In the 1950s and 1960s, the pageboy hairstyle was widely embraced by young women interested in an edgy but retro look. It was also one of the rare hairstyles at the time that didn't require much in the way of maintenance - perhaps just a little blow-drying to get it to hang right, and a touch of spray to keep it in shape before heading out the door.
Origins of the Pageboy Hairstyle
The pageboy hairstyle gets its name from, yes, the British page boys (also just called "pages") that date from the medieval era. Boys went into service at the age of seven and wore their hair at about jaw length or slightly lower, curled under and with bangs. The style is also seen in later depictions of grown men, although this is considered historically inaccurate. It can also be unfortunate - witness Laurence Olivier's wig in his film version of Richard the Third. However, stylish mid-century women discovered the cut looked great on them and many abandoned the fussy beehive hairdo in favor of this youthful, romantic, and chic look.
The Classic Pageboy
The pageboy is often called a bob hair style, and in fact the cuts are very similar. A pageboy is like a long bob. Traditionally, it is worn straight with very thick bangs and the hair is curled under at the bottom. It can also be turned out and worn as a flip, but this is really not the classic look. However, it adds variety and fun to an easy, sexy hairstyle! The page style cut features blunt edges, which don't angle upwards as much as a bob. It's also symmetrical at the bottom - no trimmed hair underneath the top layer.
Many models in the 1960s popularized the pageboy hairstyle, but one of the most edgy was British model Twiggy. The symbol of swinging London and miniskirts, Twiggy was seen everywhere and wore her hair in a variety of sassy styles. One of these was the pageboy and since just about everything that was hip and new looked fabulous on Twiggy, it wasn't long before any girl who wanted to be seen as stylish was sporting a similar cut.
The pageboy was still seen in the 1970s, the era when women began to really eschew fussy hair and want attractive and easy to manage hair styles. Long straight hair was gorgeous, but for a woman on the run and on the job, it was impractical. A pageboy allowed a woman to look great but also be serious and not have her hair get in the way of the task at hand. If she liked, she could add variety to the cut with a bit of feathering or any number of hair accessories.
Return of the Pageboy
As with many hairstyles, pageboys are back! They remain a great compromise for a woman who loves the look of the bob but doesn't want her hair quite that short. With a pageboy, you can still do a modified updo style or half ponytail. Variety can be added with curls, short braids and again, whatever accessories strike your fancy. A pageboy best suits a woman who already has thick, straight hair, as it will hang easily and lend itself nicely to the thick, longish bangs. However, that should not stop a wavy or curly haired lady from getting into the retro act with this cut! A pageboy, cut well, can look great on these hair types as well.
The Perfect Pageboy Finish
If you want to look a bit more traditional, simply apply styling mousse and blow the hair dry using a paddle brush. You might need to finish with a flat iron for that nice smooth look, and add a bit of hairspray to keep fly-aways at bay. Once in shape, your hair will swing perfectly all day!