20 Hairstyles Our Grandmas Rocked That Are Making A Total Comeback

Everything is old news again -  or that's how the saying goes. When it comes to hair, there are centuries of "stylespo" to draw from. You may not be able to reinvent the wheel, but you can create modern takes on fads from previous decades.

Nowadays, we have great hair products, gentler methods, and more "know-how" about hair and its different types than in previous eras. So, we can take our mother's and grandmother's styles and recreate them more easily, with contemporary twists like fresh color and precision cuts.

Hollywood and social media style leaders are rocking hair that would have made their grandmothers proud. Here's a look at 20 styles that stand the test of time.

20 Rock Your Milkmaid Braids In The City

Via talkingtexture.com

We're not sure where the classic milkmaid braid originated. The cliche that most often comes to mind is of Swedish milkmaids tending to cows in the countryside. The ancient Greeks also wore their hair in a variety of braided styles as did women with African hair.

Wherever it came from, it's a style that you can wear both messy and casual, or like Mary J. Blige in the above image: sleek and sophisticated, paired with statement earrings.

In its simplest form, it consists of two pigtail braids overlapped on top of your head but can easily be taken up a notch by incorporating french or fishtail weaving.

19 A Wavy Bob Softens Your Features

Via nypost.com

The bob in its many forms became a popular look in the early parts of the 20th century when long, elaborate hairstyles of the Victorian era were replaced by empowered and flirty flapper hairstyles.

It usually begins with a feathered cut ending around the jawline. There may be bangs; or a side part. Casual, messy waves add volume and make it a versatile, day to night style.

A bonus for older women: it takes years off the face.

18 Make A Bold Statement With The Asymmetrical Bob

via pinterest.com

In the Mod era of the 1960s, hair and clothing took on geometrical precision.

Fashion was about bold colors and big shapes, and the asymmetrical bob became a bold statement of avant-garde style.

This attention-grabbing look should be trimmed every four weeks or so to maintain its precise edges and stylish asymmetrical frame. Best complimented by big earrings and other adventurous accessories, it's a 'do sported by those who want to be seen.

Nowadays, it's also a great site for color experimentation.

17 Quiff It – And Take Ten Years Off Your Look

via Pinterest

The quiff is a hairstyle that is not for the faint of heart. It combines the bombast of a 1950s pompadour with elements of a Mohawk cut, and enough hair product to make that stylish top wave stay in place all day.

It originated as a cultish 'do in the 1980's and 1990's Great Britain, and has reemerged in 2018 on the heads of pop stars and actresses like Tilda Swinton.

It's a look that will surely make you the center of attention. Can you stand the glare?

Cool point: by adding height to the top of your head, the quiff takes ten years off your face by making your eyes look higher up.

16 The Stylish Breakfast At Tiffany's Updo Adds A Touch Of Class

Via bloglovin.com

Many of us opt to wear a top or back bun these days, even when we're feeling casual.

But, for a timeless sense of sleek sophistication, few 'dos can compete with the upswept style made hugely popular by actress Audrey Hepburn in the classic 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's.

More elaborate than a simple top bun, the sides and front are combed towards the back, with a crown up twist perfect for a tiara.

Don't skimp on the hairspray - this 'do should be impeccable and without flyaways.

15 Steal The Spotlight With Marilyn Monroe Hair

via Pinterest

This one needs no backstory; who hasn't seen an image of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe and her platinum locks?

Unlike other hairstyles, color is essential to the success of this look; pearly, platinum blonde hair is cut to about shoulder length and set in large rollers for height and big, loose curls that frame the face.

It works best with a slight side part that you can style back away from the face, like this version sported by Rita Ora. This look is all about volume-and turning heads!

14 Soft Curls A La Liz Taylor For A Stylish Take On Shoulder Length Hair

via Pinterest

Shoulder length hair doesn't have to be dull. Elizabeth Taylor, a screen diva whose career spanned between the 1940s to the early 2000s, was most often seen with short, wavy air that framed her face with soft volume.

It worked for her then, and it can work for you now.

Choose to wear it blunt or layered, with soft waves that lie close to the face or tamed with a little product for a sleeker profile.  It can take you from the boardroom right to the club; or use it as your weekend errand "go-to".

13 Channel The Veronica Lake 'Do For Drop Dead Glamour

via enews

Veronica Lake was an actress who made a splash with a string of starring roles during the 1940s.

She became just as well-known for her signature hairstyle as her acting abilities: long, wavy blonde hair, side-parted so that a lock of hair mysteriously covers one eye.

Let's face it - lovely long locks will never really go out of style. Use this look to add a classic vintage spin to your night out.

12 The Classic Pixie Puts The Focus On Your Face

via Hollywood Life

The pixie cut has been with us since about the 1950s. Audrey Hepburn - our go-to style maven - popularized the look in the movie Roman Holiday (1953).

It saw another wave of popularity in the 1960s with British model Twiggy and actresses like Mia Farrow.

The short, layered cut draws emphasis to your face, especially the eyes, and it looks best on people who have rounded features.

11 The Gibson Girl Was Your Great-Great-Grandma's 'Do

via imdb

An alternative to the top bun, the Gibson Girl look is both soft and messy.

First, draw your hair upwards into a loose bun. It's a popular look at weddings as there can be many variations: it can be rolled back from the face or swept back with loose tendrils and ringlets around the face.

This romantic look takes its namesake from illustrator Charles Gibson and his drawings. In the 1890s, his illustrations of the "supposed ideal woman" were widely published across the U.S.A.

10 Your Granddad Sported A Pompadour -- You Can Too

Via refinery29.com

Although many people associate the classic pompadour hairstyle with roots in the Elvis/rockabilly music of the 1950s, its history actually dates back farther than that - a couple of hundred years in fact.

The style is named after Madame de Pompadour, a French courtesan who lived between 1721 and 1764 and was the "side chick" of King Louis XV.

Fast forward to the 21st century, this style is achieved by slicking back the sides, with a longer mop on top.

It is most popular with rockabilly fans and Hollywood starlets alike.

9 Declare Your Own Victory With Victory Rolls

Via pinterest.com

During the Second World War, the world was in need of a boost, so stylists came up with hairstyles that were swept up away from the face in an iconic victory roll.

It gets its name from the aileron roll (where a plane will perform a 360-degree flip), inspired directly by the war efforts in Germany.

Today it is featured as a classic pinup look that adds volume to long hair and draws the eye upwards.

8 Finger Waves Add Retro Glam To Short 'Dos

Via hairstylehub.com

Bette Davis and Josephine Baker both rocked this classy, sophisticated 'do. Finger waves became popular in the 1920s and 1930s as a DIY alternative to the short haircuts that were all the rage at the time.

A sleek cut, close to the head is shaped with fingers, and pinned in place to dry.  You can dry it naturally or with a gentle heat; avoid blow drying or it'll encourage frizz when what you want is a sleek, almost wet look.

Frame the face with waves and stylized curls for maximum effect.

7 Cute, Curly & Flirty – The Betty Grable 'Do For Your Rockabilly Style

Via latest-hairstyles.com

The Betty Grable - aka the Poodle Updo - takes its name from the 1940s blonde screen icon, who was most famous for her roles in How to Marry a Millionaire and The Dolly Sisters, but was equally notorious for her inventive hair trends.

Her long blonde hair was combed up, and then set into a froth of curls, or sculpted into elaborate waves. It led to the big updos of the 1950s and inspired contemporary vintage and rockabilly tastes.

6 You Can’t Beat The Star Power Of Old Hollywood Glamour

via InStyle

The classic glamour style for Hollywood starlets has remained relatively unchanged over the decades... and for good reason!

Long lush waves are emboldened by a straight middle part, allowing an even cascade of curls over both shoulders. When executed perfectly, this style comes off as effortless and natural, held together with the right amount of product and the perfect type of curl. The tricky part is getting everything just right.

5 The Faux Bob Gives You A Versatile Look

Via beautycrew.com

The bob is a popular style because it's versatile and refined. The best part about the "faux bob" is that even if you have long hair, you can still get the look, at least for the night.

The faux bob has become a fave of today's Hollywood stars but first became famous in the 1920s.

It's easiest to achieve if your hair is layered because the shortest layers will frame your face nicely while longer layers get hidden away. 

The best way to accomplish this look is to tuck a loose ponytail under the nape of the neck, which allows for a nice clean line. It's quick and easy, and a great way to diversify long haired locks.

4 Clean And Classic Flapper Bob

via Glitter Magazine

By the 1920s, our grandmothers were ditching their restrictive corsets and layers of tight clothing for looser clothes and shorter skirts.

Ditto the elaborate, long-haired styles of the Victorian era, which took so much time to maintain. Enter the classic bob; a carefree 'do for a new kind of lifestyle.

Cut just above the jawline, and angled towards the front, with bangs above the eyebrow line, it adds movement and shape to straight hair and highlights soft and round features.

3 Gatsby Waves Add Sophistication And Playfulness

Via hairdrome.com

Gatsby waves produce an almost triangular silhouette to otherwise flat hair. They became one of the more distinctive variations on the classic short haircut in the 1920s.

The waves are best achieved in a couple of ways, both of them involving extensive use of stronghold hair product.

Using damp hair, apply product, and shape into waves. Set with pins and allow to dry. You can also use a curling wand (curl hair in a single direction around your whole head in layers from the bottom to the top.)  Use pins to exaggerate the places where the curl naturally falls into a wave, and hairspray to fasten.

2 The Afro Is The Ultimate Power 'Do

via Chatelaine

An Afro makes a screaming statement without you having to utter a word.

It's the ultimate power 'do, and truth be told, women (and men) with African hair have been rocking this style for literally thousands of years.

In more recent times, the Afro became a symbol for the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Today, it's part of the natural hair revolution. Those with African hair simply let it grow out the way Mother Nature intended, combing it outward from the head.

For anyone else with thick, curly hair, the look can be achieved with a little product and a lift at the roots.

1 Your Grandmother Wore Hippie Braids To Woodstock

via Medium Hair Styles Ideas

Long hair is essential to the hippie look, directly from the late 1960s and 1970s.

While shiny, beautiful locks are a must, you certainly don't need a precision cut or much styling, especially if your hair is naturally wavy. If you're dealing with flyaways, braiding the affected section helps to tame your tresses.

If it was good enough for Woodstock, it's good enough for Coachella.

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