The pageboy haircut is a 20th and 21st century hairstyle named after its association with Medieval English page boys. It features straight, blunt hair, curled under at the tips, with thick bangs cut straight across the forehead. This style is predominantly worn by women, but is also seen on some young boys and men. Pageboys work best on oval or heart-shaped faces, but can be adapted for other face shapes depending on their length. People with round or rectangular faces should avoid wearing a pageboy.
In a pageboy, the hair is smooth and straight for most of its length, but turned under at the bottom with a curling iron or curlers. This style works best on people with sleek, straight hair, and requires a cut that is either all one length, or slightly slanted. The pageboy haircut does not work on feathered or layered hair, and rarely looks right on people with natural curls or perms. Pageboys require regular curling to keep the tips of the hair neatly curled under, and may also need to be trimmed frequently to maintain a neat edge.
Heart-shaped and oval faces work best with the straight, blunt shapes of the pageboy haircut. People with high or narrow foreheads can benefit from this style's straight, horizontal bangs. Those with relatively long faces or diamond-shaped faces do best in a short pageboy, while pointed chins and oblong faces work well with pageboy hairstyles between chin and shoulder length.
Not everyone can wear a pageboy haircut well. The horizontal, rectangular elements of a pageboy style make people with round, pear-shaped, or square faces seem even broader. Short pageboys often make a square jaw seem wider, and long pageboy hairstyles can further elongate a narrow face. Slightly angling the style toward the back and blending the bangs into the rest of the hair can reduce these problems for some, but won't eliminate them.
Pageboy hairstyles became popular in the mid-20th century, starting around the 1930s and 1940s. The pageboy from this period is slightly angled, while 1950s and later pageboys were usually cut straight across. Despite its name, this style was not historically worn by page boys more than by other people; the association with the Medieval period was developed primarily by fashion editors during the 1950s.
Women, young men, and boys all wore this style during the mid-20th century, but it has fallen out of fashion for males. Pageboys were most popular between the 1950s and 1970s, when straight, sleek hair was in favor. The style has returned to popularity periodically over the last part of the 20th century and the the first part of the 21st.