Janelle Monae is the modern face of the pompadour, but this iconic hairstyle has been around for hundreds of years. Men, women, royalty and rockstars, the pompadour is adored by such a wide variety of people. What is it exactly? It’s when your hair is combed up from the forehead, without a part. Keep scrolling for our favorite interpretations of the style throughout history.
It all began with Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV’s royal mistress, in the 18th century. She may have been an infamous part of history, but her trendsetting hairstyle was simply famous. Her hairstylist wrote books on hairstyling featuring the style, and other royals soon started embracing the pompadour. Marie Antoinette often adorned her pompadour with over-the-top jewelry and accessories.
In the early 1900s, a new iteration of the pompadour was introduced: a more relaxed, looser version. It was inspired by “The Gibson Girl,” named after the drawings of Charles Dana Gibson. Hair was essentially teased at the hairline, combed back and secured into a chignon.
The pompadour was arguably at its peak when famous men took the trend on in the 1940s and ‘50s. Elvis, and other celebs like Little Richard, James Dean and more, sported the sleek look. Think of the ‘greaser’ look – or the film Grease, for that matter – it was named after the pomade used to get the look.
In the modern world, the style is often sported by pop stars, like Janelle Monae, Pink and Miley Cyrus. It’s often associated with being a free spirit, confident and, frankly, a badass. Long live the pompadour!
Are you into the look? It’s actually fairly easy to get the look at home – all you need is a good hair pomade and a comb. Take a dollop of pomade and work it through your hair. Add more product as needed. Take your comb and carefully comb your hair back. It’s all about practice – it will turn out better the more you do it. Soon enough you’ll be a pomp pro!
Click the picture for product recommendations to get the look:
To end the confusion, click here for the difference between the pompadour and PAMPADOUR!