1950s hairstyles were influenced by the glamour of Hollywood.

The 1950s saw a great deal of technological innovation.  After the strict war-time years, people in the 1950s were ready to spend money and enjoy the good life.  This was reflected in fashion and style, as people started to experiment more and the concept of glamour evolved.   1950s hairstyles were no exception as stylists created new looks to suit their wealthy customers and looked to Europe for inspiration.

Influential stylists from Europe included Alexandre of Paris, Raymond Bessone and Sydney Guilaroff, both of England.  These men brought popular French hairstyles to Hollywood, where they in turn influenced popular American culture and teenagers.  Fashion and music also influenced 1950s hairstyles, as evidenced by the comb-back look of greaser culture and the pompadour worn by Elvis and James Dean.

There were a number of popular hairstyles for women in the 1950s, including the heavily teased and sprayed bouffant, the short pixie cut such as the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1954 movie Sabrina, and the short, curly poodle cut worn by Lucille Ball, and the layered artichoke cut that was created specifically for Brigitte Bardot by French stylist Jacques Dessange.  The classic bob haircut was popular as well and movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor wore short cuts with lots of curls and volume.  High ponytails, often worn with scarves tied around them, were very popular with teenage girls.  Pin curls and short bangs were also popular.  The development of styling products also had an impact on 1950s hairstyles.  Hair sprays, gels, hair-oil and hair-cream were used by men and women to achieve the desired looks of the time.