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Retro Glamour Waves Are Back

Retro Hairstyles
Julianne Hough’s large retro style waves are the essence of glamour
© Getty Images

In the 1940s and 1950s, Veronica Lake, Marlene Dietrich and Grace Kelly made large, well-defined curls and a deep-set side parting the style of a generation. Now this Hollywood glamour style is back again! Stars and models once again wear the giant curls. Find out below how you too can create the style

  • You probably know the style from old Hollywood movies with female stars wearing large glamour curls. Have a closer look! You may fall in love with the graceful feminine look. Actresses like Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake with their glamorous hairstyles were the style icons of their time and their style still inspires women worldwide. Today’s stars like Julianne Hough, Dita Von Teese and others walk in their footsteps but put a new very feminine face on the old Hollywood glamour style. The TV series 'Mad Men' also played a big role in reviving the giant waves. The series is set in the New York of the 1950s and 1960s and the very attractive actresses in the series have done their part in drawing attention to the elegant feminine hairstyles of this period. Especially the blonde January Jones alias Betty Draper gave the style a big boost.

  • Retro Hairstyles
    This model looks young and casual with her retro waves, the slide holding her hair swept to one side, and rosé make-up

    Retro Hairstyles: Styling Tips

    The hair colour should look uniform for retro styles with large curls. There are no streaks in retro style hairdos. Hair should be at least shoulder-length for this style. You can select between various styles once you have created the giant glamour waves:

    Slightly undone glamour waves give the look a modern touch. Simply use your fingers to tousle the perfect curls a little. Carefully brushing the glamour curls has the same effect. As a result, the hair looks less stiff and has more volume.

  • If your hair is long enough sweep it to the side and over one shoulder. This looks particularly glamorous.

    The best make-up to complement the retro hairstyles involves bright red lipstick and black eyelashes, which are also borrowed from the Hollywood playbook of the Golden Era. Dependent on your style, you may like to use dark smokey eye liner or rosé eye shadow.

  • How to Create Retro Hairstyles

    1. Work a tennis ball sized dollop of styling mousse through your towel-dry hair.

    2. Use a thin comb to create a low exacting side parting.

    3. Wrap large strands of hair on medium-sized rollers or on a curling iron. Alternatively, you may form the waves with your fingers and secure them with clips and hairspray.

    4. Then blow-dry your hair before you carefully remove the curlers. Of course, blow-drying is not necessary when you use heated curlers.

    5. Now shape the curls using your fingers.

    6. You may like to use some gel for a smoother look or to tame fly-away hair.

    7. Extra-gloss hairspray is the perfect finish for this style.

    Enjoy our gallery below. We show you retro hairstyles in the style of Hollywood’s glory days.

  • Gallery: Stars and Models Wearing Retro Hairstyles


    The Retro Hairstyles of Elizabeth Banks and Jenny McCarthy

    If your hair is long enough you may like to sweep the long ends of it over one shoulder like Elizabeth Banks and Jenny McCarthy. Create large waves starting at chin level and pull the hair over one shoulder. Tease your hair near the roots if you prefer Jenny’s style (see the image on the right)

    The Retro Hairstyle of Dita Von Teese

    © Getty Images  

    Retro Hairstyle: Dita Von Teese

    The retro waves are part of Dita Von Teese’s image. No other hairstyle could suit the American burlesque dancer quite as well. The retro hairstyle enhances her charismatic appearance

    The Retro Hairstyle of Ashley Greene

    © Getty Images  

    Retro Hairstyle: Ashley Greene

    Ashley Greene demonstrates the retro look with smaller waves and muted lipstick colour. This version of glamour waves appears young and sexy

    The Retro Hairstyle of Selena Gomez

    © Getty Images  

    Retro Hairstyle: Selena Gomez

    Selena Gomez looks very young and very glamorous. For her big appearance on the red carpet Selena Gomez created large waves in the ends of her hair. The front part of her hair is swept slightly forward and to the side giving her retro hairstyle a modern touch

    The Retro Hairstyle of Lena Hoschek Fashion Show

    © Getty Images  

    Retro Hairstyle: Lena Hoschek Fashion Show

    This style is sassy yet feminine. The models in the 2012 Fall/Winter Lena Hoschek Show wore angular cat-eye glasses and loosely fitted berets on top of their retro glamour manes