Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The Hairstyles of the 40's

The first thing I fell in love with about the 40's and 50's were the hairstyles.
When I later learnt about how much work went into getting those meticulously styled and arranged hairdos I was a little apprehensive, but the end result is definitely worth the work!

Now, the hair of the 40's and 50's is very similar but these are some of the hairstyles that were widely used in the 40's.


Curls, curls and more curls was the way to do it back then. Whether you had big wavy curls cascading down your shoulders or little fluffy curls framing your face it gave instant elegance, and the variations were endless. All the hairstyles in this post involves curling the hair in some way.


In order to get those glamorous curls that lasted for days it was quite normal to go to a hairdresser several times a week for a set. For many it was a perfect occasion to catch up with friends, for what's a better place for a chat than under a hair drying helmet?
Those who tried to achieve the look in a more economic manner could do the sets themselves at home. By putting your hair in pin curls or rag rollers for the night you woke up with beautifully curled hair, all ready to style however you liked.


Victory Rolls

Victory rolls is no doubt the most iconic hairstyle of the 40's! I think it was so popular because it was a practical way to keep hair away from the face but at the same time look really glamorous.
The technique in making them can be quite tricky, but on the other hand, when secured it is a truly lasting style.


As you can see, there are many different ways to wear victory rolls: 2 big symmetrical rolls at the front or one large and one small, letting the rest of the hair hang loosely or roll it up into another roll. The possibilities are endless, once you've mastered the technique. (Which I still haven't)


Practicality was something that really characterised updos of this time period.
This rather popular style was usually made by tying a ribbon around the head and then folding all the hair inside it. By using a bigger ribbon it could easily become more festive.


And here's a modern twist on rolls. As you see, many different expressions and looks can be achieved.

The Rosie

Rosie the Riveter was quite a cultural icon during the war, representing the working women of America, and used to boost the morale. The hairstyle depicted on the poster was used a lot, partly for security reasons and partly because covering most of your hair with a scarf was a great way to hide greasy hair, in a time where water conservation was prioritised higher than frequent hair washes.


There are many modern takes on the hairstyle around today. I like this variety where the scarf is more a decorative bandana and the curls are shown off. (Tutorial for this particular style here)


A completely different way to use ribbons was simply using it to tie the hair back. It quickly created a sweet and youthful look.


I can't talk of 40's hair without mentioning snoods. Apparently snoods were used way back in the Renaissance, but in the 40's they made a big comeback. Just like scarves they were a quick way to cover the hair and keeping it out of the way, but gave many opportunities to arrange intricate curls or rolls at the front.


The snood in itself was by no means boring. It was normal to decorate it further with ribbons or hair flowers. And the best part was that you could get snoods in all the colours of the rainbow!


Hair Flowers
                                 1940s flowers combos clips

Another popular hair accessory was flowers. At the time it became more normal for women to go without hats, and so a big flower or a whole cluster of them was a great substitute. And, as with all hair accessories of that time, the variations were endless.


Have you tried any of these hairstyles yourself?
Which one do you think you would wear if you lived back then?


  1. I love the snoods - they are so pretty and they have a really elegant feel to them. :)

    ~Lydia~ <3

    1. I agree completely! Practical yet elegant must have been the motto of the 40's:)

  2. Ooooh, Rose -- this post was so fascinating!! I could see myself wearing something similar to the lady in the third picture (the same one you used for a button). So pretty.... but they're all so classy really. :)

    And is that you in the first "updo" collage? Or did you find it somewhere??

    1. I am completely in love with that picture myself! If only it came with a tutorial...
      No it's not me, I found the picture via google search - but I have worn an updo similar to it at many occasions:)

  3. I love your header! And this is a great post--I adore the victory rolls; so beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much! Victory rolls are really something, I am quite in love with the concept of them myself:)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Gorgeous!! Love all the hairstyles! I've thought about trying out the victory rolls myself. ^_^

    1. So glad you like them. You should try it :-) the technique is quite tricky but they look so elegant.

  5. Their hairstyles were so glamorous then--I've always loved those big, dreamy curls. When I was little I wanted a 40s permanent SO BAD.

    Snoods are so elegant! They were probably a bit of a time-saver as well.

    Oh my. I would probably wear all of them! I would LOVE to learn how to do pin curls successfully.

    ~Rilla Blythe

    1. The curls are also one of my favourite thing about that time!

      Yes, snoods must have been quite practical when you were running late in the morning;) I've been thinking a lot about wearing them myself.

      You wanna learn how to do pin curls? *pulls out presentation* I've been doing them for a while and they're actually surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it.

  6. AHHHH. I love these. Those curls are delicious.

    1. I KNOW!! The hairstyles continue to awe me.

  7. I've always thought a snood would be neat. It seems like a fairly easy, yet pretty, way to do one's hair.

    I also like the picture you included just before the snoods. That's such a sweet look, and would probably have been my style if I'd lived in the 1940s.

    1. I completely agree. I've been thinking a lot about starting to wear snoods eventually.

      Yes, I love that look! I saw the picture and just had to include it. It's also one of my favourite styles to wear.

  8. I love 1940's hairstyles!! The pictures in this post are so pretty!

    I actually have tried a few of these styles-I've done pin curls multiple times. I really love them, but they only work when my hair is cut short. I have super thick hair, so once my hair reaches past my shoulders, pin curls are out. :P

    And, I've also done the headband roll thing. I find it helpful to tuck and hold the roll with bobby pins. :)

    I hope I can try more of these styles some day! Thank you for sharing! :D

    1. You've actually tried the styles? Awesome!
      Pin curls really give great results, right? But it's true they don't last as well with long hair.
      The headband roll is just such a practical and timeless style.

      I'm so glad you liked the post:)

  9. I have used a snood. A rather easy way to get the look without a lot of hassle. I am still trying to figure out victory rolls. My hair is naturally curly, so if I can figure out how to manage it, I would probably wear my hair down. I think I need a hair cut to add some layers first though.

    1. I really want to wear snoods too, they just seem the quickest way to get a great style.
      Yeah, victory rolls is quite of a challenge for me too. I usually have to redo them 3 or 4 times (so I don't really try them often).


You might also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...