The vintage hairstyles and haircuts men wore in the 1950s were as varied as the women’s. Ducktail, flattop, pompadour, crew cut, the forward combed boogie and flattop boogie hairstyles, and jelly roll were just some of the hairstyles for men.
A family friend found this great magazine called DIG from 1956. The article inside, titled Hip Wigs, shows details of the combing directions and tapers of the popular young men’s hairstyles mentioned above and it even includes a tutorial for the ducktail haircut. You can also download a high-resolution PDF of the mens hair article here.
Read on to learn an explanation of these hairstyles.
I am going to do my best to guess and explain what some of these men’s hairstyles are. Because this is a co-ed teen magazine, there are also some cute women’s hairstyle descriptions too.
Starting with this first page, the style on this teen girl is described as the women’s version of a ducktail. It is called the “Brush Up”
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On the 2nd page of the article, the boy on the left has a tapered cut that is combed similarly around the forehead to a boogie hairstyle. (More about that later.) The boy on the right has a ducktail comb out.
The 2nd page of the article also shows a girl with 3 different popular hairstyle details from the 1950s. She wears an Italian top, brush up in the back, and a two-tone detail of a bleach streaks along the sides of her hair. Here hair was so well designed, the magazine gave her 2 photos from different angles. I do wish they had included a front photo of the blonde with the ponytail. It looks like she had a cute style to her bangs.
The 3rd page to the article starts the tutorial for the ducktail haircut. The rest of the tutorial is on page 4. The haircut in the tutorial looks to be a combo of both a flat top and a ducktail comb in the back. The page also shows great angles of the top of some combing techniques like a pompadour with a hint of jelly roll. (More about the jelly roll later.)
The 4th page continues the tutorial for the ducktail haircut. Also are details of the boogie mens hairstyle which is a specific way to comb the sides up to create a crest at or around the crown and directing toward the center-front of the forehead.
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The final page has some more cool detail shots of hairstyles including the pageboy, brush up, flat tops, jelly roll, and forward comb boogie.
Now let’s get into some of these techniques in detail. Read on…
The Jelly Roll gets its name from the combing technique that resembles the appearance of something like a swiss roll cake. Both sides are combed into a mirror image of each other.
The boogie is sometimes accompanied with the forward comb pictured on the left or as a flat top boogie pictured below. The boogie is styled by combing the sides up to create a crest at or around the crown and directing toward the center-front of the forehead.
This illustration, provided for the article by the LB hair preparations company, are of a 1950s flat top and flat top boogie. The main difference is that the flat top on the right is styled with the boogie combing technique.
Brush up (women’s ducktail)
Women had their own kind of ducktail hairstyle as well. Called the Brush Up, the hairstyle is finished in the back by brushing upward creating a soft tail effect.
And you can also download a high-resolution PDF of the mens hair article here.