Easy Rockabilly Hairstyles

A model for Norma Kamali goes retro with a rockabilly-style pompadour roll.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Rockabilly started out as one of the earliest forms of a little thing called rock 'n' roll -- and it became the coolest fashion movement of the 1950s. Today, rockabilly hairstyles are making a comeback. No surprise there, because rockabilly dolls knew a thing or two about fun, flirty nests -- those are hairdos, for all you squares out there. So buzz by Coolsville with an easy rockabilly 'do of your own.

Pin Curls

Curls are a major must-have for many classic rockabilly looks. Hands off the hot iron if you want to get old-school: Original rockabilly chicks often used rags and pins to coax out their curls. To try pin curls, take 2-inch-wide sections of hair, winding them around your finger to create curls. Use bobby pins to set the curls against your scalp. Pile up on your Zs -- as those cool cats of the '50s would say -- and unpin your hair after you roll out of bed in the morning. You'll have a head full of perfect curls. Leave your new ringlets loose and pair with '50s-style curled bangs, or tie them up in a bandana for easy rockabilly style.

Curled Bangs

Pinup-inspired and a guaranteed statement-maker, bold curled bangs are an iconic rockabilly look. You'll need to have a banged haircut to pull of this flirty style. Straight, blunt bangs work best. Remember, when you curl your bangs, they look shorter -- so you could end up showing off a lot of forehead if your bangs don't have a bit of length to them. To get started on the style, smooth a dab of shine serum through damp bangs. Roll your bangs up in a large hot roller and set against your hairline. Blow-dry for at least a few minutes to set the curl. If you don't have rollers handy, you can also use a large-barrel round brush.

High Ponytail

There are ponytails and then there are rockabilly ponytails. A rockabilly ponytail is high, sleek and tight, and it's an effortlessly cool look.To get a sock-hop-worthy pony for yourself, work styling serum through your hair. Comb your hair up and back into a smooth, tight ponytail. Secure it at the back of the crown with a snag-free elastic. Don't just leave it at that -- have some fun with flirty rockabilly trademarks. Pair your high ponytail with curled bangs, or wrap a cute retro bandana in front of the pony, tying the ends in a bow. Or tease the tresses at your hairline and crown, then pull them up and pin them back at the base of the ponytail for a classy-cute quiff hairstyle.


Take a cue from the King of Rock 'n' Roll with a modern spin on the rockabilly pompadour. Check out different reincarnations of the classic on the fashion runways in spring 2009, 2010 and 2011, and on celebs such as Gwen Stefani and Janelle Monae. To create your own pompadour, mist damp strands with texturizing spray. Gather up the hair along the center of your scalp from the hairline to the nape of the neck. Wind the gathered hair around Velcro rollers in a "Mohawk" formation. Once the rollers have dried, unwrap the hair and tease it out with a fine-tooth comb. Pull the teased section of hair up and back, and pin the ends down to the crown of your head. Smooth the rest of your hair into a bun and finish with a dab of smoothing pomade to tame flyaways. Elvis would be proud.

Related Videos




"Elle": Pompadour Roll
The Glamourous Life: Rockabilly Hairstyles
"InStyle": Modern Pompadours
The Complete Book of Hairstyling; Charles Worthington

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