The 1920s ushered in the flapper aesthetic, encouraging women to chop off their long locks in favor of short hairstyles that highlighted their facial features. Today, these vintage hairstyles are over a century old, but they look just as good—if not better—now than they did 100 years ago. Whether you’re looking to switch up your signature look or need a stunning updo for a night out, one of these retro looks could be just what you need. Here, we’ve curated a list of 25 1920s hairstyles that we’re sure you’ll be obsessed with.
The 25 Best 1920s Hairstyles
When you think of 1920s hairstyles, finger waves are likely the first thing to come to mind. Finger waves are a hairstyle that involves using a product with a firm hold, a fine-tooth comb, and your fingers to mold your hair into sea-like waves. This iconic style has become a staple hairstyle for anyone with short hair. The key to lasting finger waves is a strong-hold hair gel like Matrix Controller Gel, which will help hold your style in place without any stiffness or crunch.
Finger Wave Chignon
If you love the look of finger waves but your hair is too long for the classic pixie look, consider this finger wave chignon. Gathering the length of your hair at the nape of your neck is an easy and stylish way to keep your hair tucked away and gives your finger waves the shine they deserve.
Short hair was all the rage in the 1920s, and a sculpted hairline is one of the best ways to make your short hair stand out. Mizani’s Edge Controlling Taming Gel will help mold and shape your edges into an artful masterpiece that stays put all day.
While the Gilded Age ended in the 1910s, the extravagant wealth of the previous decade greatly influenced fashion and beauty in the 1920s. Women of means adorned their updos with sparkling jewels and glittering gold for a look that shines on any red carpet—in 2024 or 1924.
Slicked Back Low Ponytail
Many 1920s hairstyles were short and sleek, but that doesn’t mean everyone raced to sheer off their locks. People with long hair could still embrace the sleek trend with styles like slicked-back low ponytails. We love how you can dress this hairstyle up for special occasions with accessories or pair it with a casual outfit.
Give your super short curls some much-needed definition with Mizani's Styling Foam Wrap. The formula offers a lightweight, never-crunchy hold so you can slay your cropped ‘do.
Soft waves are as popular now as they were in 1920. You can achieve this style in many ways, but we're partial to overnight heatless curls. Go to sleep and wake up with great hair? Yes, please. There are so many ways to achieve heatless curls, and the technique that's right for you will depend on your hair type, texture, and the tools you have on hand. Head over to our complete guide on heatless curls to find the perfect method for your mane.
Braids are a tried-and-true hairstyle that has made its mark every decade. Braided updos, in particular, were a staple for Black women in the 1920s. This crown braid is equal parts regal and simple, making it suitable for any occasion. Be sure to prep your hair with a moisturizing hair styler like Mizani’s True Textures Curl Defining Pudding.
If you love the look of short hair but aren’t ready to part with your locks just yet, this faux pin-curl bob is calling your name. First, prime your hair with a heat protectant like Kérastase Genesis Defense Thermique Heat Protecting Spray. Starting at the back of your head, wrap small sections of hair around a 1-inch curling iron. Once a curl has formed, use a styling clip to secure the coil to your head—the result is a pin curl. Once you’ve curled your entire head, allow your hair to cool completely before removing the pins. This helps to give your curls staying power.
Gently rake your fingers through your hair before parting it down the middle to the crown of your head. Then, sculpt a soft swoop on either side of the part. Secure the S-shaped swoops on either side with several pins. Then, pin the rest of your curls to the back of your head to finish your updo. Set your look in place with a firm-hold hair spray like Pureology Style + Protect Lock It Down Hairspray.
Sculpted updos were a way to embrace the art-forward hairstyles that were popular in the 1920s without sacrificing length. Set your sculpted updo with a high-hold hairspray like Redken’s Control Hairspray.
Platinum hair may feel modern, but it was hot back then, too. It paired perfectly with a classic 1920s bob, so it’s only fitting! If you try this throwback look, keep your platinum hair looking healthy and bright with the Kérastase Blonde Absolu range, which is formulated with hyaluronic acid and edelweiss flower to nourish the hair fiber and neutralize brassiness.
Wet Look Pixie
A wet look is a classic style that has stood the test of time, and when you have really short hair, it takes literal minutes to pull off. After washing your hair, leave your strands slightly damp and rake a quarter-sized dollop of gel through your mane. The key to this look is to saturate your hair with gel so your mane gives off a wet appearance even when it dries.
Bangs seem to follow us through every decade, and the 1920s were no different. Blunt bangs perfectly complement a chin-length bob for an on-trend style in both the 1920s and 2020s.
A wraparound headband is one of the easiest ways to channel your inner flapper. Whether you tease your strands for a voluminous style or opt for a sleek look, a strategically placed headband will complete your ‘do.
Flappers were the ultimate trendsetters, and the blunt bob haircut has been on-trend ever since. While the day-to-day styling may be low maintenance, be sure to head back to the salon for a trim every 8-12 weeks to keep your blunt bob looking sharp.
Sleek bobs were very popular in the ‘20s, but a chin-length bob looks equally stunning on curly hair. Use a styling mousse like L’Oréal Professionnel Curl Expression 10-In-1 Cream In Mousse to give your curls a defined look without weighing them down.
Angled layers can elevate the classic 1920s bob hairstyle. To recreate this striking look, have your stylist snip your strands shorter in the front while maintaining a longer length in the back.
Pixie haircuts are not known for movement and volume, but this ‘do is all body! Use a pomade like Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Ishi Sculpt Hair Paste to give your hair a touchable texture that lasts all day.
Braids and updos go together like Instagram and filters—flawless. Perfectly sculpted baby hair sets this braided updo apart from the rest. Use an edge brush and Mizani’s Edge Control Taming Gel to swoop and style your edges for an artistic finishing touch.
Super short haircuts are one of the best ways to show off your enviable curly texture. The finger comb technique helps to make curls pop, giving them definition that will last all night long.
Blunt Bob Mullet
If you’re looking for a modern take on a classic style, this fusion of a quintessential 1920s style and an iconic 1980s look fits the bill. This striking haircut pairs blunt baby bangs with face-framing layers while the remaining hair is long and luscious. The key to nailing this geometric style is a seriously talented stylist, so bring this photo to the salon as inspiration.
Bowl Cut Bob
This isn’t your average middle school haircut: A blunt bowl cut is a dramatic ‘do that’s a great conversation starter for those ready to turn some heads.
The best 1920s hairstyles were the ones that were also functional. This slicked-back pixie was a go-to for keeping your hair out of your face as you got down on the dance floor.
Slicked-Back Sculpted Updo
Opulent parties defined the 1920s, and this updo is the perfect style for your next Black Tie event. This slicked-back sculpted style is the intersection of the wet look, finger waves, and a chignon—effortless, timeless, and chic.
Black women began experimenting with relaxing their textured hair in the 1920s, after relaxer was invented in the previous decade. When the natural hair movement exploded in 2010, relaxers got a bad reputation for damaging hair beyond repair. However, it’s totally possible to have healthy, relaxed hair—the key is to make an appointment at a salon with a trusted hair care professional who can help maintain the integrity of your strands.
Header image credit: @iamkendraalia
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