Woman with pageboy
Hair Styling | Short hair

The Pageboy: Timeless and Stylish

The pageboy is a classic among hairstyles. As timeless as it is, it’s also very now. What’s more, it’s a super confident look. We tell all about this cut – including whether it’ll work for you

Woman with pageboy in bright dress

The namesake hairstyle of English court pages is also popular in today’s fashion world

Looking for a hairstyle that’s both timeless and modern? The pageboy is a great choice. The haircut takes its name from the medieval English court pages who sported a very similar look. One of history’s most famous pageboy bearers was probably Prince Eisenherz. But this cut goes even further back, way back to the time of the ancient Egyptians.

In ancient Egyptian imagery, you can see both women and men wearing chin-length pageboy hairstyles with straight bangs. This graphic-style short cut was on trend in the 1920s, then again in the 50s and 60s. The pageboy has always given women an air of independence, confidence and emancipation – and still does so today. Read on to learn all you need to know about the stylish pageboy.

What is a pageboy and what does it look like?

As we mentioned, this look was already in vogue in the 1920s. The modern, boyish short style is based on the classic men's haircut worn by the English “pageboys”. 1920s women with pageboy cuts defined themselves with self-confidence, intellect and independence, even going as far as to pursue careers: A small revolution at the time. The look was mostly sported by young women, who were rebelling against the traditional idea of femininity in their era. A sign of emancipation, it’s become timely again in the context of today’s feminism debate.
Features: The pageboy is a very graphic short cut, which impresses with its clear contours. You can wear the pageboy at different lengths, with or without bangs, and in bright colors. The only crucial element is accurate lines: If a pageboy features bangs, they need to be cut dead straight. The sides are also cut straight, with all the hair kept at the same, even length. In the shortest versions, hair on the back of the head will be as short as a men's haircut. Back in the 20s, pageboy wearers liked to set their hair in finger waves overnight.

Pageboy: The most beautiful versions

Woman with long pageboy

A longer pageboy looks great, too

The pageboy with bangs is a real classic, and is currently super-hyped by the film and fashion industries. The most well-known fringed pageboy wearer is probably Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of US Vogue. Another memorable pageboy was the raven-black style worn by actress Uma Thurman in the movie Pulp Fiction. As gangster bride Mia Wallace, she became an absolute cult figure in the 90s with her cool look. Features: Bangs are cut straight, the sides are one accurate length. But pitch black is not your only option: This haircut will also shine in bright colors such as red or orange.

The pageboy sans pony is a great alternative. The forehead remains uncovered, so you see more of the face. This variant was popular among Hollywood stars of the 30s. Hair was worn anywhere down to shoulder length, the ends were curled and the look was styled with a deep side part.

With a short pageboy, hair only reaches the earlobes. Hair on the back of the head can be as short as a men's cut. This form of a pageboy takes some courage, but it can really highlight your face. In the 50s and 60s, the pageboy reached almost to the jaw and was styled with a lot of body at the roots.

How do I style a pageboy?

You can wear the pageboy both smooth and simple, or voluminous and wavy – depending on the statement you want to make. The look of Anna Wintour, for example, is precise, stylish, elegant and super classy. She’s in charge, radiating seriousness and control. There’s not a single flyaway strand - everything is neatly styled. For such a look, the pageboy has to be blow dried under with a round brush and finished with hair spray. Tip: For an elegant finish, spray some shine spray over the entire hairstyle. If you want to achieve a sleek retro look, use gloss wax or pomade – just as women of the 20s styled their glamorous evening looks.
If you prefer a romantic look, you can incorporate soft waves – even finger waves – into your hair. For a full, 60s look, spray some volume hair spray at the roots. Tip: Some hair powder or dry shampoo applied to the roots can provide volume and a fresh style.

Who will suit the pageboy

Woman with silver pageboy

Fine facial features come into their own with this haircut

For women with fine facial features, this is an ideal style, as it places particular emphasis on the face. The haircut suits oval or heart-shaped faces especially. Women with fine, smooth hair can wear the pageboy well – such texture lends itself well to the accuracy of the cut. The pageboy frames the face, bringing it into focus. Tip: Make-up should be just as perfect as the hairstyle. Don’t lay it on too thick! Emphasize either the eyes or the lips.

Finally: Four good reasons to get a pageboy

  • It’s easy care, requiring less product, hair will dry in no time after washing, and styling is quick.
  • It’s light and airy, making it an ideal summer hairstyle. You hardly carry any weight with you and the neck stays pleasantly cool.
  • Short hair looks youthful and fresh. We’ve found the fountain of youth – it’s a new haircut!
  • The hairstyle stretches the face visually, thus emphasizing a long neck.