20 1920s Hairstyles to Wear Today
Fashion historians have noted that trends tend to operate in a 20-year cycle, and so far, that theory seems to be holding true when it comes to the trends of 20 years ago. So it makes sense, in a way, that in the 2020s, the 1920s would be making their fifth trip around the style sun. After all, Jazz Age legends both real and fictional—from Josephine Baker and Louise Brooks, to Jay Gatsby and Roxie Hart—have proven to be enduring icons. Throughout the last century, stylish folks have emulated their fashion, makeup, and, of course, their striking strands.
Keep scrolling for a list of celeb-approved, roaring ’20s hairstyles you can add to your repertoire this year.
The rock solid, futuristic sculpting of Cara Delivigne’s strands is an eye catcher to say the least. For a look this carefully crafted, you can do the prep work beforehand on a weft of hair and simply attach it at the hairline. The removal will be much easier than rinsing out heaps of hair gel. (A little glitter mixed into the setting gel never hurt, either.)
Relaxed Wavy Bob
These brushed out curls and their straight, wispy ends make this retro-inspired ‘do very modern and effortlessly chic. Apply a light layer of shine spray, like Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray ($17), to keep the glamour in tact.
While finger waves make up many of the most iconic looks of the ’20s, using your natural wavy ridges is an excellent modernized ode to the classically sculpted look. Pairing them with a naturally textured low ponytail could not be more fitting for the 2020s.
Flappers were a new wave of non-conformist feminism, and beauty was an important part of their statement. Their short bobs replaced the long hair women were once expected to have, and the finger waves were a shortcut to spending time laboring with their marcel irons. The result is an iconic glamour that’s lasted over a century.
Soft Wavy Updo
For a softer approach to sculpted waves and short hair, simply brush out one-directional, medium-barrel curls with a boar bristle brush and secure the hair back into an updo of your choosing. This wavy updo is romantic and modern, yet still nods to the fundamental architecture of a ’20s style ‘do.
Short styles were the new norm of the 1920s, but that’s not to say one had to chop off all her hair. Plenty of women turned to a faux bob to give the illusion of shorter strands, and the faux bob is still a great trick to have up your sleeve for any occasion.
Once your long hair is curled to your liking, create a low, loose ponytail and simply tuck the ponytail up toward the neck, inside the hair. Begin pinning and gently adjusting your new bob into its desired place.
There are plenty of ways to get this easily achievable ’20s hairstyle. If you don’t have a roller set on hand, try using your 1″ curling iron (like ghd’s Classic Curling Iron, $199) to curl the hair under, going in sections all the way around the head, and pinning the ends up. Once the curls have cooled, brush them into your desired shape and smooth it all down with some hairspray—we like L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Strong Hold Hairspray ($10).
Set Your Style
Starting your style off with a good blow dry and round-brushed waves will help set the desired shape and movement to the hair before fine tuning with an iron. It can also give you a nice voluminous base to help hold your style.
Brushed Out Bob
Ditch the gelled down bobs for a more natural approach with brushed out curls. Brushing out your curl set does take a lot of time before you can catch a glimpse of the desired shape you’re aiming for. Just keep brushing out those curls, fluffing them up with a reverse stroke where extra volume and hold is needed, and secure your final shape with some hairspray.
When doing any type of ’20s inspired hairstyle, no matter what length, the detailed curvature of the hairline is going to be your defining feature. Even if it’s the only detailed wave throughout your hair, it’ll make a statement.
Braided into Shape
Josephine Baker—an iconic Jazz Age singer and dancer—often wore a singular pin-curl gelled to the front of her forehead. We love this braided interpretation of such a timeless, detailed statement.
If you want a natural alternative to a strong hold gel, you could try using egg whites on your hair instead. This tried and true method from the 1920s is proven to give hair a boost of nutrients while it holds your new shape in tact, and can even contribute to hair’s shine and overall health.
Dramatic Finger Waves
To get some nicely shaped finger waves, you’ll need to gather a strong hold setting lotion or gel to help set the hair into its new shape, the fine tooth end of a comb to help push the hair into the desired direction, and some wave clamps to help hold and secure those standout ridges.
Flat pin-curls are often used on longer lengths to help set the hair into a curled shape. This modernized interpretation of the pin-curl, worn scalloped all around, proves that this curling method can also be used on shorter, cropped lengths to add interest and texture.
During the Gatsby-era Jazz Age, everything women wore was looser and shorter, including their hair. With a roller set of curls that would last for many days, simply throwing it up above the shoulders and slipping into a heavily beaded dress made for a decadent look with minimal effort.
Bangs n’ Bobs
While some bobs of the 1920s went as high as grazing the cheekbones, many were often curled at the ends and brushed out for a soft finish. This stick straight version of the micro bang and bob combo makes for a chic, futuristic reinterpretation to be worn in the 2020s.
Sculpting an entire head of S waves can be time consuming. Opt for a sculptural detailing around the hairline for a quick, fashion-forward nod to the ’20s when preparing your next easy updo.
Pinned to Perfection
Who said all waves and pin-curls had to be wet? With all the tools and beauty tricks we have access to today, achieving the hairstyles of any era has never been easier. Now, you can use your curling iron or your flat iron to get your desired shape in a pin-curl or wave.
Heavily beaded or sequined dresses that were frequently worn in the 1920s were often paired with a matching headband or headpiece to suit. The headband hype of 2020 may have just been a prelude for the resurgence of these bejeweled halo head wraps. Time can only tell!
Modernized Side Part
If you’re a fan of looser styles and normally wear little bits hanging out near the hairline when you wear your hair pulled back, these brushed out and softened curls cascading down one side might just be your contemporary alternative to a glamorous, face framing ’20s hairstyle.