Nowadays, peyot are 'worn' by some religious Jews as long extensions on the sides of the head. Often they are stylised into curls/locks. From what I understand, this was popularised by the chassidic movement and other groups have adopted it.
The commandment surrounding this topic is in the negative: not to shave the side of your head (e.g., Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah:181). From what I've seen, halakhists tend to frame the discussion around what is prohibited. Its therefore hard for me to imagine what people's hair would have looked like in view of this prohibition.
Is there any indication in older sources how people wore their peyot?