensions to glamour and fashion in the cadre of 1950s Hairstyles for Women. Hairstylists surfaced and overwhelmed all classes of society into hairstyles mania. Leading hair stylists include Alexandre, Raymond Bessone and Guilaroff who are associated with inventions of most popular hairstyles.
The main eye-catcher of 50’s hairstyle was curls: playful and mostly petite. Variety of hairstyles was practiced by all age groups; mostly women kept their hairs to the half of the nape while girls preferred slightly shorter hairs which usually cupped their faces. Ends of the hairs along with drooping bangs were mostly loose-permed into ringlet-looking shape.
Apart from the length of their hairs, women combed their hairs in a very glamorous style and any on-looker cannot find even a single lock moving freely or leaving the crown as hairs were neatly curled up. By mid of the decade, hats which were essential item in 1940s, started to thin out and by the end of the decade almost vanquished. This happened mostly because women preferred to get their hairs noticed more than their headgears. Credit goes to the emerging ‘Hairdressing industry’.
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In addition, fuller hairstyles like bouffant and beehive and low-cut hairstyles like poodle cut which were the charms of that era, looked a total mismatch with the headgears. The feminine personalities of the 1950’s emanated charisma coupled with elegance. Copious Hollywood movies of 1950s and early 60s illustrated the popular 1950’s Hairstyles.
Post World War-II Era
The 1950s women witnessed a lot of assorted fashion transformations. As the aftermaths of war were gradually depleting and nations were in the process of re-building their infrastructures. For mostly the soldiers returning home, women changed their hair looks altogether along with dresses to give a new look to the home-comers so that they shall not have any memories of the past. Women dressed up formally and primarily applied hairdo in long hairs for more feminine, romantic and elegant touch to welcome their loved ones.
Thriving of Hairdressing and use of Technology
In contrast to practical hairstyles of 1940s-women, women hairstyles evolved in 1950s were entirely unique. Thanks to the rapid growth of hairdressing industry which created lots of hairstyles and that’s why 1950s hairstylists saw the births of numerous beauty-salons on the beauty canvass. The invention of blow dryer is considered as the back bone in prosperity of hair salons, particularly when used with styling gel and hair sprays.
This combination was the key ingredient in inventing lots of hair styles of 50s. The most celebrated women hairstyles were: the Bouffant, the Ponytails, the French Plaits, the Pin-curls, the Poodle Cut, the Artichoke Cut, the Compact Coiffures, the Bubble Cut and lastly the Beehive Hairstyles. This contributed towards development of new terminologies and nomenclature in 1950s haircuts styles.
Gorgeous stars and icons of 50s hairstyles Grace Kelly, Bettie Page and Audrey Hepburn promoted the utility of hair salons by patenting different hairstyles and hair salons. In parallel, for supporting the apt garb with women 50s haircuts Dior and Chanel did an excellent job. Girls generally emulated the 1950s hairstyles and dyeing hairs matching to trendy film stars and models of fashion magazines was considered mandatory.
The Bouffant Hairstyle
Bouffant hairstyle was the most popular formal hair style. A big support for this hair style was excessive and precise use of hair-sprays. Usually this hairstyle had ripples that eminently emerge from crown and wave freely downwards. The extreme ends and sides of the hairs were constantly curled. The bouffant hairstyle was a mega hit due to the voluminous appearance, it gives to the wearer and 1950s women preferred it to be distinctive from among the crowd. As this style was quite time taking and required experts so it was practiced by selected columns.
Hairstyles in the 1950s are noted for frequent use of trendy and matching scarves supporting the most-suitable bouffant hairstyle. Usually younger girls were keen on soft-curling their hairs, get them pinned up in an array or employ scarf over hairs to pull back in a hump.
Shorter Bouffant Style
Shorter bouffant style originated from the personal exploration of movie stars. It was further taken over by comparatively longer hairstyles of 60s. Stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Connie Francis and Audrey Hepburn primarily wore their hair in short bouffant style with high volume.
The short bouffant hair style was the most popular style in prosperous phase of 1950s hairstyles and was regarded as perfect choice for keeping hairs in place through back-combing and hairsprays. 1950s women with natural curly hairs were considered blessed to adopt this hairstyle with ease. African-American females particularly thanked this hair-style as their natural soft curls brought them more attention and mix up in all classes and cadres.
Poodle-Cut alias Italian Cut
Short and cropped hairstyles were also part of early 1950s Hairstyles for Women. By mid-50s, hats almost vanquished and were replaced by fuller hairstyles like Poodle Cut also known as Italian Cut. In this hairstyle, hairs were tightly curled through perming almost giving a look of cute and cuddly poodle. Pioneers of this style was red-headed movie star Lucille Ball also known to us as ‘Lucy’. In addition a slight variation was followed by noted Hollywood actresses including Ann Garner, Faye Emerson, Peggy Garner and Ann Sothern. All fans of these actresses followed poodle hairstyles as a tribute to these fine actresses.
The Ponytail Style
High ponytail hairstyle popularized in the mid-decade. Usually teenagers put on this hairstyle coupled with matching scarf for tying and giving a neat look. This hairstyle was the easiest, most inexpensive and quickest to be worn among 1950s Girls for fun look and casual appearance by middle-aged women.
Girls with hairs wrapped up in chiffon scarves with high ponyails were seen all around the campuses and usually opt for other hairstyles after completion of their studies. The ponytail hairstyles was considered very trendy and gained popularity being followed by groups of dancing girls in the 50s era. The ponytails never lost popularity in the coming decades and are still being worn by women in the present times.
1950s Hairstyles for Women was blasted with trend when 50s women saw Jacqueline Kennedy putting on shorter bubble cut in her wedding in early 50s. As Jacqueline was idolized and symbolized by not only Americans but in most of the world, her hairstyle was quickly adopted by mostly the elite class all across the world. Bubble cut style was an off-shoot of bouffant style blended with large-sized beehive-style. Other noted personality following this hairstyle was Grace Kelly.
Last but not the least was the Beehive hairstyle which derived its name from the look of a bee hive. It was a modified form of bouffant hairstyle with a look of bee hive. It was mostly followed in the twilights of 1950s Hairstyles for Women but however gained most of the popularity in the 60s.
The beehive hairstyle had a subtle cone or cylinder-shaped up-combed look and varied from few inches to almost a foot in height. The sides of the bee hive style also varied with bangs, soft curls, tight curls or stacked hair locks. It evolved in a pursuit of being noted for high-volume big-hairs look. Noted personalities representing this style are Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and group ‘The Ronettes’.
Popularity and Followers of 1950s Hairstyles
The main aspects of 50s-hairs were neatly-coiffed, unblemished and playful soft curls which were augmented by flawless make-up and premier dresses. The high up-do hairs, the drooping permed bangs, the loose-curls, high ponytails, back stacked hairs, and short bubbles never lost popularity.
There were always groups in the following decades and hairstyles era that never quitted following one of these 50s hairstyles. 1950s Hairstyles still has a strong liking in the fashion as well as film industry today. Renowned celebrities particularly singers like Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry still dress up their hairs in the classic style of 1950s Hairstyles for Women.