Discover 34 Timeless Retro Hairstyles for Men: A Journey from the 1950s to the 1990s

Retro Hairstyles for Men: A Nostalgic Journey Through Time


The allure of retro fashion is undeniable, and when it comes to hairstyles, vintage looks offer a timeless charm that modern trends often draw inspiration from. This article dives into the world of retro hairstyles for men, showcasing ten classic styles that have made a comeback. Whether you’re a fan of the suave ’50s greaser or the bold ’90s grunge look, these hairstyles not only highlight personal style but also embrace cultural nostalgia. Perfect for various occasions, these retro hairstyles are more than just a nod to the past—they are a celebration of timeless elegance and personality.

Slicked-Back Pompadour: A Classic from the 50s

The Slicked-Back Pompadour remains synonymous with the rebellious spirit of the ’50s. Ideal for medium to long hair, this style exudes confidence and is perfect for formal events or everyday sophistication. It suits most face shapes, particularly oval and square, and enhances features when paired with dark or vivid eye colors. The key to its voluminous allure lies in its lofty front sweep, which gracefully transitions to a tighter, sleeker back


To achieve the iconic pompadour, use a strong-hold pomade to sweep the hair upwards and back. Regular use of a nourishing conditioner, like American Crew’s Daily Conditioner, will keep the hair healthy and manageable, maintaining the pompadour’s classic shape.

Textured Quiff: Reviving the Rockabilly Vibe

A modern twist on the classic quiff that dominated the rockabilly scene, this hairstyle is for those looking to add texture and volume to short hair. Best suited for round or heart-shaped faces, the textured quiff works well with light eye colors, enhancing a vibrant and youthful appearance. It’s a versatile choice that fits both casual gatherings and upscale events.

Styling involves a texturizing spray and a blow dryer to create that perfect lift and volume at the roots. To maintain its textured look, a light application of Baxter of California Clay Pomade will provide a flexible hold throughout the day.

The Classic Flat Top: Military Sharpness with a 60s Flair

Channeling the strict, clean lines of military-inspired grooming, the flat top is an excellent choice for men with short hair who desire a look that’s both sharp and distinct. The style is particularly flattering for angular faces and complements darker skin tones. It’s not just for formal military events; the flat top can also make a striking impression at casual social outings.

Maintaining a flat top requires regular trims and a good quality gel, like Schwarzkopf’s Got2b Ultra Glued, to keep the hair standing tall and firm.

Long Locks and Bandanas: A Nod to 70s Rock Legends

For men with long hair, embracing the laid-back, bohemian vibe of the 70s can be achieved with loose, flowing locks complemented by a colorful bandana. This style is perfect for oval and rectangular face shapes and is especially striking on those with lighter hair colors. It’s an ideal look for music festivals or creative gatherings, where a more relaxed, artistic vibe is appreciated.

Keeping long hair in top condition requires hydration; a moisturizing shampoo like Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo helps maintain softness and shine.

Bollywood-Inspired Slick Waves: Elegance for Special Occasions

Drawing inspiration from classic Bollywood heroes, slick waves offer a polished look suitable for weddings or gala events. This style works best for medium to long hair and suits almost all face shapes, particularly enhancing deep brown eyes. The glossy waves not only add a touch of class but also exude a dramatic flair characteristic of Indian cinema.

Achieving this look requires a good quality styling cream, such as Aveda’s Men Pure-Formance Grooming Cream, for smoothness and shine, ensuring the waves hold their sculpted shape throughout the event.

Tousled Waves: A Relaxed 90s Grunge Throwback

Tousled waves capture the effortless cool of the 90s grunge era, perfect for men with medium hair. This style is exceptionally flattering for those with round or heart-shaped faces and light eye colors, providing a laid-back vibe. Ideal for casual outings or creative workplaces, it offers a softer alternative to the more structured hairstyles


To achieve this relaxed look, apply a sea salt spray on damp hair and scrunch it to enhance the natural waves. A lightweight mousse can help maintain the volume without weighing down the hair.

The Ivy League: Clean-Cut Elegance from the 50s

The Ivy League haircut is a polished and timeless choice that brings the clean lines and simplicity of the 50s to the modern day. Best for short hair, it suits a variety of face shapes and is perfect for professional settings or formal events. It’s particularly striking on men with darker hair and complements a classic wardrobe style.

Styling the Ivy League involves regular trims and using a fine-tooth comb with a small amount of pomade to achieve a neat, side-parted look. To keep the hair looking sharp, a daily routine with a gentle shampoo is recommended.

Classic Side Part: Vintage Sophistication

The Classic Side Part, popularized in the 50s and 60s, is ideal for men who prefer a refined and sophisticated hairstyle for short to medium hair. Suitable for all face shapes, it particularly enhances features for those with medium to light skin tones. This style is versatile for both professional environments and social occasions.

Use a strong hold gel or pomade to create a clean side part. Regular washing and conditioning with products aimed at retaining moisture will ensure the hair stays healthy and manageable.

High-Top Fade: Urban Flair from the 90s

The High-Top Fade is a standout style that harks back to the late 90s urban music scene, perfect for men with curly or textured hair. It suits elongated face shapes and is a statement piece for any casual or nightlife outfit. This hairstyle draws attention and pairs well with vibrant personality traits.

To maintain a sharp high-top fade, frequent visits to the barber are necessary, along with a good curl-defining cream to enhance the texture on top while keeping the sides neat.

Rockabilly Waves: 50s Glam with a Twist

Rockabilly Waves bring the 50s glamour to medium hair, featuring bold, sculpted waves with a modern twist. This style is best suited for oval faces and those with bold personality traits, making it perfect for themed parties or musical performances.

Styling requires a strong hold gel and a wave-forming technique using a comb and a hairdryer. Maintaining the look involves regular application of a high-gloss hair spray to enhance the sheen and hold of the waves.

The Buzz Cut: Timeless Minimalism

The Buzz Cut is a classic minimalist style that suits almost every face shape and is incredibly easy to maintain, making it ideal for active lifestyles or those who prefer a no-fuss grooming routine. This short style highlights the natural shape of the head and is both practical and stylish for all ages.

Keeping a buzz cut looking its best requires very little product, but regular trims are necessary to maintain its clean, sharp appearance.

Ducktail Beard: Retro Refined

The Ducktail Beard is a nod to the detailed grooming styles of the 50s, perfect for adding a touch of vintage sophistication. It works best for men who wish to elongate their chin and is suited to formal events or professional settings.

Maintaining a Ducktail Beard involves regular trimming and shaping. Using beard oil will keep the hair soft and manageable, while beard balm will help style and hold the shape throughout the day.

The Teddy Boy: Iconic 50s Rebellion

The Teddy Boy hairstyle is a rebellious and iconic style from the 50s, known for its voluminous top and slicked-back sides, suitable for medium to long hair. It’s an excellent choice for social events or a vintage-themed gathering, offering a bold and confident look.

Achieve the Teddy Boy look with a volumizing mousse and a high-hold pomade to keep the hair styled upwards and back. Regular conditioning treatments are recommended to maintain hair health and sheen.

Curtain Bangs: 90s Heartthrob Revival

Curtain Bangs have made a significant comeback, channeling the heartthrob look of the 90s. This style suits medium hair and is particularly flattering for men with oval and heart-shaped faces. It’s versatile for both casual and formal settings, providing a youthful and approachable vibe.

Styling curtain bangs requires a light touch with a blow dryer and a round brush to achieve the perfect parted look. A light-hold texture spray can add volume and movement without making the hair stiff.

The Mullet: Business in Front, Party in the Back

The Mullet is an audacious style that has seen a resurgence, blending short hair at the front with long hair at the back. This style is suitable for all face shapes and is a fun choice for those looking to make a statement at casual events or music festivals.

To style a mullet, keep the front neat with a trimmer and let the back grow out, using a hydrating conditioner to enhance the flow and texture of the longer sections. Styling wax can help define the contrast between the short and long sections.

The Hollywood Wave: Classic Glamour from the Golden Era

The Hollywood Wave brings the classic glamour of old Hollywood to medium to long hair. Ideal for formal events and gala nights, this style radiates elegance and sophistication, especially for those with oval and rectangular face shapes. It pairs well with classic attire and can complement a well-groomed beard for added vintage flair.

Achieving the Hollywood Wave involves using a large barrel curling iron to create deep, smooth waves. A light application of shine serum and a flexible hold hairspray will ensure the waves maintain their definition without appearing stiff.

The Greaser: Iconic 50s Cool

The Greaser, immortalized in the 1950s, is characterized by slicked-back, shiny short to medium hair. This iconic style suits square and oval face shapes and exudes a tough, edgy persona perfect for themed parties or casual outings. It’s particularly striking on men who favor a rockabilly or vintage leather jacket look.

To style a greaser, use a heavy-duty pomade to achieve that wet, glossy look. Regular washing with a clarifying shampoo will prevent buildup and keep the hair healthy.

The Afro: Symbol of 70s Freedom

The Afro is a powerful style statement that hails from the 1970s, celebrating the beauty of natural, curly hair. Best for those with natural texture, it works well for all face shapes and offers a bold expression of individuality. This style is perfect for cultural events, casual settings, or anywhere one wishes to showcase their heritage proudly.

Maintaining an Afro requires keeping the hair hydrated and detangled. Using a leave-in conditioner and a wide-tooth comb will help manage the curls and maintain the shape of the Afro.

The Beatnik Buzz: Minimalist 60s Influence

The Beatnik Buzz cut draws its minimalist aesthetic from the 1960s beatnik culture, offering a clean, low-maintenance look suitable for short hair. It’s an excellent option for those who value simplicity and comfort, working well for any face shape and enhancing strong facial features.

To keep the Beatnik Buzz fresh, regular trims are necessary, and a light moisturizer or toner can help maintain scalp health and hair texture.

The Surfer Shag: Casual 70s Beach Vibes

The Surfer Shag is a relaxed and breezy hairstyle that captures the laid-back essence of the 1970s beach culture. Ideal for medium to long hair, it suits round and heart-shaped faces and is perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors or a bohemian lifestyle. This style is excellent for daily wear or beach outings.

Styling the Surfer Shag involves letting the natural waves and texture shine through. A salt spray can enhance the beachy texture, and occasional trims will keep the layers defined and free-flowing.

The Executive Contour: Polished 50s Businessman

The Executive Contour is a refined hairstyle from the 1950s designed for the sophisticated businessman. Suitable for short to medium hair, it’s best for oval and rectangle face shapes. This polished look is ideal for professional settings or formal occasions, offering a sharp and authoritative appearance.

To style the Executive Contour, use a fine-tooth comb and a matte pomade to create a clean side part and smooth, controlled contours. Regular styling with grooming cream will keep the hair in place all day.

The Regency Curl: Romantic 19th Century Revival

Drawing inspiration from the early 19th century, the Regency Curl is for men with long hair who wish to add a touch of historical romance to their style. This look is particularly flattering for oval and square faces and is suited for formal events, theatrical performances, or historical reenactments.

Achieving the Regency Curl involves using a curling iron to create soft, loose curls, then setting them with a light hairspray. Regular conditioning treatments are essential to keep the curls soft and lustrous.


Exploring these retro hairstyles provides a creative outlet and a means to express one’s unique style while paying homage to the past. Each style offers a blend of nostalgia and contemporary flair, suitable for various occasions and personal tastes. Feel free to share your experiences with these hairstyles or suggest others in the comments below. Let’s keep the conversation about classic style lively and engaging!

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