Whether you’re inspired by Boardwalk Empire’s forever beautiful cast of prohibitionist-era women, films like Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby or icons of vintage classics such as Dorothy Parker, Gilda Gray, or Clara Bow, one fact remains true: women wearing 1920s hairstyles were worthy of admiration.
Not just on a fashion and beauty level, but on political and social levels, too. The 1920s represented a surge in “girl power” — it’s when women gained the right to vote, weren’t afraid to cut their hair, play with makeup, or even (gasp!) drink and dance.
The most popular hairstyles in the 1920s include different versions of a bob, pin curls, and Hollywood waves. Today we pay homage to women of the 1920s.
Before your next hair appointment, check out these inspiring pictures of 1920s hairstyles.
#1: Gorgeous Flapper Hair
Go all out with an avant-garde platinum blonde pixie fit for that iconic missy girl attitude. That flapper style of hair makes a striking result. Women with a natural glam personality are sure to suit such a crop and waved hairstyle.
#2: Sleek Marcel Waves of the 1920’s Hair History
Try sleek marcel waves of the 1920’s hair history. To add volume, apply curls directly at your root and let set. When styling, gently set your curls on top by spritzing Vicious by R+Co.
#3: Fluffy Curly Hair for Women with Tight Curls
Fluffy curly hair is a perfect enhancement and low-maintenance style for women with tight curls. Using cream-based curl-defining products such as Aveda Be-Curly Curl Enhancer and a light volumizing mousse will keep your curls in place, decreasing frizz and adding shine.
#4: The 1920s Side-Parted Curled Bob
The 1920s side-parted curled bob is an easy yet iconic glamour look that is making a comeback. Style using finger waving and a 1” inch curling iron alternating curls and pinning your hair to set them. Finish with Glass Hair by L’ange shine serum.
#5: Afro Style on Natural Hair for African-American Ladies
Consider an afro style on natural hair for African-American ladies. Ask for a trained hairstylist that can assist with the proper cut and products to achieve such beautiful curls. To give your curls definition, try Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie to damp curls and air dry. For volume, gently pick your hair from the root and puff it up and out.
#6: Sophisticated Updo with Kiss Curls
Wear a sophisticated updo with kiss curls if you’re always battling baby hair. Baby hair has a different growth pattern compared to the rest of your hair. They can feel fluffy when wearing your hair up in a classy updo. So, try adding kiss curls or spit curls to sleek this hair down with a bit of gel and flattening them down into a “J” shape. This keeps fluffy hair at bay and works beautifully with sleek updos.
#7: Glam Pin Curls
I have a strong love for European old hairstyles. This curly style is a special and classic style. It has a spirit of romantic sensations and it fits with all generations (renewed and continuous style).
Not only can your facial features tell you a thing or two about yourself, but your elegant hairstyle can also reveal things about you. This look gives a sharp, bold, and fancy style, and at the same time, it gives softness. Waves can be changed based on your face and body shape.
#8: Gatsby Inspired ‘Do
This look is a Gatsby or 20s-inspired chignon. I love the softness of a brushed-out 20s pin curl or finger wave. The way the curl opens up your face at the eye, cheekbone, and jawline is so romantic!
For styling, use gel or a mousse on your wet hair and allow time for the curls to set. Do this after you use hot rollers or curling iron before you brush them out. Cool time is essential when you are using a hot tool. This look is perfect for a Gatsby party, but certain aspects of it could be used on a night out, too! I love incorporating modernized vintage looks into everyday style.
#9: Vintage Long Faux Bob
This look is a vintage faux lob (long bob). To create the look, which was the vision of a shorter style, I pinned up the underneath back section and styled the top sections of the hair into a 20s wave with a modern twist.
The prettiest thing about this style is how it gives an illusion that the hair is short, when in fact it’s pinned into this style. It means the client could have shorter hair for the night without having to say goodbye to her lengthy locks for good! Plus, the curls on the side of the face are absolutely eye-catching!
#10: Glamorous Hollywood Deep Wave
I would describe this formal look as a glamorous Hollywood deep wave or a vintage Great Gatsby hairstyle. If you are considering this style, my advice for achieving a deep wave like this is to take the foundation of styling hair from the past and add a modern twist. In the 20s to 40s, setting hair with pin curls and curlers/rollers on wet hair was the key to creating beautiful waves. Today, however, we can use the heat from our wands or curling irons on dry hair. I recommend using Kevin Murphy’s Anti.Gravity is a product to help this wavy hair last all evening.
#11: Modern 20s Look
This 20s-inspired look comes with a more modern, softer feel. A large, sharp wave flows down into a curl-covered Gibson roll at the back. True authentic styles from that period could be quite flat to the head, sometimes a little harsh, so making this hairstyle a bit fuller keeps it more up-to-date and flattering.
Roaring 20’s hairstyles like this one work perfectly on medium to thicker hair, as well as on finer hair, providing it’s longer than the shoulder blades. Remember, the more hair you have, the more volume and curls you get!
#12: Elegant 20s Updo
This look is simple and its elegance brings out the 20s inspiration. It’s perfect for all hair lengths. My favorite thing about this look is that it will last all night long. The hair is wound around the headband, allowing you the freedom to dance the night away.
#13: Trendy Platinum Textured Bob
I took a classic yet ageless bob and texturized it throughout. I topped it off by clipper cutting the bangs. A short bob can easily transition into another beautiful haircut and looks great at any age. Adding texture gives off more fun and versatile look. This boyish bob is best suited for women who don’t mind putting time into their hair and want to make a bold statement.
When considering going to a lighter blonde, ask yourself:
1. Do I have preexisting color?
2. How is the condition of my hair?
3. What am I willing to spend?
4. Am I willing to keep up with this color every six weeks?
When considering going short or having bangs, ask yourself:
1. Am I willing to lose length?
2. Am I willing to keep up with bang trims?
#14: Timeless Faux Bob
This roaring 20s-inspired faux bob style is timeless. This is sure to work best on ladies with a slick straight hair type. My advice to women considering this look is not to be afraid of bobby pins or hairspray! You couldn’t possibly have enough of either to keep the faux bob rolled up into place.
#15: Stunning Mid-Length Hollywood Glamour
This mid-length Hollywood glamour style is inspiring. When going to a special event, the hairstyle dominates the look. Curl your hair in horizontal sections and set the curls with pins. Let your curls cool for a solid 20 minutes, then brush your hair into the waves and pin them up. Finish off this curly hair with Balmain Strong Hold Hairspray.
#16: Dramatic Finger Wave
This roaring 20s-inspired finger wave is definitely more of a dramatic play off of a traditional finger wave. We decided to pin it up and create more of an upstyle with it. My favorite thing about this waved hair is the feminine quality it has overall. I especially love the waves framing the face.
This style is requested often, however, it’s not meant for everyone’s hair. Hair texture, length, and cut specifically go a long way in creating a design that will hold the best for each individual woman.
#17: Elegant & Luxury Bobbed Hair
When I think of this 20s hairstyle, I think of elegance and luxury. You can adjust the length of this bobbed hair, add more volume, or take away the victory rolls for a less dramatic look. It’s completely customizable.
It’s important to blow-dry your hair first to give it some volume and to smooth it out. It’s also vital to apply a hair product that will help mold your hair and give it durability. If your hair is too thin, use the Full Volume line from Living Proof.
#18: Glamorous Finger Waves On Short Hair
Finger waves are a glamorous and timeless sculpted look that works well with a slicked style. This is a gentle way to style a crop cut, requiring low heat and some patience for a dry finish.
I love the art that this Eton crop becomes as it dries, and appreciate the smooth shine that happens when both wet and dry Wet hair and a lightweight gel were used for the model in this cropped hairstyle. Utilize the fine-tooth side of a comb for best results.
#19: Soft Finger Wave Styles
Consider a soft yet structured finger wave style. Whenever I want to be able to comb through curls to manipulate them and keep them soft without losing their integrity, I use Kenra Thermal Styling Spray 19. To make sure the waves stay consistent and form together for the finished look, take small horizontal sections, spray Kenra Thermal Styling Spray from roots to ends on each section, comb through, wrap on the iron, and clip to cool. When you remove the clip, comb through again and reform with your fingers. It’s a tedious process, but the end result is worth it!
#20: Classic Retro Updo
A braided style is too common so here’s a classic retro updo with victory rolls to make it stand out a bit more. My favorite thing about this style would have to be the waves. I’ve always been a sucker for a vintage wave.
Long-haired ladies have no fear, this model had hair halfway down her back! Just roll up the underneath, pin it in place, and it becomes the perfect cushion to secure your waves!
#21. Finger Waves on Dry Hair
YouTube user MakeupWearables teaches another method for recreating those classic, 1920s finger waves. This one still requires some time and patience, but definitely not as much as the traditional finger wave method. Additionally, you’ll be left with soft and touchable hair instead of helmet head (a common side effect of 1920s glam). This method works best for medium to long hair.
#22: Gibson Girls Tuck Hairstyle
Who said messy is chaotic? This divine messy updo style is the 1920s long hair in a bun that brings easily out the lovely look you’re looking for! Amp up your hair 1920s style, and it’ll be ideal for weddings, romantic dates, or days when you simply wanna look extra.