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How to achieve an iconic 1950s haircut

The 1950s men’s haircuts that David Beckham’s hairstyles have been inspired by

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August 2019

By Robert Young


The 1950s were a time of change, a decade of particular transformation in Western pop culture. It saw the emergence of rock and roll, the rise in popularity of jazz music and the burgeoning medium of tele-business during the so-called Golden Age of Television and the silver screen, showing the first vestiges of the power of celebrity culture as musicians and movie stars proved most influential on men’s grooming looks. 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. Nowadays, 1950s men’s hairstyles are becoming more and more popular with new-gen adopters choosing classics with a modern interpretation with riffs on the classic smooth, slicked-back style.

Perfect for experimentation, we’ve rounded up 4 of the most iconic men’s hairstyles of the decade – and show you how to achieve them at home.

The Pompadour

To get the trademark pompadour, you need some length and it works best on lads with hair that isn’t particularly curly or frizzy. First, start with wet or damp hair, use a thumbnail-sized amount of Smooth Back Shaping Pomade and warm it in your hands, then spread it evenly throughout your hair. Then, start blow-drying your hair straight, using your comb to pull the hair up and back off your face for the volume around the face. Using your fine-toothed comb, smooth back the sides of your hair for that slick look, and then comb up the rest.

The Quiff with short back and side

Perhaps the most famous “short, back and sides” in history, this haircut would be just at home in London’s Hackney today as 1950s New York. To get this iconic look, first wash and towel-dry your hair using Going Big Thickening Daily Shampoo for some extra volume. Then, use a small five-pence-sized amount of Change It Up Texturising Clay to give it lift at the front. Warm the clay in between your fingers then apply it with the tips. 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.

Teddy Boy Style Pompadour

Smooth, sophisticated, and stylish this is a look that is easy enough to achieve at home. First step: wash your hair then work a thumbnail-sized amount of Smooth Back Shaping Pomade 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.

The Rockabilly

This hairstyle works best for men with very thick, very curly hair. Make sure you have a cut that is above your ears and off your shoulders. Start with wet or damp hair, creating a side parting and comb the strands over to the other side, flipping it towards the back to gain some height. Then, comb the sides towards the back of the head to take advantage of your the hair’s natural waves as the hair flows back. Use the Tight Grip Fixing Spray to keep it all in place.


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