30 Iconic Retro and Vintage Hairstyles

Prev1 of 30Next

There have always been icons of style whose signature images are presently considered timeless: Marilyn Monroe, Veronica Lake, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and many others. Today their hairstyles are copied with slight modern updates for the biggest events. Vintage hairdos are paired with the most elegant evening gowns and expressive make ups to come up with the classiest and most feminine looks. Since fashion is cyclic, everything comes around. So why not to look into the past for inspiration? They say everything the best in this world was invented long ago. Well, anyway, past can always give us some brilliant concepts to work on.

Vintage or Retro?

There’s a constant confusion with these 2 concepts. At the same time, some people don’t understand at all why to wear outdated styles when fashion constantly supplies us with bright fresh ideas. Actually, today’s fashion is actively using trends of the past decades, therefore, vintage elements frequently appear on the runways of fashion shows in Paris, London, New York and Milan. And the most interesting thing is that these elements, borrowed from the past, are experiencing their hour of triumph once again, becoming hot tendencies of the present day.

So, what’s the difference between vintage and retro? All the antique and outdated items and styles are considered retro, while vintage is associated with the outstanding trends of the past years which are becoming popular again. Pompadour hairstyle, for instance, introduced into fashion in the 18th century by Madame de Pompadour, was very popular again in the 40’s and late 50s of the previous century. Modern Pompadour is sported by Rihanna, Jenny McCarthy, Pink, Kathleen Robertson, Scarlett Johansson, Kim Kardashian and many other celebs.

Vintage Hairstyles Screaming with Chic

Here are 30 fantastic vintage updos and downdos you can adopt as a hairstyle idea for your wedding, theme party or any other major event.

#1: Multiple Blonde Buns

Go blonde and have some fun with big, chunky buns placed all over. Roll hair into a side bundle in the front for vintage bangs, or dress up your vintage updo with bandanas or scarves for a day out. This style might take a few practice tries – especially if your hair is exceptionally long and thick.

#2: Curly and Romantic

Long, lovely curls are always in style. To get a throw back look, part hair with a sweep, securing a half with bobby pins. Dark or light, spiraled or rolled, curly hair is very lovely for any occasion and truly never goes out of style.

#3: Shoulder Length Retro

This 1940s inspired look is made beautiful thanks to the solid dark colored hair combined with bright red lipstick. True to the era, vintage hairdos were often paired with dark makeup and fair skin.

#4: Curly Girl

Get some Marilyn curls by coloring your locks a platinum blonde and sweeping hair to the side. Sleep in pin curls or cut hair to an angle and use traditional rollers to get this classic look. Vintage hairstyles get their inspiration from different places, but Marilyn’s hair is truly the epitome of yesterday’s glam.

#5: Pin Curled Beauty

Vintage hairstyles would never be very accurate without the addition of pin curls. This style is much easier than it looks, and it can be beautifully accented with a flower or a fancy clip.

#6: Soft Updo with a Floral Hair Piece

Want something that looks as good from the back as it does from the front? This pretty updo is just the thing. It tucks the hair away from the face around the perimeter, offering you a nice height above the forehead, a pretty back view and a neat look even if you opt for a messy finish. The floral clip adds a beautiful whimsical touch.

#7: Beehive with a Hairband

Vintage hairstyles are usually all about volume or sleekness, clips or headbands. Her look takes inspiration from the 60s, but it has a modern vibe because of the relaxed feel, the contrast of sleek and messy pieces, and those loose strands escaping the updo.

#8: Pink Curly Updo with Leaf Headband

The muted purple pink dye job may not be a classic retro look, but it sure does suit this curly updo. The way her locks have been pinned loosely is reminiscent of 1920’s flapper hairstyles. The pretty silver band contributes to the feel.

#9: Straight Vintage Locks with a Bow

You don’t need to get into complicated updos to achieve a proper throwback finish. Experiment with wearing your hair down. Add some old school feel by teasing your crown and securing a cute scarf tied in a bow around your head. And don’t forget your red lipstick.

#10: Low Blonde Bun with Jeweled Pins

Out of all the gorgeous vintage hair styles out there, many of us have soft spots in our hearts for 20s hairstyles. Her locks demonstrate why. The sleek finish of the golden pieces twisted and braided into a low bun is irresistible! The jeweled clips are a delicate compliment to the updo and some added bling.

#11: Retro Wave Updo with Pearl Hairclip

Just stop for a moment and admire that graceful wave. There is a softness about it, yet there is also a very accurate shape. The key to recreating the look is choosing a hairspray that provides enough hold, but doesn’t make the hair look stiff.

#12: Pin Curl Updo

There are countless ways to rock curls. If yours have a tendency to drop when you wear your hair down, experiment with an updo where you pin your curls, shaping pretty waves and lovely rosettes. Vintage pin curls are very in, especially for weddings and special events.

#13: Medium Copper Curls with an Orchid

If you’re drawing inspiration from 50s hairstyles, make sure you play around with accessories. This jumbo orchid sets off the gorgeous copper locks miraculously. Not to mention it works beautifully with the girl’s complexion, eye color, make up, and blouse!

#14: Defined Throwback Waves

This is a single dynamic wave that holds your hairdo together. The majority of modern hairstyles are shattered, so, this is something fresh though old actually. Use a strong-hold hairspray to ensure your style will last.

#15: Pink Beehive Updo with a Band

A beehive is a throwback style that still remains popular. It is easy to do if you know how to backcomb and pin, and it’s also a blank canvas for hair accessories. If you have funky colored locks, like these bubble gum pink curls, try using an equally eye-catching headband. Her baby blue band pops against her pastel mane.

#16: Brunette Retro Curly Bob

Vintage haircuts are usually short and blunt or with minimal layering. However, a modern medium or even long cut can also be styled into a classy vintage short ‘do like this bob for curly hair. It’s actually curled this way, so you can try it even if your hair is not naturally curly.

#17: Vintage Pinup Hairstyle with Bandana

How you style your bangs can make all of the difference. When in doubt, try a Victory roll. It is a hairstyle that you can never go wrong with when you want a vintage finish. She has complimented hers with loose waves that curl on the ends and a black bow.

#18: Enlarged Chignon with a Swirl

Check out the size of that chignon. It’s wonderfully full. A great idea of a sleek formal updo for long thick hair or extensions. Those little extra details like the swirl at the base of the chignon and the pinned side bangs bring individuality to the classic updo.

#19: Long Defined Side-Parted Curls

Some might think of vintage hairdos as hairstyles for cropped locks only, but there are many 50s hairstyles for long hair. This wavy ‘do is proof of that. The deep side part and defined waves evoke a glamorous nostalgic mood.

#20: Black Retro Curls in a Loose Updo

There is a lovely color subtlety about this ‘do. It gently melts from back to brown and blue. The way the different sections have been pinned enhances the effect. If you want something between a glamorous updo and downdo with a retro feel, it’s the best choice, indeed!

#21: Victory Roll Updo with Jeweled Clip

Whether you have long bangs or long layers, take large sections from the front of your head and twist them into symmetrical victory rolls. Balance out the back by pinning your hair up into a horizontal chignon. Select a sparkly clip for an eye-catching accent.

#22: Vintage Tight Curls Updo

Fans of 50s hairstyles will not be able to resist this ‘do. It has put a unique spin on retro bangs thanks to the face-framing pin curls going down the side of the head into a low side bun.

#23: Retro Half Updo with Victory Rolls

A half up hairstyle can be half vintage, half modern, half fancy and half simple, like this one. Three victory rolls instead of one or two is a cute idea, as well as accentuating them with color and styling at an angle. We love!

#24: Bright Red Curls and Floral Clip

There are so many stunning elements here that it is hard to pick a favorite. The hot pink hair color is fabulous, and so is the peach flower placed just above the ear. Then you have the rolled bangs and the fluffy curls – sweet and fancy!

#25: Pink to Purple Ombre with Retro Curls

If you have a modern ombre hair color, you can add in retro elements to get a contemporary vintage hairstyle and not just a copy of a retro look. Her 40s updo with vintage bangs recall decades passed. The mix of pink and purple results in the right blend to bring old and new together.

#26: Natural Curls

Retro hairstyles are always popular for both theme parties and every day wear. If you have medium hair, try some shapely curls that can be achieved with a simple round of hot rollers.

#27: Sweet and Colorful

Combine retro hair with a pop of color. In this case, yellow was added to the bottoms of the hair – a spray-in hair color is perfect for a temporary style like this. You can, of course, have your hair dyed in an ombre style or all over in a bright color for a totally beautiful look you’ll love.

#28: Bright Shades

Pair a throw back hairstyle with a modern color like a bright burgundy or marsala. You can achieve this with henna, a permanent box dye or a professional salon visit. If you like to wear your hair with bangs, other retro style possibilities will open up.

#29: Feathered and Fabulous

Pin hair under into a faux bob to pull off this look that is finished off with a vintage feather headband. This style will, of course, also work for short hair and will take a lot less effort. You can make your own vintage hair bands if you look for how-to tutorials on the Internet, and sometimes you can even purchase them at thrift stores or costume shops.

#30: Formal Vintage

Brides of yesteryear often adorned their hairstyles with diamond hairpieces and slicked curls back. Such styles are set with pomade for smooth, buttery texture.

Vintage hairstyles are recognizable from the curve of the curl, polished finishes, intricate twists and soft fluent lines. I’m sure you’ll love rocking one of these once in a while, and I bet you’ll remember that special feel, associated with vintage, you are going to experience.

Prev1 of 30Next