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What Is a Pageboy Haircut?

Rachael Cullins
Rachael Cullins

A pageboy haircut is a hairstyle that was most popular in the 1950s and 1960s. It typically features bangs or fringe across the forehead and straight hair that hangs over the ears. The hair is a little longer at the back of the head, and the ends are usually turned under. The style somewhat resembles a long bob.

The pageboy haircut is so named because it is believed to resemble the style of a traditional English pageboy, a term used in England and Scotland for a young male servant, apprentice, or, more recently, a ring bearer at a wedding. The hairstyle was popularized in the 1950s by pin-up models and was subsequently made fashionable by numerous famous actresses. It was also trendy among the general public. The style was most popular among women, but some men wore the pageboy haircut as well, including members of the Beatles and some fictional characters.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

This haircut is still worn in various forms. Some versions feature a choppier or layered cut for a more modern look. Very blunt bangs or fringe straight across the forehead rather than gradually angled at the sides offers a more contemporary take on the style. In some variations, the pageboy is worn shorter at the back of the head with the hair gradually lengthening to the chin. Some choose to wear a reverse pageboy, which is flipped out at the ends, rather than turned under.

The style is generally regarded as easy to wear and maintain. Regular trims are necessary for it to retain its shape and so the bangs or fringe do not become overly long. People with straight hair may be best suited for a pageboy haircut, as the style is usually worn smooth rather than curly or wavy. The use of hair gloss or straightening cream may be beneficial in styling this haircut. Daily blow drying, washing, and conditioning is recommended.

Most hairstylists and barbers are familiar with the pageboy haircut. Due to the many variations on the cut’s length and style, it may be beneficial to bring a detailed photo of the type of pageboy desired when considering this haircut. It is regarded as a flattering haircut on women of all ages. Those with delicate facial features, however, often look best with a pageboy haircut. The hair can be parted either in the center or at the side, depending on the wearer’s preference.

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Discussion Comments


A pageboy is not a China Doll cut, which is what Uma Thurman had in "Pulp Fiction." A pageboy is a side parted style, no bangs, down to the shoulder at least, and curled under. Many actresses of the 40s wore this style.


@cloudel - I could understand how the pageboy could help shorten a narrow face, but though you wouldn't think it, this cut also makes a great hairstyle for round faces.

I have a round face, and I think this hairstyle complements my face shape very well. It provides a great frame for my plush cheeks, and it hugs my face like a muffin tin hugs a cupcake.

I'm sure that this cut is not for everyone with a round face. Some people are very self-conscious about having full faces, so they don't want to accentuate it as a positive. I am one of the exceptions. I see my face shape as a good thing, and I want to show it off to the world.


I really love the way a pageboy haircut looks, but I know I could never pull it off myself. Really any short hairstyle doesn't suit my face shape and hair type, and I know if I tried a pageboy, I'd end up looking like a Q-tip! But kudos to those who can pull it off -- I am thoroughly jealous.


I have seen the pageboy on people in a variety of movies. It seems that this hairstyle has carried itself through several decades.

If you’ve ever seen Pulp Fiction, you probably noticed that Mia Wallace, the character played by Uma Thurman, has a pageboy. The movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features two actresses with this hairstyle. AnnaSophia Robb, who plays Violet Beauregarde, and Missi Pyle, who plays Violet’s mother Scarlett Beauregarde, both sport the pageboy.

The movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest shows Nurse Ratched with a pageboy. Neon Genesis Evangelion features Rei Ayanami with a shaggy version of this cut.

Yes, I watch a lot of movies. Being a hairstylist, I tend to remember haircuts when I see them.


The pageboy cut is best for those with narrow faces. This hair cut could cause a round face to look even more round. Since long hair drags down a narrow face, this short cut could help liven it.

I have a narrow face, and I like sporting the reverse pageboy. Using a large barrel curling iron, I smooth the ends under and flip them out. It helps to blow dry it first, because this smooths any frizz or kinks that might appear.

I don't know if I would like the traditional pageboy. It's just too boyish for me. I don't want to look like a Beatle. So, the reverse cut is perfect for adding a cute, girlish look to my slender face.


@GreenWeaver - You know you could also straighten your hair with either a straightening treatment or a hot iron. I know that longer curly hair take a long time to dry, but if your hair were shorter it might not be so bad. You should try it. At my salon they have a computer that will show you what you would look like with a certain style.

It is great because so many times you fall in love with a hairstyle that it so wrong for your face. Unless you are a stylist it is hard to imagine what a hairstyle would look like on you. I love short hair styles and tend to think that they are very chic and stylish.

They are also easy to maintain which is another perk. I would have short hair myself if it wasn’t for my husband. He likes long hair, so I guess I am stuck.


I have seen pageboy haircut pictures and I wish I could have a pageboy haircut, but I have curly hair and it would look awful on me. I really like short hair and would love to find a hair style that works for me, but I either have to have my hair in a layered bob or cut it really short because my hair is really thick.

I notice that when my hair gets longer the curls loosen up a bit, and when my hair is short the curls tend to be tighter. I really want to find a short hair style that would work for me, but I don’t want to look the same as I did in high school. That was the only time I had short hair and it was cut in a short wedge style.


I have a note about the history of the pageboy haircut. Rumor has it that the very naughty glamour and pin up model Bettie Page made this haircut famous. Women’s magazine editors didn’t want it associated with a pin up girl, so they said it was historically worn by English pageboys instead.

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