Although many variations of this style exist for men, women and children, the main concept consist in the hair being swept upwards from the face and worn high over the forehead, and sometimes upswept around the sides and back as well. Pompadour hairstyle was originally named in honor of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, better known as the Marquis de Pompadour, the official mistress of the French King Louis XV. This hairstyle she wore soon became a sign of luxury and status. Later, women began to curl their hair with cream and, with the help of a wire frame, the hairdo acquired extraordinary dimensions. Later, instead of frames, they begun to use special pads filled with their own, or fake hair to create volume.
After its initial popularity among the fashionable women of the XVIII century, the style was revived in the 1890s in the form of Gibson Girl – the ideal of female beauty, created by the American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson and continued to be in vogue before the First World War. Hair stacked up with a whirlwind, folded on top of the head.
This was already a more practical hairstyle, than the original pompadour, which has ceased to be an exclusive feature of the aristocracy, and became popular among the emerging middle class. The pompadour came back in fashion among fashionable women later in the 1940s.
The male version was popularized by Elvis Presley in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Local aces from the towns college baseball team wearing jumpers and flirting with cute waitresses that deliver milkshakes on rollers in a colorful diner beside the road; a rockabilly band in matching checked jackets paying tribute to the King of Rock and Roll by covering his last hit accompanied by the cheerful screams of adoring young ladies; saucy greasers in black leather jackets and scuffed boots, sprinting through the American heartland on beefy muscle cars and charged hotrods. The latter, they say, paved their hair with machine oil and carbon black for a particularly strong fix. They all had in common the desire to wear the unswerving pompadour – an iconic element of the American spirit, which today has become an integral part of the lifestyle for adepts of that era’s vintage culture.