If you’re wondering why most people are suddenly big on voluminous hairdos that elevate the cuticles to the fullest, and eyeshadows that draped in vibrant shades typically involving silver, ash, and other metallic palettes, you probably have yet to learn about the Chola culture, mostly driven by Chola hairstyles.
While the look initially emerged to accommodate a tribe that stemmed in the 90s, Chola hairstyles are now the hottest looks in the fashion scene, being a common find amongst celebrities such as Gwen Stefani, Hailey Bieber, and so on.
The visuals are eerily similar as they used to be during the formative years, but many are often reluctant to learn about the importance and significance Chola hairstyles carried during their formative years, shielded from the ways in which one can wear them as a result. But if you’d like to be the first of many with enough knowledge regarding the look, this article should be a reliable companion!
Table of Contents
- A Brief History Regarding Chola Hairstyles: How An Aesthetic Affiliated with Guns & Violence Became A Staple In Fashion
- 20 Iconic Chola Hairstyles That Fit Like Gloves with Empowered Women!
- Highlighted Chicana Updo
- Deep Side-part Combover
- Two-tone Layers with Bandana
- Chola-inspired Choppy Bangs
- Elevated Middle-part with Jumbo Waves
- Chicano Braids with Wispy Edges
- 80s Chola Hairstyle with Partial Curtain Bangs
- Frosted Centre-pieced Shoulder-length Bob
- Unruly Pigtails with Split Dye
- Platinum Shag with Jumbo Curves
- Chola Bangs with Updo
- Distressed Wolf Cut
- Frizz-infused Wispy Fringes
- Curtain Bangs with High Bun
- Straight-cut Layers for Gingers
- Balayage Bantu Buns With Framing Edges
- Monochromatic Mid-part Layers with Braids
- Vintage Chicano Pin Up Hair
- Bleached Crop Cut with Edgy Fringes
- Tri-tone Side Swoop For Kids
- 5-step Tutorial To A Pin Up Hairstyle: How To Create A Chola Hairstyle Today In An Instant!
- Frequently Asked Question
- Final Takeaway
A Brief History Regarding Chola Hairstyles: How An Aesthetic Affiliated with Guns & Violence Became A Staple In Fashion
With voluminous hairdos, dimly-lit maroon lipstick, glossy eye-liners and cargo pants, the Chola aesthetic came into existence. During the 50s and 60s, in El Paso, Texas, the Chola tribe formed in order to give women a sense of belonging. Formed right after WWII, Chola hairstyles were mostly found amongst “pachucas” in hopes of making them feel more feminine amidst all the chaos.
During the 90s, Chola hairstyles, alongside the other attributes that contributed to the Chola aesthetic, found a new home in the state of Southern California, where most not only wore the designs to enhance their esteem, but also to break social stereotypes. The hairdos are currently adopted by A-list celebrities, but were then equipped by Mexican Americans in hopes of mitigating gender norms, scrutiny, and racism.
20 Iconic Chola Hairstyles That Fit Like Gloves with Empowered Women!
Chola hairstyles were initially introduced as a means for women to cope with all the gun violence that hovered all over El Paso, Texas. With Dickies pants, button down shirts, dark red lipstick and oversized accessories, the Chola aesthetic seemed complete, thanks to one of the many hairstyles available.
At the moment, the status of Chola hairstyles is almost close to being untouchable due to their rise in the world of fashion. Additionally, if you’re hoping to hop on the trend, do it the right way by replicating one of the following hairstyles!
Highlighted Chicana Updo
Since the trend wouldn’t have started without this option, it would only be fair if we start this list with an updo, the signature look for all chicanas.
The look carries tons of volume, often added through tuns of teasing and pulling. The strands are then sealed with gel, before being tucked in with a pin. By using highlights, you can easily add to the visuals of the overall look.
Deep Side-part Combover
Requiring dry shampoo and some plump, a deep combover is also a member of the Chola society. The hairstyle is often placed on one of the two sides, looking best when worn with natural waves.
This look is just as voluminous as the previous option, but also needs sea salt spray for some elevation. If you’re seeking stability, use hair spray.
Two-tone Layers with Bandana
The chicanas of El Paso as well as California loved accessorizing, which is the reason that they often wore headpieces. However, instead of wearing crowns and jewelries, those belonging to the Chola community wore their hair with a bandana, often comprising vibrant colors with jarring patterns.
This look is great if you either have thin or extremely coarse hair since it hides signs of damage and introduces some form of hold. To wear it best, crop the hair until it reaches your shoulders.
Chola-inspired Choppy Bangs
While volume did all the talking until the 70s, low-maintenance options like choppy bangs spoke to chicanas more than anything during the 80s and 90s, which is where this look comes in.
The hairdo lays flat at the center, covering a chunk of the forehead, which can be ideal for those with a receding hairline. The structure also carries straight-cut layers around each side, which can be ironed and transformed to pull off waves.
Elevated Middle-part with Jumbo Waves
Since gel was the only option available before the 2000s, many chola hairstyles involved the product specializing in hold and gloss. The Cholas did it better than the rest, however, especially with this elevated middle-part.
The prized possession of this middle-part are the waves that lay on the surface of the shoulders, which are quite hefty in contrast to artificially curated waves. It can be a great look for one and done occasions, but can also be a great piece to wear if you directly work as a model.
Chicano Braids with Wispy Edges
The Mexican Americans often preferred distressing visuals over braids, but always approached fashion with an open mind. Occasionally, they would let the protective hairdo be a part of their aesthetic, preferably in the most minimal way.
A hairstyle of theirs that remains popular in the modern era is this braided look, comprising a single braided unit around the hairline, tucked in with a ring. The flyaways and baby hair are stretched to form wispy edges, sealed with gel for an incredible outcome.
80s Chola Hairstyle with Partial Curtain Bangs
Taking a trip down memory lane is definitely something that the Cholas have a problem with, especially if you’re wary of the hardship that they dealt with before coming out victorious. One of the easiest ways to carry out the previous task and reward oneself with an incredible hairdo is this 80s-inspired chola hairstyle, led by a curvy set of curtain bangs.
This hairdo doesn’t use any gel or clay, unlike most options on this list. Once the formation has been formed, however, the pieces do require some hairspray for a high-hold finish.
Frosted Centre-pieced Shoulder-length Bob
Another modern-day variation that is closely linked with chicanas belonging to the defying years of Cholas is this centre-pieced shoulder-length bob, which pairs rather well with bold eyeshadows.
The hair is parted down the middle while the strands are still damp, before being split in two through the use of a tail comb. To introduce some contrast, you may install balayage highlights.
Unruly Pigtails with Split Dye
Although pigtails were hardly common, the layout of the design definitely matches the theme curated by Cholas. The visuals are edgy and carry a sense of confidence, both of which are attributes that the chicanos adored.
Going for a jet black dye can bring forward the best case scenario to mimic the Cholas, while mimicking the split scheme can be ideal if you want your hair to snatch the spotlght from every other element.
Platinum Shag with Jumbo Curves
Taking assistance from styling tools might be redundant if you know how to style your hair like the Cholas did. Though taking tips from the upcoming portion can give you effective tips on how you can follow the traditional creative process, you can also use curling irons to cut down the styling process.
In addition to finding bounce, using artificial means will enhance the volume, as seen in the picture used for this entry. A platinum scheme can also make things monumental, preferably if you’re wearing a shag with sharp angles.
Chola Bangs with Updo
While straight-cut bangs were a common find, chicanas would also manage their outgrown layers with an updo, with visuals that can easily compete with fashion trends currently ruling the fashion scene.
The bangs are cropped with tons of density and tightness, which can be great for flat to thin hair. Adding the bun won’t just keep the length in check, but will also prevent this Chola hairstyle from going out of place.
Distressed Wolf Cut
Since the Cholas were perceived as women without class, they often threw hit back against claims by giving in to that narrative, preferably with tomboyish looks. And though that stance has faded away ever since, a look that is still as effective as it used to be is a wolf cut, specializing in displaying a rough texture.
A distressed wolf cut can be a great option for the modern era, preferably for androgynous and gender-fluid styling enthusiasts. With thinning shears, more definition can be added to the texture.
Frizz-infused Wispy Fringes
Dealing with frizzy hair and flyaways can really take a toll on your confidence if you’ve always had a thing for organized layouts. But, if you’d like to hop on the trends left behind by Cholas, the messy nature of your hair might just give you the upper hand.
This fringe involves no product or manipulation. It is finger-combed to form the structure, preferably while the strands are still damp.
Curtain Bangs with High Bun
By splitting the units down the middle, you can even change your chola hairstyle into curtain bangs, which can be easier to implement if you’re familiar with hairstyles that cover the forehead. If you’d like to add to the layout, however, pairing the curtains with a high bun should suffice.
Using waves to style your curtains can be a subtle way to make things a bit more aligned with current fashion trends while using highlights can be a safe decision to be in the middle of the vintage and current theme.
Straight-cut Layers for Gingers
If you’re a second or third-generation member of your family, you might have missed out on the time the Cholas were in full bloom. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t represent one of your relatives, especially if they were one of the chicanas that shaped the culture in the 19th century.
Rocking straight-cut layers is the best way to unlock an option that is trouble-free and clean. It also requires very little to stay in place, and isn’t frowned upon in formal settings.
Balayage Bantu Buns With Framing Edges
The love that Mexican Americans had for bantu buns faded away as more fashion trends knocked on their doors, but is rather evident when you analyse specific options from the lookbook that the Cholas invented, one of which involves bantu buns.
With framing edges, these bantu buns seem quite appropriate and very much align with the attributes of most frontrunners in the modern era. The buns are quite loose, eliminating signs of hair loss with ease.
Monochromatic Mid-part Layers with Braids
A modern face amongst this school of old-heads is this monochromatic mid-part, comprising shades of purple to display a jarring scheme. The layers are accommodated by two-stitch braids, sitting gently at the center of the frontal region.
Unlike most options on this list, this design requires professional assistance. For ideal results, reach out to someone who is wary of the Cholas and their theme.
Vintage Chicano Pin Up Hair
An option on this list that takes us back to the formative years of the Chola movement is this pin up hair, polished with gel, tons of volume, and a ribbon to seal the look altogether. Wearing this look may be appropriate for costume parties, but can be memorable if you’re representing one of your relatives.
Creating this look may seem difficult at first. However, with practice, you can perfect the art of wearing a Chola hairstyle. To learn all about it, don’t close this article without reading through the next portion.
Bleached Crop Cut with Edgy Fringes
A must-have trait for Cholas is fearlessness, regardless of what the agenda may be. This not only explains why most weren’t afraid of bleeding out during gang wars but also justifies their love for edgy looks, such as this bleached crop cut.
Bleaching the hair is surely the toughest part, but wearing the crop cut only requires sectioning. Using a tail comb is necessary for sectioning, while hair ties are necessary for the buns at the back.
Tri-tone Side Swoop For Kids
While most Chola hairstyles are either used to pay homage to those that suffered and survived from the 50s throughout the 90s, the trend also offers hairstyles that are safe for kids, such as this side-swoop.
Meshed with a tri-tone scheme, the visuals of this look are quite high-spirited and enjoyable. Since it doesn’t take notes from the average Chola theme, this option is rendered safe for school.
5-step Tutorial To A Pin Up Hairstyle: How To Create A Chola Hairstyle Today In An Instant!
At the end of the day, form is everything. Similarly, if you really want to add a chola hairstyle to your current aesthetic, taking the right measures is absolutely necessary, which might feel incomplete without a tutorial.
Though you can take help from this video if you’re a fan of visual-oriented materials, you may also go through the rules we’ve mentioned below for a quicker and smoother installation process!
Part and section your hair
The first and foremost step is to section your hair into two parts, one that will create enough separation for the frontal region, and another that will lay flat at the back. Using a tail comb is advised, especially if you want to carry out the next step.
Tease the sections with a comb for elevation
Once you’ve created the section, prepare the frontal region with some natural elevation. While sea salt spray might help, you may also tease the cuticles with a comb repeatedly until they possess a distressed look. Do it carefully though, as too much friction can lead to breakage, and eventually, hair loss.
Apply gel evenly across every portion of the combover
A combover comes in right after all the teasing, possessing more volume than usual. To seal the visuals, use gel that aligns with your hair type and porosity. Spread it evenly in order to prevent the strands from looking runny or greasy.
Secure the frontal region in a hair tie and seal the deal
After the gel somewhat settles in, secure the updo in a hair tie to complete the first part. Right after, you can either comb out the strands that lay free at the back and on each side, or manipulate it as much as you please.
Tuck the hair in with a pin
To reprise the components of a vintage-esque chola hairstyle, tuck the combover in from the back. Attach a pin on top to finish the final task!
Unleash your inner Chola!
Once you’re done with carrying out the previous task, the world is your oyster! Glam things up by draping your eyes with a vibrant eyeliner, pull out your favorite cargo pants, and seal your red lipstick with a maroon border to represent the culture of the Cholas!
Frequently Asked Question
Now that the primary components are out of the way, here is a series of questions that will give you a closer insight on Chola hairstyles, a must-have for Mexican Americans, currently taking the fashion scene by storm.
Q: What is the most common Chola hairstyle out there?
Ans: Amidst all the hairstyles associated with the Cholos, otherwise known as Cholas, the most common hairdo is a pin-up hairstyle, which involves a combover in front.
Q: Why were Chola hairstyles discriminated back in the day?
Ans: While cholas associated with the Chicano culture were fearless and gave us a glimpse of how empowering it is to break out of social stigmas, due to heavily partaking in smuggling, drug abuse, and other sorts of activities regarded as illegitimate in various regions, they were frowned upon. It not only tarnished their reputation but directly hampered the growth of Chola hairstyles.
While the tainted view and reputation of the Cholas, also known as cholos, have now subsided almost entirely, an element that further drives them away from their dark past is the revelation of Chola hairstyles, mostly comprising pin-up hairdos that pair well with their theme.
The look initially emerged in the 1950s, mostly repped by those that partook in substance abuse, belonged to gangs, and didn’t shy away from violence. The script flipped tremendously during the 90s, when the aesthetic, as well the hairstyles, were adopted to fight racism and discrimination faced by Mexican Americans.
At the moment, many are rather fond of Chola hairstyles, as it matches the aura of present-day trendsetters such as shags, wolf cuts, and so on. And if you believe that a Chola hairstyle is what you need, revise this guide to meet your match!