woman with faux bob

Vintage hairstyles have a certain glamor to them, and really add an extra dimension of elegance to any look. From bumper bangs to the Gibson roll, here are six vintage hairstyles that everybody should try.

The Faux Bob

If you have long hair, then you have probably wondered what you would look like with a bob…

So why not actually find out?

Rather than chopping your hair off, a faux bob is a great way to experiment with a shorter style while adding a vintage edge to your outfit.

Yes, this style is slightly fiddly and can take a bit of patience to master, but it is also one that can completely transform your look.

Here are the instructions to follow:

  1. Divide your hair into four sections, one on either side of your face, one at the nape of your neck, and then one at the front. Use clips to hold each section up
  2. Use a heated curling iron to curl both side sections, as well as the front section, using a short styling clip to secure each section
  3. Once you have pinned up all of your curls, release the fourth section at the nape of your neck
  4. Braid this section tightly against your head, and make sure that you secure it well with bobby pins. This is the part of your hair that will be holding on to your shorter length, so it needs to be done with care
  5. Release all of your curls and brush them gently
  6. Use long styling clips to clip your curls in place, in the locations you want them to fall
  7. Then, divide your hair into two sections, as though you were creating pigtails
  8. Begin with one side of your hair, rolling the length of your hair under itself
  9. Continue to roll your hair until you reach the nape of your neck, and then secure the roll to the part of your hair that you braided earlier. You will likely need to use quite a few bobby pins to do this
  10. Repeat with the other side of your hair
  11. Remove any long clips that you have left in, and adjust your hair until it is perfect. Finish with a spritz of hairspray

As you can tell, bobby pins are a must for this style, so make sure that you have plenty to hand when you begin. Do make sure that you are using them in the correct way, with the grooved side facing down, as this will give them a much better grip.

The Gibson Roll

gibson roll with hair clip

This vintage style is actually quite easy to create, and will only take a few minutes to put together once you have gotten the hang of the technique involved. In addition to being easy, it is also perfect for formal occasions where you want to show off a neckline.

To begin with, tie your hair into a low ponytail, and secure this tightly with an elastic band. Then, slide the band down your ponytail a bit, so that you leave a small amount of space between your scalp and the elastic band.

In this bit of space, poke your fingers through your hair to create a small “nest”, but make sure that this hole does not go all the way through.

Then, take your ponytail in your hand and twist it, in the same way that you would if you were trying to create a bun.

Tuck and roll your ponytail into the nest that you made earlier. Once it has all been tucked away, pin your hair in place with some bobby pins, making sure to pay attention to the sides as well.

Finish the look with a misting of hairspray.

This hairstyle is already quite a glamorous one, but you can amp this up even more…

Wondering how?

Add in a couple of glitzy hair accessories. Hair slides and headbands have a wonderful vintage vibe to them, while a few carefully placed feathers will exude some Great Gatsby glamor.

Bumper Bangs

woman with bumper bangs

Bumper bangs is such an iconic vintage style, and was made famous by women such as Bettie Page, who pulled this look off so perfectly that it is often referred to as Betty Bangs.

Want to know the best part about this style?

It is actually extremely adaptable, because you can either just create it on its own, with your normal hairdo, or mix and match it with other retro elements.

To best create this look, you are best off working with hair that has not been washed for at least a day.


Because this means that it will contain more of your natural oils, which will give your hair more grip, not only making it easier to put this look together, but also ensuring that it will hold for longer.

Here is what you need to do to create this look:

  1. Start from the back of your part, pulling forward a bang section and then pinning this up for later
  2. Put your finger above your ear and bring this round to the back of your part, separating this section off. Do the same with the other side of your hair. Pin both sections up for later
  3. Add a small amount of smoothing serum to the back of your hair to calm any frizz, and then brush with a fine toothed comb until it is smooth
  4. Separate the back of your hair into three sections
  5. Beginning with the middle section, use a heated curling iron to curl this section over, so that the sections curls away from your head, and then moves upwards
  6. From the inside, pin this curl to the nape of your neck, so that the pins do not show, and then give it a spritz with hairspray to hold it in place
  7. Repeat this step with the right and left side of your hair, pinning the curls to your head, before spraying with some hairspray
  8. Now on to your bangs – release them from the clip and brush them out gently
  9. Use your curling iron to curl them under. Do this by starting from the ends and then rolling them up
  10. Adjust as necessary, smooth over with a comb, and then give your hair one final spritz of hairspray

A Finger Wave Updo

woman with finger wave

Reminiscent of the 1920’s, this finger wave updo is quite a technical style to master, but is really one of the most glamorous vintage hairstyles out there.

Ready to get started?

Begin with a side part, and then place a finger a few inches above each ear and bring this round to meet at the back. Pin that section of hair up for later.

Separate your hair into two, tying them into pigtails. This will later form the bun for this hairstyle.  Then, split your pigtails up into smaller sections, and give each one a curl with a heated curling wand.

Let the rest of your hair down, and then separate this horizontally, so that you have a top and a bottom half.

Then, take a small section of hair from the top half in your hand. Make sure that you pay special attention to how large this small section is, because you want all of the subsequent sections you make to be of a similar size.

Pull this section straight up and then wrap it counter-clockwise around your curling wand, making sure that it stays flat against the barrel. Once your hair has been heated, remove the wand and then scrunch the curl up, before pinning it in place so that it can cool. Repeat this step with the rest of the top section of hair, making sure that the curls are as identical and uniform as possible.

Then, repeat those steps with the bottom section of your hair. Once all of your curls have been pinned up, leave them to properly cool, as this means that they will set better.

Then, release your curls and use your fingers, as well as a hairbrush, to break them up a bit while smoothing them down. You will find that your curls become much larger and more voluminous, so then use a comb and some pins to set your curls in place.

Take a look at your hair and identify where your natural waves are. You will then need to emphasize this, brushing it and pinning it so that the waves are more defined.

Take one of the pigtail sections that you made earlier, and loop it around your hand. Pull the end through the loop, just as you would when tying a knot. Place the knot above your pigtail band, and pin in place.

Then, do the same thing with the other side of your hair. When it comes time to pulling the knot up, make sure that you place it right next to the other one, so that it looks like one, rather than two, knots.

Give your hair a good spray with some strong-hold hairspray, as this is the stage where you really need it all to hold together.

Carefully remove your clips, and, if you want, add in a hair accessory at the back of your hair.

A High Sock Bun

high sock bun

Although this may be quite a vintage look, reminiscent of the 1920’s, the sock bun is actually bang on trend once again, making this the perfect style to try to replicate.

Wondering why it is called a sock bun?

Because you can use a sock to help you to create the perfect bun. However, you will need to cut the toe area off first, and then roll the fabric up so that it forms a donut shape.

Alternatively, you could also use a foam donut.

Here are the steps to follow to create this look:

  • Pull your hair back into a high ponytail. The placement of the ponytail is important, as this is where your bun is going to sit
  • Take the donut and pull your ponytail through the center of this
  • Spread the end of your ponytail around the donut, tucking your hair in as you go along. Continue doing this until you reach the base of your ponytail
  • Use bobby pins to tuck away any stray hairs, and then finish this look off with a spritz of hairspray

Want to give this look more of a laid back touch?

Try going for a messy sock bun instead. Follow the same instructions as you would to create a normal sock bun, but, at the end, strategically pull out strands of your hair, so that the bun does not look too neat and tidy.

The Bow Bun

bow bun

There are a few different ways to create the bow bun, and these all vary in complexity.

Don’t want to spend hours on your hair?

Here is a bow bun method that will only take a few minutes, and requires nothing more than a single elastic band and a few bobby pins:

  1. Gather all of your hair on to the top of your head, and begin to tie a ponytail
  2. Rather than pulling your hair all the way through the elastic band the last time you tie it, create a loop instead, so that the ends of your hair are pointing towards your forehead
  3. Divide this loop into two halves
  4. Take the ends of your hair and fold this back through the two looped halves, so that they create the knot at the middle of the bow. Secure the ends behind the bow, in your elastic band
  5. Use your fingers to gently tug at the bow loops, spreading them out until you have the effect that you want
  6. A spritz of hairspray will help to ensure that this look lasts throughout the day

Vintage hairstyles are perfect for so many different occasions, both formal as well as casual. While these styles will work with contemporary clothing, there is no reason why you cannot have some fun with fashion when creating a vintage hairstyle. Try experimenting with retro silhouettes, as well as accessories, to really boost the vintage vibe of your look.

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