Gwen Stefani’s Rockabilly Curl Hairstyle Tutorial

Gwen Stefani… 1990s rockabilly hairstyle queen, master chameleon of the vintage hairstyle. She has been a “vintage with a modern twist” icon for decades. A reader asked for some help styling this rockabilly curl hairstyle that Stefani wore on the red carpet and how could I say no?

A reader request from Cara asked, “I was wondering if you would do a post on your blog about how to do a style like the one attached. Not sure what’s going on in the back of the head, but I imagine all the hair swooped up in that one amazing mega-curl! Gwen Stefani has some really fun styles!”

Gwen Stefani rockabilly front roll hairstyle

So I diligently played around with one of my hair mannequins and this is what I designed to mimic the rockabilly hairstyle that only a fewest of the coolest celebrities can pull off.

Prep the Hair

So here is my interpretation of what may be going on here. I started with a 1″ barrel curling iron. I didn’t really give her a curl, just some bend in the hair. I used some thermal spray to smooth and protect the hair while I curled it. You can read more about my favorite heat styling products here.

rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial steps


There are 2 sections to this hairstyle and they are asymmetric. The top section is parted above the outer eyebrow on the right side and curves down at an angle toward the left side of the head. Clip this out of the way. The rest of the hair below will be styled first.

rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial steps

French Twist

Take all of the rest of the hair and create a French twist. The ends are not tucked in above the twist at this point. I am actually going to use the ends to help create some stamina for the pompadour. This doll has a decent amount of hair, so if you have fine hair, a hair padding may help you here.

rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial steps

Styling the Top Roll

Take the top section that was clipped out of the way and direct it tightly over-directing the hair to the opposite side. As I have stated before, the direction the hair is brushed and started for a victory roll like this has a great effect on where the roll sits on the head after it is finished. For this style to work properly, the hair should be directed far off to the side.

rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial steps

Large Roll

Roll the hair into a large victory roll.

rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial steps

Close the back

At the top of the head at the back of the roll, gently pull the back of the roll

  1. to “close the tunnel” behind the roll so you don’t see through it
  2. so that it covers the top of the French twist
  3. and blends the 2 sections together.
rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial steps

Final Hairstyle Photos

This hairstyle was super fun to do and I love the way it turned out and I hope to see some girls at Viva Las Vegas wearing it! It is a really modern pompadour for a girl.

rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial finished look
rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial finished look
rockabilly roll hairstyle tutorial finished look

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  1. Fantastic demonstration! You made the dummy head look gorgeous and exactly like Gwen’s. I can’t wait to try this; it’s so sleek and would be perfect for one of Melbourne’s windy days!

  2. amazing! wish I had twice as much hair and coud do this! do some tuturoials about short vintage hair cuts (a la marilyn in her shorter days) or maybe some short hair styles please!! That would be amazing!


  3. Ooh thank you. I love Gwen! She always had THE coolest retro hairstyles back in the 90s during No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom days.

  4. I tried this one at a party last week and it didn’t turn out exactly the same but pretty similar, it looked sooo cool if I may say so myself! Great blog and awesome tips! THANKS!

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Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

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