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From Teddy Boy pompadours to the classic side parting, we look at six iconic haircuts of the 50s…
The 1950s were a time of change: it saw the emergence of rock and roll, jazz, as well as the burgeoning medium of tele-business. Morals were loosening and the greyness of the war years were fading slowly but surely into memory. That sweep change in society fed through to the fashions of the time. Two men’s haircuts ruled the 50s: the side-sweep parting that had been popular throughout the war, worn by the old guard and traditionalists and the style du jour for the young: the pompadour, the haircut that spoke of a new dangerous and frivolous modernity. But it wasn’t merely just those two styles that topped the heads of men across the world, there was a whole world between. We’ve rounded up the 6 most iconic men’s hairstyles of the decade – and show you how to achieve them at home.
HOW TO STYLE A THE POMPADOUR – JAMES DEAN IN REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE
To get the trademark pompadour, you need longer hair. Your first step is to blow dry your hair straight. Then use a thumbnail-sized amount of and warm it in your hands, then spread it evenly throughout your hair. Using your fine-toothed comb, smooth back the sides of your hair for that slick look, and then comb up the rest.
HOW TO STYLE A QUIFF with short back and side – MONTGOMERY CLIFT IN FROM HERE TO ETERNITY
To get this iconic look, first wash and towel-dry your hair using for some extra volume. Then, use the using to give it lift at the front. Spray it after combing on dry hair at 20cm from hair. You can wear this style either side-parted or combed back off your head. No matter what – this timeless cut has attitude as well as grace.
HOW TO STYLE A TEDDY BOY STYLE POMPADOUR – SAMMY DAVIS JUNIOR
This style is a riff on the Teddy Boy style pompadour – and what a riff. But how can you achieve this at home? First step: wash your hair then work a thumbnail-sized amount of into wet or dry hair. Be careful here as too much product can result in overly-greasy hair. Part your hair using a fine-tooth comb at the side and, using the comb and fingers work the hair across the side. Finally, brush the sides straight back to keep the look polished.
HOW TO STYLE A SCULPTED AFRO – MILES DAVIS
During the 1950s Miles Davis’s career found its legs. The early 50s had been difficult for Davis, struggling through addictions and failures. But it was through the late fifties that he started to use the wah-wah mute for his trumpet which would go on to become his signature style. He wore his hair short, but with a slight wave to it. At times it looked like he was letting his afro poke through the pomade or gel used to slick it down.
But how would you recreate this at home? First of all, you want to dampen your hair and wick off some of the excess water with a towel. Next, use some of the and spread it evenly throughout your hair and allow it to dry.
HOW TO STYLE A ROCKABILLY
This look best suits men with very thick, very curly hair so that it can be grown longer but still appear short. He tended to wear his hair in a side part that he then also flipped back to give it some extra lift. The only way to get this look at home is if you’re blessed with thick, curly hair. If you are, wet your hair then style it into a parting, combing back the sides towards the back of the head and finish it off with the for this.
HOW TO STYLE THE TRADITIONAL – ARTHUR MILLER
This look is tightly styled with a comb to the side with a wet look gel and very easy to do at home. Add the before hair is dry, smooth through and hey presto.