Given our cultural obsession with vintage clothing, it’s safe to say we often see the styles and trends of the past through rose-colored glasses. It’s easy to think the beauty trends of yesteryear are far more glamorous than the styles popular now.
While we’d like to believe we’re just as glamorous as our vintage muses, the women of the 1930s absolutely take the cake. From a simple twisted updo to an elegant waved bob, we’ve rounded up six 1930s hairstyles that look just as fabulous now as they did nearly a century ago.
Retro Wave Bob
When we think about hair trends of the 1930s, this retro bob is the first style that comes to mind. It’s stood the test of time to become a red carpet staple.
Begin at the back of your head, working with 2-inch sections of clean, dry hair. Spray each one with heat protectant before wrapping around a curling iron.
After releasing the curl from the iron, roll the curl towards your scalp and pin it in place. Continue curling and pinning 2-inch sections of your hair until you’ve completed your entire head. Allow your curls to cool completely before removing the pins, then gently brush through your curls until your waves form a uniform pattern. Set your look with a medium hold hair spray.
Brushed Out Waves
Everyone knows short hair was the trend in the 1930s, but there were a few ladies who refused to chop off their precious locks. Instead, they laid the foundation for the beach waves we’ve come to know and love. These ladies brushed out their sculpted curls for a more subtle (but equally glamorous) look.
Follow our retro wave tutorial above, stopping just before the hair spray step. Once you’ve curled your hair, brush out your curls until they look like barely there waves. Finish your look with a spritz of shine spray.
Slicked Down Pixie with Sculpted Baby Hair
This sleek look turns your short pixie into an masterpiece while making sure your face is the center of attention.
For this look, dampen your dry hair using a spray bottle. Work a medium hold styling gel through your damp strands and give yourself a deep part on the left or right side of your head. Slick down the hair on the top of your head with a brush or rat tail comb. Once your hair is lying completely flat, use the rat tail comb to sculpt your baby hair into several little swirls along your hairline. Once your hair is completely dry, the look is set.
Side Swept Twist
This simple but elegant style was a favorite of curly girls back in the 1930s. For this look, all you need is a bedazzled hair pin. Part your hair on the left or side side of your head, then twist the smaller section towards your ear. Once the twist reaches your ear, secure it with the hair pin. Finish your look with a spritz of shine spray.
If your hair isn’t naturally curly, you can still pull off this style. Before twisting and pinning the side up, curl your hair with a curling iron. Begin at the back of your head, clamping 2-inch sections of hair around a curling iron until just heated through. Continue curling until you’ve completed your entire head, then style away.
Deep Side Part With Sculpted Waves
This classic look was a favorite of movie sirens in the 1930s—and with good reason. It oozes sex appeal.
To begin, give yourself a deep part on either side of your head. Starting with either side of your part, spray a 2-inch section of hair with heat protectant before clamping your flat iron onto the base of it. Flip the flat iron down to create a C-shaped wave going towards your head and hold it for 15 seconds. Then, move your flat iron down the section of hair, flip the flat iron up to create a reverse C-shape, and hold. Continue twisting the flat iron up and down until you reach the bottom of the section.
Once you’ve completed an entire side, gently comb out your curls and use jumbo hair clips to pin your hair into an S-wave. Repeat the steps on the opposite side of your part. To set your look, spray your waves with a firm hold hairspray. Allow the hairspray to dry before removing the clips.
Pinned Curl Updo With Flower Accent
Pin curls (so named because you set your curls with bobby pins before letting them loose) are all the rage now, but back in the 1930s they didn’t bother releasing their curls before hitting the town. By adding a flower accent to their hair, they took their style from undone to fabulously put-together.
Begin at the back of your head, working with 2-inch sections of clean, dry hair. Spray each one with heat protectant before wrapping around a curling iron. After releasing the curl from the iron, roll the curl towards your scalp and pin it in place. Place the pin inside of your curl, ensuring it is not visible.
Continue curling and pinning 2-inch sections of your hair until you’ve completed your entire head, then release two curls near the front of your head and swoop them across your forehead. For a final touch, pin a flower in your hair just above either ear.