Trends are always coming and going but there is one thing for sure: there will always be those timeless and classic looks that have become a staple in the ever forward-moving wheel of the trend cycle. Vintage hairstyles are one of those long-time staples when it comes to fashion and styling. There’s a certain elegance to them that especially suits special occasions.
Ideas for glamorous vintage hairstyles might just be exactly what you need for your next event. Whether you need retro hairstyles for long hair, short hair, or medium length hair, we’ve got easy vintage hairstyles for you to rock.
Short Vintage Hairstyles
Short hair started to become very popular in the 1920s or the flapper era. Think Great Gatsby, sparkly, short dresses, and lots of dancing and partying. This was a time for major subversiveness when it comes to fashion. From the long hemlines, hair, and natural makeup, the roaring 20s brought about liberation from those previously modest trends and embraced shorter hemlines, hair, and colorful makeup.
Retro Wave Updo
A vintage hairstyle that was super popular in the 20s was finger waves. This is characterized by the prominent but loose waves that are sculpted using the fingers to frame the face. This is usually paired with a very short cut like a bob or a vintage updo. Hair accessories were also an essential part of a vintage 20s look. You can pair this with a vintage headband, headpiece, or flapper cap.
Vintage Pin Curls
Pin curls are very similar to finger waves in the way that they are usually very sculpted and meticulously placed to frame the face. This time, instead of creating s-waves with the hair, soft curls or ringlets are sculpted and pinned into place. This is a classic style that exudes elegance and is perfect for glamorous occasions.
Vintage Hairstyles for Medium Hair
Longer, shoulder length hair started to become a trend again around the 1940s and 1950s. This is a time when men came home from war and a sense of tradition and normalcy was needed. The short hemlines and hairstyles were then replaced by a more modest and traditionally feminine look. Hence, the longer hair. This continued until the 60s and 70s.
The bouffant was popularized and coined in the early 1970s. This was a time for extremely big, voluminous hair. This style is characterized by the poofy crown and sleek sides that can either go down to straight ends or retro curls. This requires lots of teasing and hairspray and perfectly embodies the fun and colorful culture of the 1970s.
This comes from the 1940s to 1950s hairstyles. The name comes from the fact that this hairstyle was used to convey patriotism and resilience. This pin up hairstyle is characterized by big rolls of hair pinned at the hairline away from the face. Victory rolls are a classic that is perfect especially if you have any themed or costume parties to attend.
Vintage Hairstyles for Long Hair
Long hair was a trend pretty much after the 1930s until the 1980s with a few shorter hairstyles also cycling through. This is really when people started subverting from the “wearing only one trend” mindset and started to experiment with different looks. Some had long hair and some went short depending on their personal style. These are a couple of popular hairstyles for long hair.
A mod fringe retro hair that is characterized by thick, textured vintage bangs covering the forehead completely and straight hair. This vintage hairstyle for long hair is reminiscent of the Austin Powers era and is usually paired with a thick ring of liner around the eyes. Don a colorful outfit and some knee-high boots and you’re good to go!
Old Hollywood Curls
Glitz and glamour was really defined by old Hollywood, vintage style. This is one of the best and most elegant hairstyles for long hair. This is defined by a deep side parting and big, stunning curls. The curls are then brushed out to create a soft and sophisticated look.
Styling Tips and Techniques
Of course, a retro hairstyle will not be possible if you don’t have the right products and preparation. A retro style requires quite a bit of product and faffing to stay the way you want them to. Here are some essentials you should always have.
Hair Conditioning Treatment
When creating a vintage look like old Hollywood curls, finger waves, and pin curls, a big part of it is having shiny and smooth hair. A hair conditioning treatment will help you achieve that lustrous shine that you are looking for.
Rat Tail Comb
Some fine tuning tools are definitely needed when it comes to achieving these vintage looks. A rat tail comb should always be in your arsenal whether it’s to create these vintage styles or ones with some slight modern updates. This is essential for teasing, parting, and sectioning.
Curlers or Hot Rollers
While there are definitely some modern tools that will help with the task, nothing beats the definition of some hot curlers. This will really give you those curls and waves that you need especially for old Hollywood glam or vintage curls.
A retro look will always require lots and lots of hairspray. It’s important that you get a firm hold hairspray in order to achieve most of these vintage looks. This will help you achieve those sculpted styles as well as keep them in place for a long time.
Hair is much easier to style with lots of texture. A sea salt spray or any texturizer will help the hairstyle hold and make the hair more malleable. This will also create volume.
Another absolute essential for a vintage hairstyle are hair pins. Look for pins that are small but strong and can be hidden throughout your hair. However, for a different look, you can also opt for pins that can be shown such as gold ones or ones with a pretty design.
Oldies But Goodies
Vintage hairstyles are a captivating glimpse of the past. Each look has its own history, culture, and background. It’s definitely a cool way to pay homage to bring back the vintage elements of these styles and have them as timeless classic looks that you can always go back to. As the wheel of trends continues to move forward and eventually cycle back onto itself, these looks will continue to transcend time, hair lengths, and eras.