Every decade has its own unique, definitive hairstyles. In the 1940s and 1950s, old Hollywood waves were the most en vogue hair look. In the 1960s, sleek and straight hair with swooped ends were the must-have look. In the 1970s, shaggy, messy locks became the hairstyle of the decade, and in the1980s bold, voluminous hair was the most ubiquitous, trendy hair look. If you’re looking to hop into a time machine and recreate these retro hairstyles, strap on your seatbelt because we’ve got you covered.

1940s and 50s: Old Hollywood Style Waves

Popularized by legendary actresses like Lana Turner, Jane Russell and Veronica Lake, Old Hollywood Waves laid the groundwork for many of today’s trendiest curly hair looks. The 1940s and 50s were the eras of soft glamorous bouncy hair.

Retro Hairstyles

What You’ll Need:

To recreate this look you’ll need, a teaser brush, hair spray, hair clips, a rat tail comb, bobby pins and a curling wand or iron. Our Signature Curler is the perfect curling wand for long-lasting bouncy curls.

How to Achieve This Look:

Start by spraying hair spray onto your teaser brush then backcombing your roots to add volume to your hair. Next, you want to create a strong side part using the rat tail comb from our Application Kit. Once you’ve parted your hair to the side, use the rat tail comb to section off your hair and clip away the two front sections of your hair using the clips from our Application Kit. 

Next, you want to apply a heat protectant serum or spray before applying heat. Thoroughly brush your hair to make sure the product is evenly distributed. Grab one-inch sections of your hair and start curling each section with the curling wand facing downwards. You want to be sure to curl each section in the same direction to achieve sleek old Hollywood waves.

Once you finish curling all the back pieces of your hair, you can unclip those two front pieces. You’ll want to clip away the back curls so they are out of the way and don’t get mixed up with your front curls. Using the rat tail comb, section off the bottom layer of the front section of your hair then clip up the top part of your hair. Apply heat protectant to the bottom layer, then comb through it once again so the product is permeating every inch of your hair.

Now you want to hold the curling wand horizontally and curl your hair underneath the wand, towards your face. Hold the wand for three to four seconds and make sure not to let the curl drop and hold it in your palm. Grab a bobby pin and pin your curls up into a loop. If you accidentally drop the section of your hair before pinning it up, simply roll the curls back up using your index and middle fingers on both hands then pinning it in place. Grab the next layer of your hair and repeat those steps throughout the remaining front sections by once again holding the wand horizontally, curling the hair towards you for three to four seconds then holding it up with a bobby pin. Now you will need to let the pinned curls cool down.

While you wait for them to cool down, apply a generous amount of hairspray to your back curls and gently brush them to slightly loosen them up. Next, you will remove the bobby pins from your front curls and use a soft brush to gently brush them towards your face. Our Loop Brush is the perfect tool to gently brush out your curls. Use your hands to fluff up your curls and get rid of any flyaways and then voilà, you’ve officially been transported back to the 1940s and 50s.

The 1960s: Retro Swooped Ends

Famously popularized by the likes of former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and actress and singer Nancy Sinatra, retro swooped ends were a look that dominated the 1960s. This look definitely works best for shorter hair types, but still looks beautiful if you have medium to longer hair.

Retro Hairstyles 

What You’ll Need:

To recreate this look you’ll need a heat protectant, round brush, blowdryer, straightener, hair clips and a 60s-inspired headband.

How to Achieve the Look:

First, apply a heat protectant to your hair when your hair is slightly damp. Next, you’ll want to brush through your hair using your round brush while blow drying your hair. Use the round brush to get that swooshed shape at the ends of your hair.  Once your hair is completely dry, apply a heat protectant once again to prep to use a straightener.

Retro Hairstyles

Next, clip away your hair into individual sections and straighten each strand and swoop your ends up once you reach the bottom of your hair. Once you’ve straightened your entire hair, you’ll want to pull your hair back so there is no parting and place your headband on top of your head to top off this 1960s look. Run the straightener over your ends one more time, holding it for two to three seconds at the tips to lock in those swooshed up ends. Now you can strap on your go-go boots and party like it’s 1960.

The 1970s: Shaggy Messy Laid Back Look

Shaggy messy hair was the name of the 1970s hair game. Actress Farah Fawcett was the blueprint for effortless bangs coupled with shaggy chic locks. This look is perfect for those looking for an understated yet eye-catching hair look.

Retro Hairstyles

What You’ll Need:

To recreate this look, you’ll need a rat tail comb, curtain bangs (you can purchase clip-in bangs if you don’t want to commit to a full-on haircut), dampening hairspray or water, a straightener, hair oil and a blowdryer.

How to Achieve This Look:

If you’re using clip-in bangs, you’ll want to part your hair right down the middle, then clip in your bangs. Next, you’ll want to dampen your bangs using a moisturizing hair spray or water. This will help them to have a robust fluffy shape. If you want to add a bit of extra shape, use your round brush to curl underneath your bangs while blow drying to lock in that shape.

Retro Hairstyles

Next, you’ll need to reapply your heat protectant before using the straightener. Now you just want to straighten your hair to smooth it out, using the rat tail comb as you straighten to get rid of any tangles. Next, you’re going to top off your hair with some Argan or coconut oil, which will get it to be super sleek. Finally, to add that extra dose of messiness, just run your fingers through your hair and give it a little shake and wiggle and you’re good to go.

The 1980s: Voluminous Curly Hair

If 1980’s hair had a motto it would be: “the bigger, the better.” From Whitney Houston to Dolly Parton to Madonna, the 1980s were definitely the time to experiment with volume.

Retro Hairstyles

What You’ll Need:

To recreate this look you’ll need a set of hair extensions, thickening hair spray, teaser brush, hair clips, a wide-toothed comb, blow dryer, curling wand or iron, paddle brush and finishing/setting hairspray.

How to Achieve This Look:

First, you’ll need to start with getting your hair nice and damp. You can either style it after a shower or use a spray bottle of water to dampen your hair. Next, apply a thickening spray all throughout your hair then start blow drying your hair aiming it at your roots. Next, you’ll need to tease your roots, using the same backcombing method used to create Hollywood Style Waves. Now you’ll comb through your hair using a wide-toothed comb to smooth it out. 

Next section off your hair and clip in your set of hair extensions. Once you’ve clipped in your hair extensions, you can start curling your hair in sections away from your face, holding the barrel facing downwards. Next, apply hairspray starting at the bottom of your hair and working your way up to the top so you don’t weigh your curls down. Lastly, brush out your curls using your Luxy Loop brush to seal in the volume.

For days when you want to change up your hair routine, travel back to the past and try out these retro hair looks.

Written by: Ashley Inkumsah

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Experimenting with vintage hairstyles is a great way to change up your look without altering your hair color or cutting your hair. Whether you’re looking for a hairstyle to complete a vintage costume, or you just want to try something a little different for your next event — we have you covered!

How to DIY Our Favorite Vintage Hairstyles

Pin Curls

Vintage blonde retro 1950 pin curls revisiting retro hairstyles viviscal hair blog

Pin curls are the quintessential classic pin-up hairstyle. This ’50s hairstyling technique is a great way to add long-lasting curls to any hair type – even pin-straight hair! And since there’s absolutely no heat involved, pin curls won’t damage your hair.

  1. This type of vintage hairstyle works best with clean hair, so start by washing hair with Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo and Conditioner. Towel dry hair. Comb a pea-size amount of Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir through hair.
  2. Using a rat tail comb, separate a 1-square-inch section of hair. Make a loop around your finger with the ends of the hair. Then roll the hair towards your scalp, being extra careful to keep the ends tucked into the curl.
  3. Use two bobby pins to pin the curl at the scalp in an “X” shape. Repeat with the rest of your hair.
  4. Let the curls sit for several hours until hair is completely dry, or wrap your hair in a headscarf and sleep in the pins overnight.
  5. When your hair is dry, take out all of the pins and brush through hair using a boar-bristle brush. Use your fingers to help shape the curls into the shape of your choice.
  6. After the curls are brushed out, spritz with hairspray.

French Girl Half Updo

brunette black hair retro 1960 hairstyle French half updo revisiting retro hairstyles viviscal hair blog

This ’60s hairstyle is inspired by those worn by actresses in French films. We love this retro hairstyle because it looks just as cute in 2018 as it did in in the ’60s!

This hairstyle works best the day after you wash your hair, so that the hair has a little extra texture. If you’re starting with clean hair, spritz your roots with dry shampoo to add extra grip.

  1. Start by teasing the crown section of your hair. Then use a brush to smooth the top layer of the teased section.
  2. Pull the top section of your hair into a half ponytail and secure with a hair tie.
  3. To finish the look, pull out some face-framing pieces then use hairspray for hold.

Pairing this retro hairstyle with winged cateye eyeliner is totally optional, but definitely recommended!

Old Hollywood Waves

Hollywood waves curly long hair old revisiting retro hairstyles viviscal hair blog

This ’40s and ’50s hairstyle features glamorous, sweeping waves that are perfect for formal events and date nights.

  1. Start by combing Viviscal Densifying Elixir through damp hair for extra shine, body and light hold.
  2. Blow dry hair in sections, pointing the hair dryer nozzle down towards your ends to minimize frizz.
  3. Once hair is dry, create a deep side part with a rat tail comb.
  4. Using a curling iron, curl hair in 1-inch sections towards the face. Try to keep the sections consistent sizes for the best results. As you release each curl from the curling iron, catch it in your hand and pin it to your head. Allow the pinned section to cool in the curl shape before releasing to ensure longer-lasting curls.
  5. After hair is cool, remove the hair pins and brush through the curls using a boar bristle brush. The curls will merge together, forming that gorgeous wave pattern. Use a small amount of Viviscal Elixir to smooth any frizz. Then finish with hairspray.

Heat-Free Tip: If you don’t want to use heat on your hair, you can also achieve this look by using pin curls. Just make the pin curls larger than usual for softer waves, and pin all the curls going in the same direction.

Victory Rolls

vintage retro 1940 victory rolls hair costume revisiting retro hairstyles viviscal hair blog

This ’40s hairstyle is another classic pin-up hairstyle. To style at home, follow the directions above for creating Old Hollywood Waves. Then follow these steps…

  1. Use a rat tail comb to create a triangular section of hair from the top of your ear up to your part.
  2. Use a teasing comb to tease the back of the section. Then set it with hairspray.
  3. Smooth the top layer with a brush, then create a large curl (just like a pin curl).
  4. Use pins that match your hair color to hold the curl in place.
  5. Repeat on the other side. Finish the look with hairspray and you’re finished!

Whichever vintage hairstyle you choose, healthy, shiny hair makes every hairstyle look better. That’s why we recommend taking Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements twice a day to promote strong, healthy hair.*

Have you ever tried a vintage hairstyle? Let us know in the comments!

Existing hair growth

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