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A mid-1970s example of the pageboy haircut

The pageboy (or page boy) is a modern female or male hairstyle named after what was believed to be the "pudding-basin" haircut of a late medieval page boy.[1] It has straight hair hanging to below the ear, where it usually turns under. Often there is a fringe (bangs) in the front.[2] This style was popular in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Design and style[edit]

The pageboy hairstyle was developed and popularized for women in the 1950s. Its most notable feature were the bangs made famous by the fifties glamor and fetish model Bettie Page. As this association was not acceptable to women's magazine editors it was sold to the public as the hairstyles worn historically by English pageboys. Major film actresses in the 1950s sported pageboys, and many fashionable women adopted it. A well cut pageboy is easy to maintain, and in the 1950s it was an edgy, stylish look. The pageboy is somewhat similar to a long bob cut. A pageboy hairstyle is a haircut which is designed for medium to short length hair. In the fifties the pageboy generally stopped at shoulder-length but later renditions saw the hair cut to just below the ear, where it curls under; in a reverse pageboy, the hair is curled outwards. Many hairstylists can make a pageboy and explain how it is maintained. This look suits a variety of face and body types. A pageboy flip has the bottom reversed to curl outward. Today, the pageboy is generally shoulder-length or a little longer.

In popular culture[edit]

For women[edit]

In the early 1950s, the New York City hairdresser M. Lewis popularized this style. Singer Toni Tennille of the 1970s pop duet Captain & Tennille wore one as her signature look. In the Oscar-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the villainous Nurse Ratched is known for her pageboy. In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Gone, Buffy has her hair cut into a pageboy. AnnaSophia Robb as Violet Beauregarde and Missi Pyle as Violet's mother Scarlett Beauregarde in Tim Burton's film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory both sport pageboys. Velma Dinkley, of the various Scooby-Doo animated series, has worn a short pageboy from her first appearance. Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion wears a shaggy pageboy. At the end of the Japanese anime series Kill la Kill, Satsuki Kiryuin cuts her hair into a page style. In John Green's bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, narrator and main character Hazel Grace Lancaster sports a pageboy haircut.

For men[edit]

The pageboy was first popular in the 1920s with young boys as it was first popularized by child actor Jackie Coogan. The pageboy look on boys is often referred to as the Dutch Boy look after the popular fictional character. The pageboy returned to fashion in the 1960s for grown men with straight hair after getting popularized by British rock bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Although it is currently a hairstyle worn far more by women, some men have worn it, including characters like Mowgli in Disney's 1967 version of The Jungle Book, He-Man in his 1980s incarnation, and the eponymous star of the American comic strip Prince Valiant. The latter instance inspired the pageboy's sometime nickname of "the Prince Valiant" or "Prince Valiant cut". The character of Willy Wonka as played by Johnny Depp in the film version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory wore this hairstyle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "pageboy Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary". Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  2. ^ "A Field Guide for Genealogists - Judy Jacobson - Google Books". Retrieved 2016-07-17.