HomeLifeIconic hairstyles from the 1940s, '50s and '60s

Iconic hairstyles from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s

Head down memory lane to see the iconic hairstyles that people loved in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.


The Omelette Fold

In 1940, the omelette fold hairstyle rose to prominence when golden girl Gene Tierney rocked it in one of the year’s biggest movies, The Return of Frank James.

This style can be done with any length or type of hair, but it is often seen with long, straight hair. To create the omelette fold, start by folding your hair in half so that the ends meet in the middle. Then, take the top half of your hair and twist it around the bottom half. Once you have twisted it all the way around, tuck the ends into the centre of the twist and secure it with a hair tie.


Peakaboo bangs

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Femme fatale Veronica Lake is remembered for her glamorous hairstyle just as much as for her acting. Stars such as her introduced sexy hairstyles that hid one eye for an air of mystery.

Read: Six hairstyle mistakes that age you


The headscarf

Head scarves were another practical style worn by the working women of the 1940s as a way to keep their hair off of their faces. And following the fame of the Rosie the Riveter movie in 1944, the look really took off.


Victory rolls

After the war, many women signalled their celebratory feelings with a voluminous style dubbed victory curls. This style was one of the era’s most famous. Victory rolls were achieved by curling the hair away from the face and then pinning it in place.


Loose curls

A softer curled style stayed popular throughout the era, with stars such as Rita Hayworth maintaining a deep side part and full waves.



Thick, polished chignons accessorised with clips or pins became very popular in the late 1940s. Actresses such as Joan Fontaine and Lana Turner were fans of these stylish hairdos.


Brushed out waves

Linda Darnell and other famous starlets popularised soft waves without any harsh edges or heavy products.


Elegant updos

The ever-stylish Grace Kelly donned elegant hairdos that influenced many women in the early ’50s.



With her sex appeal, outrageous personality, and iconic style Bettie Page and her famous bangs influenced many women.


Short crop

Making the short cut more accessible to the masses was Audrey Hepburn, aka America’s eternal sweetheart. After chopping her hair in 1953’s Roman Holiday, women fell in love with the modern, easy-going style.

Read: Fascinating new exhibition tells the untold stories behind hair


Blonder than blonde

The age of the blonde bombshell was ushered in by no other than Marilyn Monroe, the most famous of them all.



The super functional hairstyle was popularised by French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot. When she made her US film debut in 1956 in Helen of Troy, she managed to make this mundane style stand out.


French Pleat

A chic vertical roll of hair that keeps your locks out of your face, the French pleat was a perfect style for a busy day.


Flipped out

Bringing a totally new silhouette to the era’s style, stars such as Sophia Loren popped a cute curl right at the end of the hair.


Messy updo

Unlike the neat, polished up-dos of years prior, women opted for messier, imperfect styles to achieve a sexy look.


The beehive

The 1960s saw the likes of the Ronettes and Brigitte Bardot piling hair atop their heads to reach as much height as possible.


The bob

Ah, the bob. After initially popping up in the ’20s, Vidal Sassoon reinvented it during the mid-’60s and made it chic again.

Read: Keep grey hair looking healthy


Long and straight

As hippies influenced mainstream style, women flocked to copy the ever-trendsetting Cher by wearing their hair long, straight, and silky.


Mop top

Stars such as Julie Driscoll rocked this interesting style.

Did you wear your hair in any of these styles? Would you still wear any today? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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