'50s Hair

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/50shair_v2_300px.jpg
It's all about the curls.L-R, top to bottom 

Every decade of The 20th Century has their own fashion staple depending on the zeitgeist of the era; The '70s had the au naturale, The '80s emphasized volume, and The '90s favoured casualness. One such decade, with all of its focus on economic prosperity, domestic conformity, and scientific progress, emphasizes it in two keywords: prim and proper.

There has been little to no definitive template for 50s style hair, as the definitive hairstyles slowly developed to its own during the progression of the decade. Following the austere World War II years, hairstyles became more experimental and curl-heavy though the use of curlers, complex techniques, and haircare products like pomade and setting sprays. By the end of The '40s and the early Fifties, women discarded the long hairdos characterized by victory rolls and pompadours in favour of wavy bobs and pulled-back chignons, and men sideparted their hair or adopted a civilian version of the crew cut.

As the decade progressed, women over the age of 20 sported slicker short hair, while teenagers sported either juniorized versions of popular hairstyles, longer curls, or ponytails; fashionable men used gels and pomades more liberally, with pompadours beginning to become more prominent. By the end of the decade, women gradually favoured voluminous bouffants and artichoke-style updos, a preview for the Beehive Hairdo that would be the definitive style of The '60s.

See Delinquent Hair for hairstyles related to pompadours. See also '20s Bob Haircut, '70s Hair, '80s Hair, and '90s Hair for decade-related hairstyle collectives.

Men

  • The ducktail or the duck's ass, named after the combing technique that resembled the rear of a duck;
  • Pompadours, once a womens hairstyle during The '40s, then transplanted to men, mostly donned by greasers and juvenile delinquents; prominent wearer is Elvis Presley;
    • In Asia, the exaggerated variant style is called a "curry puff".
  • Jelly rolls, whose bangs are rolled and protruded at the front; popularized by James Dean and Elvis Presley;
  • Flat tops, a staple for soldiers and football jocks;
  • Crew cuts for the general public;
  • Sideparts, another general public hairstyle;
  • Facial hair for the majority sported moustaches; beards like goatees and soul patches, were exclusive for Beatniks and intellectuals;
  • Conks for African-American men.

Women

Unisex

40s Carryover

  • Poodle hairstyle, brought on by actresses such as Lucille Ball;
  • Straight pageboy bobs

Examples:

Anime

Comic Books
  • Betty and Veronica from Archie Comics wore "bettie bangs" during the 1950s. It wasn't until the 60s that Betty switched to her more famous Tomboyish Ponytail and Veronica's way of styling her hair changed.

Film — Animated
  • The Iron Giant: Set in 1957, all the characters have standard '50s dos. Hogarth and his friends have crew cuts; his mother Annie has short wavy hair; government agent Kent Mansley has cropped hair on the sides with a curly mop on top; resident Beatnik Dean McCoppin has stubble and a soul patch; and General Rogard has the standard issue flat top.

Film — Live Action

Live-Action TV
  • Happy Days: Being a show set in The '50s, there's bound to be hairstyles like ponytails and Fonzie's slick pompadour. Though over the course of the series, there might be touches of retro-fied 70s- and '80s Hair around.
  • The first season of Mad Men is chock full of late 50s carryover styles with all of the men sporting side parts and crew cuts, and the women having diversity with Betty sporting the classic short and wavy, Joan with the artichoke, and Peggy with the ponytail and bangs.

Music

Video Games
  • Almost everything in the Fallout universe from the scavenged technology, to social norms, to pop culture, to hairstyles, remained stuck in the 50s and early 60s, even after America was stuck by a nuclear catastrophe two hundred years prior.
  • The Sims 3 features several mid 20th century hairstyles such as "bettie bangs" to go with the fact it takes place 25 years before The Sims 2. The base game and its subsequent expansion and stuff packs also feature many contemporary hairstyles as well.

Western Animation
  • In Beverly Hills Teens, Chester had once demonstrated a device for instant 50s Hair (Elvis style, in this case).
  • Danny Phantom: Perky Goth Sam Manson's parents dress up like stereotypical conservative 50s parents, with the curls and bouffants and all, in reaction to their grandmother's Beatnik lifestyle.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Almost every resident in Retroville sports the typical retro hairstyles like crew cuts, curls, and sleek bouffants. Resident boy genius Jimmy Neutron's bigger-than-his-head pompadour, his friends, his parents, and Cindy are no exempt.
  • Johnny Bravo: With the eponymous character's signature pompadour and shades, echoing Elvis and The Fonz personality, he's irrecognizable without them.

Other
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FiftiesHair