Retro Pompadour Gone Modern: 3 Ways to Get The Look

Inspired by the teddy girls and greasers of the 1950s — think handsome Johnny Depp in Crybaby or crooner Elvis Presley — the pompadour is an irrefutable classic. The only thing is that this look is typically worn by a man. But like pants suits and cowboy boots, the voluminous pomp can be manipulated and made appropriate for those with two X chromosomes as well.

While it takes a certain kind of woman (one with an indestructible set of ovaries, for starters) to wear this ferocious hairstyle out the door, I promise you this: you will stand out in a crowd if you wear this ‘do. In a good way. I suggest wearing this hairstyle with a classic pencil skirt, flirty blouse, winged eyeliner and the reddest lipstick in your makeup bag.

We’ll start with the basics. Hannah at Rookie Magazine shows how to create the standard femme pompadour with medium to long hair. This one is more reminiscent of the male pompadour since it tucks all your hair on top of your head, but if you have ultra soft and feminine features like Hannah, it ends up looking quite girly. All you need are some hair pins, a curling iron and hairspray to get the look, which can be done in under 10 minutes.

pompadour hairstyle

How to Do a Pompadour from Rookie on Vimeo.

Looking for something not quite so severe? Then soften your pompadour with a French braid, a la Abby at TwistMePretty. To get extra height, she recommends teasing hair where the French braid goes and to keep hair loose instead of tight as you braid from front to back. Instead of braiding all the way down to the nape, which can take the look too far into momville, she gathers hair into a messy bun.

braided pompadour braided pompadour hairstyle

Lastly, this pompadour tutorial by YouTube user Oakoscar100 (Liv Tyler lookalike, anyone?) teaches you how to create a pompadour pony in under four minutes. Because she creates a high volume ponytail and really poofs up the pomp, this look has more of a pinup-meets-rockabilly vibe to it. You can also keep the rest of your hair down instead of gathering it into a pony. Wear this style with a polka dotted frock, retro pumps and your favorite clutch and you’ll be quite the vision.

Celebs who’ve dared to wear the pomp include Miley Cyrus (who needs heels when your hair adds that much height?), Alicia Keys and platinum-headed Pink, who’s been rocking the look for years now.

Miley Cyrus pompadour hairstyle alicia keys pompadour Pink pompadour hair

Feeling retro hair inspired yet? If so, then you’ll love this retro bouffant hair tutorial, too!