Rockabilly Hair

Jodie Michalak
Get swing dancing hair!

The right haircutting technique and style is the most crucial part of obtaining Rockabilly hair. Without this famous 1940's cut, a rockabilly style ends up being just drab, rather than fab.

Before you head to your stylist to channel your own inner Bette Paige, make sure you've got the time and commitment to work this retro style.

The Retro Cut

To swing the right rockabilly hair style effortlessly, you'll need the exact haircut of the 1940's.

Visit your stylist and get layers precisely four inches long, allover your head, with the exception of the hair directly in front of the ear, near the face, which will be cut shorter at three inches long. There you have it. Simple, basic, and ready for styling!

Curls Required

There is simply no way around it, rockabilly hair needs and craves curl. In the 1940's, everyone wore curly hair, whether that be from natural texture or the use of pin curls. Today, to achieve the right curl to support rockabilly hair, consider a permanent curl or body wave. Curl hair will add the volume needed to create dramatic styles most often associated with rockabilly hair. No flat hair allowed with this style.

No Lazy Hair Days Allowed

Don't even think of washing and going with rockabilly hair. This style takes massive commitment. It's a look, rather than just a style, so doing it right is key in order to make the desired impact.

Go ahead and set aside some time each and every morning to prime, pamper and fuss your locks. The more effort you put into rockabilly style, the hotter and more unique you'll look.

Styling Tools Needed

Swing these styling tools and hair products from your local beauty shop and get ready to play.

  • Setting lotion, not to be confused with hair gel
  • Comb
  • Clippies for pin curls
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Hair elastic
  • 2 rhinestone barrettes
  • Hairspray

How to Style Rockabilly Hair

If you're ready to make the commitment, have decided you'll be a slave not only to your fashion and cosmetics but to also to your hair, and have gathered up all the required tools for the job, it's time to get stylin.'

  • Shampoo: First, shampoo and condition hair. Apply setting lotion liberally from scalp to ends.
  • Dry: Air dry or blow dry prior to setting. For increased root lift, use a nozzle on your blow dryer and direct the air flow to the root, while lifting.
  • Get wave: Every pin curl starts with a C-wave. Apply as much setting lotion as needed to make this ridge firm. This can be a very difficult hair technique, so enlist the help of a fellow rockabilly if styling for the first time. For added confidence, practice on a hair mannequin.
  • Roll: Following the wave, loosely roll small sections of your hair into pin curls, clipping tightly at the scalp with hair curl clippies.
  • Wait: Read magazines, vacuum, mop the floor, do the dishes, and wait. Pin curls can take up to seven hours to dry. Best to always start this style at the top of the morning or the night before a big date.
  • Brush out: When the pin curls have dried completely, brush them out with a soft bristle brush, allowing the curl to move into a smooth and voluminous wave.
  • Up and away: When hair is thoroughly brushed out, gather the fronts, sides and the back of the hair to the left side of your head, secure with a hair elastic.
  • Divide and conquer: Now that your hair has been secured, divide it into two sections and roll them into twin swirls, this can be achieved by combing each section around your fingers.
  • Pin it: Adorn the base of your swirly style with a rhinestone barrette.
  • Set:Spray heavily.

Rockabilly Men's Hair

Luckily, men don't have to sweat nearly as much as the gals when going for a retro style. Grease is the word here.To achieve Elvis-worthy pompadour status, hair should be cut long on top, and really short on the sides and the back.

To style, slick hair back with grease, or grease hair down with a part.

Don't forget the back pocket comb!

Rockabilly Hair