Celebrities have spoken: the hottest trend on the red carpet is retro-inspired hair. But as we mere mortals know, actually pulling off styles inspired by days of yore can be more difficult than you think. That’s where we come in: we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to how to wear retro hairstyles (without looking like you’re wearing a costume), no matter which decade you want to channel. Read on, embrace a new (old) style and take your hair game to another amazing level.
1920s: An expression of liberation, the short, sleek hairstyles of the '20s were all about movement and fun. Channel this like Demi Lovato with a chic fingerwaved style—deep-part your hair to one side, then use a three-barrelled curling iron or Marcel waver to put S-shaped curls in your hair. If your lovely locks are longer than chin-length, simply roll 2" sections of hair around your finger, then pin them up and underneath your waves for a faux-bobbed look.
1930s: Jaime King channels Veronica Lake with these long, luxurious waves that fall gently over one eye. Again, a deep side-part is essential for this style; curl your hair away from your face with a 1" curling iron, then brush it out gently with a natural bristled brush for a soft, ready-to-be-touched look that's so perfectly modern.
1940s: A beautifully modern take on the Victory rolled hairstyles of the '40s, Penelope Cruz's updo is absolutely perfect. To get the look, use hot rollers to set your hair. Wrap the hair towards your face, rather than away, for the perfect vintage spirals. If your hair is longer, you can coil the lengths up and pin it into faux-curls at the back, then arrange a longer spiral in the front so that it perfectly frames your face.
1950s: Nothing says '50s-inspired like Janelle Monae's amazing beehive. To get this look, tease your hair on the underside so that the 'face' of the hive remains smooth, then secure with a headband for a super sexy, fun style.
1960s: Rihanna's adorable flip is the perfect tribute to the swinging '60s. After blowing your hair out straight, use a 1" straightening iron to flip your hair out at the ends. Set with some medium-hold hairspray, and you're ready to go!
1970s: Pin-straight hair were the epitome of the freewheeling '70s, and Gwyneth Paltrow gives her center-parter, silky locks a modern twist by pairing them with glowing skin and smokey eye makeup. A haircut that allows for tapered, rather than blunt, ends also keeps this looking gloriously now.
1980s: A high, curly ponytail like Beyonce's is the perfect way to reference the '80s without looking like you just escaped from a Jazzercise video. Keep your pony slightly off-center and pulled back incredibly sleekly to really ground this look.