20s Hairstyles Revival: Iconic Looks & Tips

Roaring into the 2020s, I’m struck by how the bold and glamorous styles of the 1920s are making a comeback. It’s clear that the allure of the past is influencing today’s fashion, with vintage hairstyles becoming the go-to for those looking to make a statement.

From the iconic bob to the lavish finger waves, the ’20s were all about liberation and expression, and I can’t wait to dive into how these timeless looks are being reimagined a century later. Whether you’re attending a Gatsby-themed party or just looking to spice up your style, these classic ’20s hairstyles are sure to turn heads.

The Iconic Bob Hairstyle

When diving into the resurgence of ’20s hairstyles, it’s impossible not to highlight the iconic Bob. A century ago, this bold cut was a declaration of independence and modernity among women. It symbolized the new freedom that women were beginning to enjoy, a stark contrast to the long, restrictive hairstyles of previous decades. As I explore this hallmark of ’20s style, you’ll see just how it’s being revamped for the modern era.

The Bob is characterized by its typically ear-length cut, straight lines, and sometimes bangs. What made it truly revolutionary was its versatility. Women of the 1920s styled their Bobs in a variety of ways: sleek and smooth, with volume, or accentuated with fancy hair accessories. Today, the essence of the Bob is intact, but with contemporary twists added to suit various face shapes and personal tastes.

Celebrities and influencers have been spotted rocking the Bob in multiple forms – from the A-line to the graduated Bob, each style adds a unique flair to this classic cut. For instance, the A-Line Bob features a longer front and shorter back, adding a modern edge. You might also see someone sporting a textured Bob with layers providing a more relaxed and informal look.

Adopting the Bob does more than just nod to the flappers of yesteryear; it works for practically anyone looking to make a dramatic change or simply maintain a low-maintenance hairstyle. Professionals recommend a Bob for those seeking easy styling and versatility, as well as for those aiming to highlight their facial features.

If you’re considering a historical leap into this trend, professional advice is key. Consult a stylist who understands the nuances of the cut. Check out the American Association of Cosmetology Schools for tips on finding a qualified salon, ensuring your Bob is not just a cut, but a well-crafted homage to an era of transformation.

The Glamorous Finger Waves

When it comes to timeless allure, Finger Waves stand out as a hallmark of the roaring twenties. This sophisticated style exudes elegance and grace harking back to the days of glitzy flapper dresses and jazz-filled evenings. It’s not just a haircut, but a symbol of meticulous artistry, perfect for anyone yearing to infuse a touch of vintage charm into their look.

I’ve seen the resurgence of Finger Waves first-hand, as beauty enthusiasts across the nation seek out this classic aesthetic. Thanks to modern-day advances and widespread knowledge-sharing on platforms like YouTube, mastering this technique at home has never been more accessible. The key lies in precision – it’s about sculpting waves that stay defined and sharp, a look that requires patience and the right tools.

Styling Finger Waves starts with damp hair, typically followed by the application of a good-quality gel or mousse to lock the shape in place. Then, using a fine-toothed comb, the hair is formed into S-shaped curves that lay flat against the head. For a more in-depth tutorial, the Aveda Institute provides comprehensive guides that I find incredibly helpful for beginners.

Most noteworthy is the versatility of Finger Waves. While they were originally showcased on shorter haircuts, modern adaptations have also taken flight on longer hair, proving the adaptability of this 1920s hairstyle. Here are a few variations to consider:

  • Soft Waves for a more relaxed, contemporary twist.
  • Deep Waves for a dramatic, old Hollywood glamour.
  • Partial Waves focusing on the front sections, blending into loose curls or straight styles for a modern hybrid.

And it’s not just for special occasions; Finger Waves can be modified for a casual yet sophisticated everyday look. What’s more, they serve as a perfect conversation starter, often sparking intrigue and admiration from those who appreciate a nod to classic beauty.

Maintaining Finger Waves calls for a bit of upkeep. Though initially time-consuming, once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll find that maintaining the structure throughout the day is much easier, especially with the use of a light hairspray. Careful sleep strategies—like wearing a silk scarf—can also prolong the life of this stunning style.

The Bold and Beautiful Flapper Hairstyles

As I delve further into 1920s hairstyles, it’s impossible to overlook the audacious flapper girls who dared to challenge societal norms with their bold fashion choices. Flapper hairstyles weren’t just a statement of style, they were a declaration of independence. These coiffures were as diverse as the women who wore them, ranging from sleek bobs to intricate updos adorned with feathers and jewels.

One of the most iconic looks of that era was the Marcel wave, which added a touch of sophistication to the flapper aesthetic. To recreate this style today, women might use a curling iron or deep waver to replicate the undulating waves that were once done with a heated curling tool known at the time as the Marcel iron. Those interested in authentic vintage styling can refer to a trusted guide which I’ve found breaks down the Marcel wave technique in a digestible format.

The flapper era also introduced accessories that are still widely recognized today. Bejeweled headbands, often worn across the forehead, not only added glamor but helped to keep those dramatic styles in place. Luxurious fabrics and shiny beads used in the bands also offered an extra layer of extravagance to the simple cuts.

Variety was key in flapper hairstyles, with looks ranging from pin-curled coifs to totally free-form and uninhibited cuts. The Eton crop, a very short and slicked-down cut, was one of the more daring choices, giving wearers a boyish silhouette that was both controversial and chic.

Learning to style hair in the manner of a 1920s flapper can be challenging, but it’s all about mastering the art of finger waves and understanding the right hair products to use for hold and shine. The modern twist on these vintage hairstyles often includes softer edges and more relaxed waves, making them more wearable for the everyday woman. For a detailed tutorial on modern interpretations of these classics, a visit to an expert-led site such as Hairfinder can provide invaluable insights and step-by-step guides.

The Dapper Hairstyles for Men in the 1920s

When I delve into the stylish world of men’s fashion from the roaring ’20s, hairstyles were as distinctive as the clothing of the era. Men’s grooming was a priority and styles typically featured slicked-back looks emphasizing a clean and neat appearance. The most notable among these included the slicked-back side part and the center parting.

The Side Part was a staple of 1920’s masculinity. Men often used pomades to keep their hair in place, which provided a glossy, well-groomed finish. The hair’s parting was defined with precision, giving the style a classic, timeless flavor still popular today. To maintain the look, regular trips to the barber were essential, ensuring that the sides remained short and the parting perfect.

Another trademark look of the 1920s was The Center Part, also known as the curtain hairstyle. Brothers Rudolph Valentino and Ramon Novarro popularized this look, and their influence drove thousands of men to emulate their screen-idol style. With a parting running down the middle, the hair fell naturally to both sides, creating a curtain-like effect. This style complemented the more formal attire of the day, such as the three-piece suit, enhancing the overall elegance.

For men desiring to recreate the debonair looks of this era, I recommend checking out reputable websites like GQ or The Art of Manliness, which provide comprehensive guides and product recommendations to achieve these iconic hairstyles. Using quality grooming products was as important then as it is today, and modern interpretations still call for a good pomade or hair wax to secure the style in place.

Beyond the well-known slicked-back looks, the ’20s also gave rise to the Ivy League Haircut, a precursor to what would be known as the crew cut. This style was shorter than the side or center parts and was favored amongst college-aged men who required a more practical, low-maintenance look that still carried an air of sophistication.

Reviving the Vintage ’20s Hairstyles in the 2020s

As a beauty enthusiast, I’ve noticed a fascinating trend: timeless ’20s hairstyles are making a dramatic comeback in the 2020s. It’s not just about recreating these styles; it’s about adding a modern twist that respects the original glamour while fitting seamlessly into contemporary aesthetics.

The Bob has been reimagined with today’s textured cuts and asymmetrical lines, yet retains its classic shape. Celebrities and influencers have flaunted this versatile look on red carpets and social media, sparking a rediscovery of its chic simplicity.

Finger waves have surged in popularity, especially for special occasions. These elegant waves add a touch of sophistication to any outfit. With modern styling tools, anyone can achieve this look at home, although it takes practice to perfect. Sites like YouTube offer a wealth of video tutorials to guide you through the process.

Beyond individual hairstyles, the holistic approach of the ’20s to hair accessories and overall aesthetic is having an influence. Bejeweled headbands and vintage hair combs are now paired with more casual attire, blurring the lines between everyday and special event styling.

Products have evolved significantly since the ’20s, yet the same principles apply. High-quality pomades, gels, and hairsprays provide the necessary hold and shine to maintain these styles. Today’s versions often come with nourishing ingredients that promote hair health alongside style.

To recreate the slicked-back side part or the classic center part made famous by silver screen icons, one has to understand their hair type and choose products accordingly. Websites like GQ remain excellent resources for product recommendations and styling tips tailored for modern men’s hair.

Incorporating ’20s hairstyles into our modern repertoire isn’t just about the aesthetics; it’s a nod to a revolutionary era in fashion and beauty. By blending the past with the present, we give new life to these iconic styles and allow them to evolve within today’s fashion landscape. Whether you’re updating the Ivy League haircut with a textured fade or adding contemporary flair to the Marcel wave, the possibilities for exploration and creativity are endless.


Reviving ’20s hairstyles isn’t just about reliving a bygone era—it’s about infusing contemporary fashion with the timeless elegance and audacity of the past. I’ve shown you how the iconic Bob and Finger Waves can be reinterpreted for today’s style, and how men can slick back their hair with a modern edge. Remember, it’s all about the details—whether it’s mastering the Marcel wave or choosing the right pomade for that glossy finish. Embrace the vintage charm with a modern twist, and let these classic looks from the roaring ’20s make a statement in the 2020s. Whether you’re stepping out for a special occasion or simply looking to update your everyday style, these historic hairstyles are sure to turn heads and keep you at the forefront of fashion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some iconic 1920s hairstyles mentioned in the article?

The iconic 1920s hairstyles mentioned include the Bob hairstyle, Finger Waves, the Eton crop, and the Marcel wave for women, and slicked-back side parting, center parting, and the Ivy League haircut for men.

Who were the flappers and what were their fashionable choices?

Flappers were young women known for their energetic freedom, embracing a lifestyle viewed as outrageous at the time. They sported bobbed hair, short skirts, and listened to Jazz. Their hairstyles varied from sleek bobs to intricate updos, often adorned with bejeweled headbands.

How can one master the art of finger waves?

To master finger waves, one should practice the technique and use the right hair products to maintain hold and shine. Detailed tutorials from expert-led sites can provide guidance on creating this vintage style.

What hair products did men use in the 1920s to style their hair?

Men in the 1920s commonly used pomades to achieve a glossy, well-groomed look. Regular trips to the barber were also important to maintain their hairstyles.

Where can men find guides to recreate 1920s hairstyles?

Men can find comprehensive guides and product recommendations for recreating 1920s hairstyles on reputable websites such as GQ or The Art of Manliness.

How are 1920s hairstyles being reimagined in the 2020s?

The revival of 1920s hairstyles in the 2020s sees the addition of modern twists such as textured cuts and asymmetrical lines for the Bob, and the use of contemporary hair accessories and products to adapt the original ’20s glamour.

Why is it important to understand one’s hair type when recreating ’20s hairstyles?

Understanding one’s hair type is crucial for selecting the right products and techniques to recreate ’20s hairstyles effectively, ensuring that the style holds properly and reflects the desired era’s aesthetic.

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