In recent years, fashion and beauty have seen a resurgence of classic styles with a fresh, modern twist. This hasn’t been limited to clothes and accessories – even hairstyles from bygone eras have made their way back onto the fashion landscape. A touch of vintage flair can give any modern ensemble a unique and memorable edge.
But before we dive into the fabulous world of retro hairdos, let’s delve into some history that’s as fascinating as the hairstyles themselves!
The Timeless Elegance Of Wigs
One can’t start a discussion about retro hairstyles without acknowledging the immense influence of wigs. Wigs have been in use since ancient times, serving a multitude of purposes – from protecting the head against the harsh sun in ancient Egypt to being a symbol of status and wealth in the 17th-century French courts. It’s fascinating to note that the Egyptians, who invented wigs, used materials such as human hair, palm leaf fibers, and sheep’s wool.
Fast forward to today, and wigs are a powerful tool in hairstyling, enabling any look from any era at the drop of a hat. A modern twist? Opt for wigs made from ethically sourced hair or high-quality synthetic materials. They can be styled to emulate glamorous Hollywood waves from the 40s or the edgy pixie cuts of the 60s.
The Swinging Beehive
Synonymous with the 60s, the beehive was an iconic hairstyle that required backcombing hair to create a voluminous, ‘hive’ like shape.
Today, you can revive this classic style but with less rigidity and more of a loose, tousled effect. Try a semi-beehive, leaving the lower half of your hair down in beachy waves for a laid-back yet stylish look.
Victorious Victory Rolls
The Victory Roll, a popular style during the 1940s, was named to symbolize the “V” for victory in World War II. The look involves creating voluminous rolls of hair that sit high on the head. In the modern era, Victory Rolls can be teamed with long, loose waves or even a sleek ponytail. This style, while a throwback, exudes an air of sophistication and class.
Pinning Up With Pin Curls
Pin curls are a method of curling hair that was very popular in the 40s and 50s. This classic technique involved winding hair around the finger and then pinning it to the head to set. To give it a modern spin, try pin curls on short hair or along the edges of an updo. They offer a touch of vintage charm without overwhelming your look.
The Chic Chignon
The chignon has been a go-to style for elegance and sophistication since the Victorian era. While traditionally sleek and tight, today’s chignon has evolved. A messy, low chignon with a few tendrils escaping creates a romantically retro look with a contemporary casualness.
The Daring Ducktail
The ducktail, or the “D.A.” (for “duck’s arse”) as it was colloquially known, was a signature hairstyle of the rebellious youth in the 1950s. This style involves slicking the hair back towards the middle of the head, creating a look reminiscent of a duck’s rear end.
In the modern era, the ducktail has found its way back into the hairstyling scene as part of the “rockabilly” revival. To give it a contemporary twist, soften the style by avoiding excessive greasing and allow your hair’s natural texture to be part of the look. If you have curls or waves, let them play a role in the overall style. It’s a perfect example of a hairstyle that maintains its retro roots while embracing the personality and individuality that are the hallmarks of modern styling trends.
Retro hairstyles hold a sense of nostalgia that can be romantic, elegant, and outright glamorous. They tell stories from our past and represent periods of change and evolution in our society. But, just as society has modernized and evolved, so too can these hairstyles. By adding your own twist to these classics, you can create a look that represents the convergence of past and present – and that is truly timeless.
Fashion and beauty are cyclical, and everything that was once old becomes new again. The revival of retro hairstyles in the modern era is a testament to this, blending the charm and elegance of the past with the trends and techniques of today.