Considering I’ve lost my cool while recreating a Halloween makeup tutorial one too many times in the past, I’ve decided that the easiest way to pull together a last-minute costume is by executing a cute hairstyle. Because unlike makeup (which requires hella technique and patience), hairstyles can be quick and easy and still leave you with a pretty recognizable ~look~. Exhibit A? These ’50s hairstyles, which are so pretty, a costume isn’t even necessary (unless, obvi, you want to go full throttle).
Ahead, I rounded up seven vintage-inspired hair looks for Halloween, for your friend’s costume party, or just for damn fun.
1. This Pin Curl ’50s Hairstyle
Loose curls and waves were the hairstyle of the ’50s, and this tutorial makes it so easy to recreate. The basic strategy? You’ll want to work with damp hair (think: towel-dried, not soaking wet), twisting small sections of your hair up toward your scalp with a curling rod. Once your section is fully curled, pin it close to your scalp and let it dry. After your entire head is dry, unpin and brush your curls into your desired shape.
2. This Rosie the Riveter ’50s Hairstyle
Did you think I was going to round up vintage hairstyles without including Rosie the Riveter? This tutorial breaks down the classic updo—headband included—with a makeup look to match (if you feel like going the extra mile). Keep in mind that this hairstyle requires a curling iron, so if you don’t have one on hand, consider picking up one of my personal faves:
ANJOU CURLING IRON 1.25 INCH
soft curl iron
GHD CURVE SOFT CURL IRON 1.25 INCH
T3 TWIRL CONVERTIBLE INTERCHANGEABLE CLIP CURLING IRON
3. This Marilyn Monroe ’50s Hairstyle
An equally iconic ’50s hairstyle, Marilyn Monroe’s softly curled bob is so perfect for shorter lengths. A curling iron and some rods are essential here, but the easy-to-follow tutorial walks you through the technique. BTW: A red lip is kinda, sorta nonnegotiable with this look.
4. This ’50s Updo Hairstyle
This ’50s-inspired updo is an actual dream for anyone with longer hair (and, you know, bonus points for knowing your way around a curling iron). Pro tip: To get some extra volume before you start curling, blast your roots with a little dry shampoo. These cult-favorite formulas, below, are a great place to start:
BATISTE DRY SHAMPOO
KRISTIN ESS STYLE REVIVING DRY SHAMPOO
KLORANE DRY SHAMPOO WITH OAT MILK
AVEDA SHAMPURE DRY SHAMPOO
5. This Brushed-Out Waves ’50s Hairstyle
Don’t feel like making a huge statement with your ’50s hairstyle? This tutorial’s got you covered with a perfectly subtle look (think: soft curls at your ends and plenty of shine all over). Make sure you keep your look in place by finishing off with a few spritzes of hairspray (trust me, you’ll thank me about three hours into your party).
6. This Pin-Up ’50s Hairstyle With Bangs
IMO, the cutest addition to any ’50s hairstyle is bangs, since it’s the perfect excuse to get a little crazy with volume. So if you’ve never touched up your bangs with a curling iron, the time to experiment is rn. Don’t worry, this tutorial breaks it all down for you.
7. This ’50s Hairstyle for Short Hair
My favorite part about this ’50s hairstyle for short hair is that you finish it all off by sliding on a cute hair clip. Feel free to get a little creative with your clip (some of my faves, below), but keep in mind, you’re going for a vintage vibe.
KITSCH HEMATITE RHINESTONE SNAP CLIPS
KITSCH RHINESTONE METAL BOBBY PINS
KITSCH BLUSH BEADED BOBBY PINS