The Most Famous Hairstyles of the 1950s 15 of the 1950's Most Iconic Hairstyles by Miriam Lacey 29/3/11 33 Reactions 60 Shares Print 16 40 4 0 0 The 1950s were an enormously influential decade for American style. Post-WWII, the US was rebuilding its economy and moving (haltingly and often painfully) towards social change. The dynamism and simultaneous retreat to more conservative times are both apparent in the era's styles, which veer wildly from rockabilly hair to pixie cuts and primly waved bobs. It was a time of great change and style to match, so check out some of the decade's most prominent highlights. Source: Getty / AFP Start Lucille Ball What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Lucy popularized the poodle cut, which gave women with curly hair a style advantage, and her strawberry blond style is still instantly recognizable. Source: Getty 1 / 15 Rita Moreno What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 After her iconic turn as Anita in West Side Story, Rita spent a decade turning down roles that tried to pigeonhole her as a sexy spitfire. Her hairstyle for the film, though, still signals bombshell appeal. Source: Getty 2 / 15 James Dean What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 We all have James Dean to thank for pompadours. The tragically hip young actor made greased-up, slightly messy hair sexy for men and created a bad boy archetype that's lasted long after his untimely death. Source: Getty 3 / 15 Bettie Page What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Thick, short Bettie Page bangs with long, straight black hair are still a staple style for women, especially those with a love of vintage looks. Source: Getty 4 / 15 Grace Kelly What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Grace's dramatic side part and long bob have been copied over and over again by generations of women, and her cool blond shade is as coveted today as it was 50 years ago. Source: Getty 6 / 15 Audrey Hepburn What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Like Audrey Tautou after her, Audrey Hepburn's baby bangs and gamine hair started a huge trend. When we think of pixie cuts, we still think of Audrey. Source: Getty 6 / 15 Elizabeth Taylor What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Unlike the Audrey Hepburn pixie, Elizabeth Taylor's short style was all about volume. When she stormed onto the screen as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, her character's modernity was conveyed as much by her hair as by her lines. Source: Getty 7 / 15 Connie Francis What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Connie Francis was one of the biggest voices of the 1950s, recording hits like "Where the Boys Are" and "Who's Sorry Now?". Her impressive bouffant hair was similarly influential, creating a craze for the style among teen girls. Source: Getty 8 / 15 Dorothy Dandridge What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Dorothy Dandridge's soft ringlets provided a prim alternative to big hair like Connie Francis and Elizabeth Taylor's. Source: Getty 9 / 15 Sophia Loren What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 In the late 1950s, gorgeous Italian import Sophia Loren arrived on American shores with a dramatic European bouffant. Women in the United States would soon adopt the look. Source: Getty 11 / 15 Billie Holiday What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 The ponytail was one of the biggest style innovations of the 1950s, but bobby soxers weren't the only ones wearing the style. It also became popular with more mature women, worn in sophisticated pulled-back styles like the one Billie is shown in here. Source: Getty 11 / 15 Nancy Kwan What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 At the very end of the decade, rising star Nancy Kwan showed off long, straight, center-parted hair that foreshadowed the looks of the 1960s. Source: Getty 12 / 15 Eartha Kitt What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Eartha Kitt hit it big in 1953 with her song "Santa Baby." She also showed off one of the era's most fashionable hairstyles: short, voluminous waves created with a hot comb and rollers. Source: Getty 13 / 15 Marilyn Monroe What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 It's Marilyn; what else is there to say? Source: Getty 14 / 15 Bill Haley and Elvis Presley What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 Two of the decade's biggest hairstyles standing right next to one another. On the left, Bill Haley of Haley and the Comets with his signature curl. On the right, a hot young Elvis Presley with his now-iconic disheveled raven forelock. Source: Getty 15 / 15 16 40 4 0 0 Back to Homepage Read More James Dean1950sEartha KittBettie PageElvis PresleyElizabeth TaylorCelebrity HairMarilyn MonroeHairCelebrity Beauty Getty Stars Flock to SXSW For All the Interactive Excitement 31 minutes ago This Award Season, All the Ladies Loved Leto 12 hours ago Jake Gyllenhaal Heads to the Ring For a New Role 15 hours ago Christian Bale's Wife Sibi Blazic Is Pregnant With Their Second Child! 1 day ago The Clavicut — the Best Celebrity Midlength Hairstyles 1 day ago It's Always Better When Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong'o Are Together 1 day ago What’s Your Reaction? 0 0 0 0 0 0 0Reactions castinghub 19 weeks Great slideshow, love the looks littlemunchkin 2 years Love this. I love James Dean and Audrey Hepburn. And Eartha Kitt is so stunning. Rigor Mortis 2 years As usual, I'm loving the diversity and uncommon picks for this slideshow. Thumbs up!