No doubt, the 1950s were a style-defining decade, a turning point when the majority of timeless styles were born or popularized. Rebellious and oddly conservative, 1950s hairstyles for men are accessible to all.
Hairstyles in the 50s were mostly inspired by the transformative period in American pop culture – the times of leather jackets, rock-n-roll, Golden Age of Television, and the growing popularity of jazz. The most famous influencers of 1950s men’s hairstyles are Elvis Presley, James Dean, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando.
However, greasers and crazy rockabilly styles are not only men's hairstyles that the 1950s have to offer. Another category of hairstyles for men from the 50s is polished classy styles: clean-cut, slick back, Ivy League style, and a combover.
So, if you’re looking for a retro hairstyle from the 50s and want to have it done according to today’s trends, check this guide with all sorts of popular men’s hairstyles, inspired by the previous century fashion.
Best 1950s Men’s Hair
How did men wear their hair in the 50s?
From slicked-back hairstyles to booggie and ducktail hair, in this collection, you’ll find a lot of today’s takes on 1950s men’s hairstyles as well as authentic images of men’s retro hairstyles.
All of these are meant to give you inspiration and brand new ideas on how to wear 1950s men’s hair and look great in today’s times.
Wavy Vintage Hairstyle Mens
To make unruly waves keep that volume and shape in a 1950 hairdo, you’ll need a stronghold pomade. A longer, textured pompadour like this one should be fixed with a tested hair product that will never let you down. Add a perfect base layer with Grooming Tonic To add extra lift and texture, you can use a grooming tonic.
Classic Mens Hairstyles 1950s
All classic 1950s men’s hairstyles are smooth, slick, and shiny. Either it’s a Muppet Mash like this, an executive contour, a pompadour, a college contour, or a Hollywood slick back – all of them can be adjusted to today’s style. Remember to avoid extreme skin fade.
Flop 1950s Hairstyles for Long Hair
Trends come and go but true style is ageless. Men in the 50s used to wear Flop style, modern men enjoy the evolved and adjusted version – the quiffs. For a greasier biker-just-in-from-the-highway style, consider using the REUZEL Blue pomade, or even a hair gel if you’re not planning on building volume.
Low Maintenance Retro Haircuts
What was the most popular hairstyle in the 1950s? Just like in any era, low maintenance, versatile, and easy to get haircut. All you need is to keep the hair on top a bit longer than on the sides and slightly sweep it back with a hand adding a small amount of pomade.
A 1950's man had no other choice but to wear their Ivy League hair neatly groomed and shiny. The styling products were only oil-based, so a butch wax was guaranteed in any case before the first Dippity Do gel appeared. Today, with an enormous range of water-based styling products available, we can take 1950s hairstyles up to a completely new level.
50s Men’s Hairstyles for Short Hair
Here is some hair inspiration by Marlon Brando in the 1950s mood for short hair. This is a style popular both for business meetings and for a casual get-together.
Classic Ducktail (aka Duck’s Ass) Haircut
This little da haircut will be the porkchop of the day! Such 1950s hairstyles for men can be rather a challenge to style, so make sure that your barber is skillful enough to make this amazing shape and texture.
This is a bold version of a ducktail cut mixed with Mohawk style. The sides are buzzed almost to the skin – that gives this dramatic contrast to the cut. This 1950s hairstyle requires daily styling, so think it over twice before getting a Duck’s Ass Mohawk like this one.
Elvis Presley + Messy Quiff
Elvis Presley and a messy quiff are almost the synonyms. That iconic image has become timeless, and you can easily adapt this style to your face shape and today’s mood. Just spread some pomade between the palms and apply it on the crown, disconnecting it in any direction you like.
College Contour Haircut
The executive contour is a type of 1950s hairstyles for men that is tapered down to mid-length of the sides and back. It’s also known as a famous side part, a business cut, or a combover. If talking about the crown, with executive contour, you can wear it loose or comb it to one side and sleek the look.
Pompadour Fifties Male Hairstyles
Pompadour is one of those styles that every boy dreams of, which will never be called an old fashioned men’s haircut. Among numerous variations of the pompadour, the 1950s pomp features long taper fade or scissors cut on the sides.
Black 1950s Men’s Hairstyles for Curly Hair
Black male 1950s hairstyles are not very diverse and offer only modest and classic options. For example, an Afro Widow’s Peak variation. The main point here is to keep the balance all over the mane.
Hollywood Flat Top
Hollywood flat top – perfectly high and smooth. In modern days’ interpretation, the so-called balboa haircut looks even more impressive. Thick hair is perfect for this hairstyle, while men with fine hair should opt for a texturizing spray or a dry shampoo to reach that height and shape.
Textured Quiff + Cowlick + Beard
Textured upswept quiff, a good old cowlick, a beard, and a soft touch of modern-day’s hair trends at the neck make another cool way to give those 1950s hairstyles for men another life.
Crew Cut 50s Hairstyles for Short Hair
Clean cut on the sides and a slick back – they make a classic win-win hair solution for any occasion.
These three pictures show only a tiny part of all possible greasers variations. Jellyrolls, ducktails, and flat top boogies – all of them require quite a lot of oil-based styling products to shape the required style and get that wet greasy finish.
Classics never die. And the side part is for sure one of those 1950s hairstyles for men that have survived the test of time. It still is one of the most popular haircuts, which at least partially present in most of today’s styles.
Side-Swept 1950s Mens Hairstyles
A typical side-swept style for men from the 50s requires two things: a comb and a stronghold hair product. When you have both, you can experiment with the direction where you sweep the hair, or just follow the traditional side-swept pattern.
Easy to cut, easy to style, easy to maintain, easy to match with an outfit. What else do men dream about?
Your granddad likely was a badass in the 50s and wore such undercut pompadour to a sock hop. Now, it’s your time to rock with a shiny pomp. Passing on to the next generation has never been easier.
Sleek Hollywood Hairstyle
Keep the old school spirit alive with one of the oldest hairstyles around, the Slick Back. Since it’s simple and classic and styled, this Muppet Mash will never go out of style.
Frank Sinatra + Short Sides + Textured Top
Short sides and a textured top can look different. Try to copy Frank Sinatra’s famous look and adjust it in line with your style.
James Dean + Quiff
Another iconic 1950s hairdo for men was popularized by James Dean. Feel free to add any fresh accents and catchy details to bring it to the modern-day’s fashion background.
Messy 1950s Mens Hairstyles
Messy hairstyle is always a good idea, especially for men with natural hair. Is it a bad hair day or a disconnected hairstyle? Nobody’s gonna find it out:)
Widow’s Peak in 1950s Men’s Hairstyles
Widow’s peak hairstyle can be sexy, even if you follow the 1950s mens hairstyles tradition. For naturally thick hair, a choppy, on-trend, medium-length style like this really rocks. It's all about those layers and extra texture on top. So, keep the sides tight and neat, and the crown long enough to be able to mess around with the styling and build some volume in the front.
Pure Rockabilly 1950s Men’s Hairstyles
Pure Rockabilly 1950s men’s hairstyles aren't very common and this is their beauty. You might even not think they’re possible to do with your hair. Huge shapes, big height, perfectly swept back and sides… If you’re into hair experiments, ask your barber for a clipper over comb back and sides, scissors over comb to soften the texture, and point cut the top. To style these amazing 1950s hairstyles for men, use a sea salt spray in wet hair, hair powder at the root for added volume, and finish with clay for definition.
Hard Part 1950s Mens Hair
The hard part sometimes occurs in the 1950s styles making them more edgy and distinctive. Today, the hard part has become much more popular, so don’t neglect it.
Fashion is cyclical. Wanna shine bright? Look for inspiration among the previous century’s trends, adjust them, and give them another life. The 1950s hairstyles for men are iconic – save some pics from this gallery to make your next haircut unique and authentic.