The decade of the 1950s was full of life and went through a number of things in terms of fashion, economics, politics, culture, and everything else. Hairstyles in this period played a huge role in the individualistic self-expression of men. It was an integral part of the whole 1950s enigmatic experience.
The 1950s was the golden age of capitalism that uplifted the lives of people who had American Dreams. The shroud politics of that time had a massive impact on the culture and fashion among other things. The end of the Second World War just before that decade taught people to live their lives to the fullest and enjoy everything.
Men’s hairstyles in the 1950s had a little bit of everything. They had charm and usefulness, and they came all in one package. Although the styles were influenced by a number of things, each style had a story behind its origin, and we are out to explore these stories in this article.
In total, we will show you 35 variations of the 1950s Hairstyles for Men here. Out of the 35 styles, 28 styles are classics straight from the 50s, and the other 7 styles are modern variations of those 50s Men’s Hairstyles.
Table of Contents
- 35 Charming Variations of 1950s Hairstyles for Men
- Messy Swept
- Slicked Part
- Brushed Back
- Lenaud’s Full & Medium
- Retro Short Quiff
- Textured Sweep
- Simple Breaker
- Full Side-Swept
- Elvis Lob
- Super Mess
- 50s Buzz
- Slicked-Back Curls
- Short Pompadour
- Messy & Curly
- Scruffy Round
- Delon Pixie with Fringes
- 50s Curled Top
- Side-Part for Receding Hairline
- Marginal Waves
- Short Elephant’s Trunk
- Brushed Updo
- Retro Flop
- Messy Waves
- Side-Swept with Wavy Front
- Long & Classic
- Medium Perms
- Bowie Middle Part
- Huge Pompadour
- Sharp Pompadour
- Teddy Quiff
- Greaser Pompadour
- Classic Side-Part
- Brushed Part
- The Flat Top
- Final Words
50s Men’s Hairstyles: Why Are They Still Popular?
The 1950s Hairstyles for Men are popular for various reasons. While the prevailing belief is that it is all down to the nostalgic factor, we strongly disagree with this statement. There are more to the 50s Men’s Hairstyles than simply nostalgia, and we have identified five such factors that always keep these styles popular.
The 1950s Hairstyles for Men usually involve short hair. They are far easier to maintain and do not need much attention.
Many of the 50s hairstyles are straightforward classics because of their attractive features.
The hairstyles are strongly connected to the pop culture of the 1950s.
Subcultures that were built around Rock and Roll in the 50s still have their appeal today.
Classics always make comebacks every few years. Since the 1950s styles are classics, they always stay trendy.
35 Charming Variations of 1950s Hairstyles for Men
The list of 1950s Hairstyles for Men is quite long. However, there are some features and qualities that make specific styles stand taller than others. For this section of the article, we picked 35 of those variations from the 1950s Hairstyles for Men to discuss with you.
We will dive deep into these styles and also include a brief discussion on the origins of these styles where necessary.
Messy hairdos were so popular in the 1950s. Especially, messy short hair produced some of the most stunning looks back then. This Messy Swept style is a great example of that trend.
Hair all over the head was grown to medium length for this look. The sides were swept toward the back, and the top hair also had a sweep that went usually from right to left. Since there was only naturally grown hair used for this style, it was low maintenance which also led to becoming extremely popular.
The 1950s were about trying out everything you like. Apart from messy looks being highly admired, neat and tidy haircuts also got huge popularity for various reasons. It was mostly down to the Hollywood actors who rocked simple and clean styles in different movies.
This Slicked Part look is a direct result of such popularity. A clean Side Part defined the area for the style. Then the hair was swept in a specific direction to produce the final look. Typically, the right-sided parting style was well-liked during the 50s.
This Brushed Back look gives you another neat and clean style to get inspired by. It was a massive style due to Jerry Lewis who was arguably the greatest American pianist to ever live. He brushed back his slightly wavy hair to the back, and for its smooth appearance, many people started wearing this style.
The hair length was medium long to create the most seamless-looking backbrushed view for this style. However, the strands needed good maintenance to retain their shiny look.
Lenaud’s Full & Medium
The French maestro Jean-Pierre Leaud’s voluminous hair in a medium length was so iconic that it had gotten into the shortlist of the most amazing 1950s hairstyles. The semi-wavy hair created a face-framing appearance for him.
Leaud’s hair had a fluffy bearing. And when he brushed it in a light sweep, it looked wonderful because of its natural characteristics. It was an era-defining style that lived on for decades afterward.
Retro Short Quiff
Quiffs were also in demand during the 1950s. Specifically, the quiffs with short hair had an amazing look that got many men in that period hooked to the awesomeness of this style. Many movie stars wore this style both on and off the screen which helped grow its popularity even further.
The sides were kept shorter than the top hair for this style. And then, the top was given the Short Quiff view with some comb-over actions. This style emerged as a wonderful option for men who had square or diamond-shaped faces.
Textured hair always gives the extra boost you are looking for in order to take your style a level higher. The case was similar in the 1950s. For instance, take a look at this Textured Sweep style. Here, the textured hair created an amazing look even with a simple sweep.
This style also did not need anything special to look wholesome. Only proper everyday care for the hair was necessary to develop these clean textures. And then, a casual side-swept gave it the ultimate look.
The 1950s directory of hairstyles will be totally incomplete without the definitive Breaker look. This style is primarily a variation of the traditional Pompadour. Here, the medium-long hair had a wavy appearance, and it was given a Pompadour look while also maintaining the waves.
The Simple Breaker had its popularity intact for close to two decades. It began in the 40s but reached its peak in the 1950s before getting modified into some other styles in the mid-1960s. This style lived a colorful life, that’s for sure!
Side-Swept styles never stopped being awesome. They are also all-time classics in terms of traditional hairstyles. Centuries after centuries, Side-Swept retained its attractive properties. In the 50s, it saw a sudden rise in its popularity which made it an integral part of the 50s experience.
In this specific Full Side-Swept style here, you are witnessing pure artistry. The hair was usually kept a bit longer than two inches for this look. The sides went through some trimming down, and the top hair was swept from left to right to complete the process.
The Rock n’ Roll King Elvis Presley was mostly famous for his iconic Elvis Pompadours. However, he wore other styles as well which were also as much era-defining. This Long Bob style of Elvis is a great example of such an instance.
It was one of the rare times when Elvis Presley decided to grow out his hair. As a result, his semi-layered Lob style got immense popularity, and later on, it became a legendary Lob style for any individual of that period.
Out of all the haircuts in the 50s for men, about half of them were introduced by the legendary actor James Dean. That’s what history tells us. He loved wearing different styles all the time. This Super Mess look is a result of his love for simple hairstyles.
It was an effortless look and Mr. Dean wore it in the mid-50s period. Although he did it specifically for a movie, he kept wearing the Super Mess because it looked so amazing while needing almost no extra attention for the hair.
The 1950s Buzz Haircuts were different from what it is now. The focus is mostly on turning the buzz into a really short hairstyle these days where the sides are usually faded. However, back in the 50s, the approach was different. Yes, short hair was still involved, but at least half an inch of hair was kept all over the head.
The legendary George Reeves was the driving force behind making the Buzz widespread in the 50s. He even appeared with this style in his Superman TV series. For this reason, people got to know about this 50s Buzz look more, and everybody wanted to look like the mightiest of superheroes without any second thought.
The Slicked-Back Curly look of the 1950s surfaced at the hands of iconic Tony Curtis. He had attractive curly hair on his head which was stealing the hearts of many already at that time. He took things up a notch and got a slicked-back appearance with his curls.
The fuller look Curtis got from his curly hair only made the Slick-Back style even more enticing. The effect of this hairdo was realized by many of his fans, and they also got to wear the style. As a result, it became one of the noticeable 1950s hairstyles for men.
Pompadours were having a great time in the 1950s. A lot of celebrities wore Pompadours during this period. The list includes Elvis Presley who had an individualized Pompadour style. However, the legendary dancer and actor Gene Kelly had his own interpretation of the Pompadour, and it got famous for many reasons.
Gene’s Pomp was a simpler and shorter variation of the traditional Pompadours. The sides were kept shorter for this style, and the hair on top produced a neat-looking short pompadour. This style was so great that even THE “James Bond” Sir Sean Connery also started wearing this style in the late 50s.
Messy & Curly
Messy & Curly was a wonderful style in the 50s for men. It was an extremely low-maintenance style that produced one of the best spontaneous looks during that period.
The style is exactly what the name suggests. The curly hair was given the freedom to flow as it pleases which then created the final messy appearance for this style.
Natural hairstyles were much appreciated in the 1950s. This is why the recurrence of relaxed and easy hairstyles for 50s men is very much noticeable. This Scruffy Round is a great example of those natural styles.
Once again, as it was with most natural haircuts during those days, the hair length was the same all over the head. Then the hair was given a sharp textured look through the use of hands only. Since there was no need for any kind of tools, no maintenance cost was involved either for this style.
Delon Pixie with Fringes
Alain Delon was a French actor, and he was a proponent of familiarizing men with a Pixie style. It used to be a feminine style, but Delon adapted it by giving it a masculine look. The style is still popular these days among a certain group of admirers.
Delon added some sharp and long fringes at the front to make the Pixie a really attractive option for men in the 50s. But this style reached its peak in the early 60s, and it is still worn by men even today.
50s Curled Top
Elvis Presley’s Curled Top was no less famous than his iconic Pompadours. He wore an inward curly style for his top hair. It was repurposed from the Duck Tail haircut of the 1950s. Instead of the look happening at the back as it was in the Duck Tail, the curls occupied the top hair.
Presley still retained his Pompadour appearance with this 50s Curled Top style. It was a breath of fresh air to many individuals who were looking for a modified version of the Pompadour. Presley did not disappoint with his delivery!
Side-Part for Receding Hairline
The voice artist of Vincent Van Ghoul from Scooby-Doo! was Vincent Price, and the character was inspired by him. He had the same appearance in real life as Van Ghoul which included wearing a Side-Part style for his Receding Hairline.
Mr. Price positioned his Side-Part along the receding hairline and created a tremendous style. It worked as a guide for a number of men in the 50s who then began to wear this Van Ghoul look.
When Jean-Pierre Leaud was younger, his hairstyle had some waves that were mostly seen on the lower part of his medium hair. It produced a slightly square-shaped frame that almost contained his face.
Leaud also rocked a side-part look for this Marginal Waves style. The part was on the right which was his favorite position for it.
Short Elephant’s Trunk
The Rock and Roll genius Bill Haley from the band Bill Haley & His Comets wore his version of the 50s Elephant’s Trunk haircut with his curly magnificence. His hair was naturally wavy which contributed to him looking more seamless with this specific style.
Since Haley wore a short version of Elephant’s Trunk, he only used the front hair to produce the Trunk. It almost created a circular shape that resembled the curled-up trunk of an Elephant accurately.
The Brushed Updo from the 1950s is yet another James Dean show for the 50s Men’s Hairstyles enthusiasts. The Hollywood virtuoso knew how to style his hair according to the occasion. He wore this Brushed Updo in different ceremonies, especially when he got older.
Dean maintained his consistent love for short hairstyles in this variation as well. He brushed the sides down which worked as a nice contrast to the upward brush strokes for his top hair.
The Flop Haircut from the 50s was simply eye candy for a long period of time. It originated in Elvis Presley’s Pompadour style that later on emerged as a mixture of a standard Pomp and an Elephant’s Trunk style.
This Retro Flop look got positive receptions from men of all ages. The added charm to the style by Elvis himself gave it an excellent boost.
During the 50s, the Messy Waves style was well-liked specifically in England. The “Othello” Laurence Olivier was behind the success of this super-easy hairstyle.
Sir Laurence looked great in this hairdo because of his naturally wavy hair. But to follow him, a good number of men got their hair wavy for this style.
Side-Swept with Wavy Front
Robert F. Kennedy was a towering figure in American politics. But he was also famous in the 1950s for his refined display of personal fashion. One of the most important elements of it was his hairstyle which was a simple Side-Swept style with a Wavy Front.
RFK had thick hair, and it helped him wear this style without any extra effort. The principle for his style was straightforward. He brushed all his hair at first, and then for the front, he brushed the hair outward as the finishing touch.
Long & Classic
This style got its inspiration from the extravagant Mop-Head haircut of the 50s. The Long & Classic here is an extended version of that style. While the top of the head would have the Mop-looking hairdo, it got longer downward until it reached the shoulder.
The 1950s Hairstyles for Men did not have too many long haircuts available. However, this Long & Classic alone lived on to be a big part of the 50s experience.
Curly and wavy hair were absolute favorites of men besides Pompadours in the 1950s. There were many customized variations of these styles during that time. These Medium Perms were a simple result of such occurrences.
Perming the hair got normalized in the early 40s. Since many celebrities had naturally curly hair, a lot of people with straight hair started to utilize the perming facilities in the early 50s. As one of the examples, we are showing you this Medium Perm. It received much love back in the day.
Bowie Middle Part
David Bowie was a fashion icon during his time. He revived a number of 50s hairstyles all by himself. He added some touches of his own to every style he wore. This Bowie Middle Part is a suitable example of it.
Bowie took the classic middle-part style from the 1950s and gave it a wavy appearance. As a result, a Bowie Middle Part emerged. But since this style was originally from the 50s, it is still considered a hairdo from that time but with the Bowie customization.
The American R&B legend Esquerita showed how to wear a Pompadour properly. He had a supermassive Pomp on his head that went along with his mountainous personality.
The style looked great with Esquerita’s rectangular-shaped face. Considering everything, his Huge Pompadour can easily be taken as the mascot of 1950s Hairstyles for Men.
Now we will show you seven modern-day variations of 1950s Hairstyles for Men. They originated from the 50s but now have some recent elements added to it. Let’s see how they fare against the 50s original styles.
The Slicked-Up style is a loose modification of classic Pompadours. The hair on the sides is brushed downward, and the top hair gets all the attention through its noticeable presence.
It is more of Elvis Presley’s reverse Flop style than anything else. The front hair simply goes upward and creates a spiky appearance.
The sharp Pompadour could be a modern variation of the 50s Pompadour, but it captures most of the original style through its outstanding look. The main attraction of this style is the textured hair on top of the head.
The front hair breaks the Pomp formation by letting some strands flow freely. It is the most noticeable modern aspect of this Sharp Pompadour style.
“Teddy Boys” was a British subculture based in London from the 1950s. They were mostly interested in Rock and Roll and wore styles that reflected their commitment to this revolution.
Teds liked displaying their affection through hairdos that looked similar to a Quiff. It was known as the “Teddy Quiff”, and it made a comeback recently in a much more subtle version. Instead of sharp curves, the quiff is now blended to one of the sides. The picture here shows a great example of the current Teddy Quiff version.
The Greaser subculture from the 1950s was responsible for producing some of the best era-defining hairstyles. The followers of the Greasers used petroleum jelly for their hair to give it a shiny feel. It also helped them with arranging the hair in the way they wanted it to.
The Greaser approach made a return lately and it resurfaced with a customized Pompadour style. As you can see in the picture here, the front hair flows outward to break the Pomp. As a result, a modern variation of the Pomp has arrived.
Side-Part styles were integral to the 1950s Hairstyles for Men at that time. However, the use of hair with similar length was noticeable for this style.
The modern variation chooses to go a different way. It tapers or fades the sides and gives the Side-Part a more chiseled look.
The Brushed Part look was mostly famous in the 1950s among those who had short hair. But in the modern variation, things have changed. The style now works with medium hair too as the updated look.
All the hair is brushed properly in a slightly messy way. The side part is created through the direction of the brushing of the side hair and the top hair. It is a really easy style to create that has its soul trapped in the 1950s.
The Flat Top
In the 50s, the Flat Top styles were specifically for the higher officials of the Marine Corps. With time, it got adapted in recent times as a style for everybody.
The original Flat Top had a look similar to the Buzz Fade. In the modern variation, the sides are kept short without fading them. Despite the modifications, it still comes with the rough and tough appearance of the original style.
The 1950s is another name for classics. It triggers so much nostalgia because the 50s era went through extreme romanticization for multiple reasons. Pop culture too influenced the style of people during this period. As a result, hairstyles from that period are more than just hairstyles. They encompass historical elements in them.
We discussed both the classic and modern variations of the 1950s hairstyles in today’s article. Among the 35 styles we have discussed here, 28 styles are directly from the 1950s, and we talked about them thoroughly to give you an idea of where they come from. Then we showed you 7 modern-day variations that you should not miss.
We hope the 1950s Hairstyles for Men journey was as nostalgic for you as it had been for us. Feel free to share your opinion with us in the comment section below.