1940s Hair Trends You Can Try Today

Victory Rolls

The 1940s were an era of dramatic transformation. Women joined the workforce en masse while men went off to war. Women frequently donned hair rolls known as Victory Rolls to keep them out of their faces and away from machinery; this style became beloved among silver screen starlets and regular women alike. This style can add the perfect finishing touch to your pin-up look, whether worn with a straight bob hairstyle, or bangs rolled and pinned into place. Many also choose to incorporate the pompadour hairstyle into their pin-up look by teasing their crown and then pinning a straight section over it to form the iconic poof of hair. The Victory Roll is an attractive yet practical style, perfect for workplace or formal events. They were sometimes worn with an added headscarf for additional protection or elegance.

Roller Curls

1940s styles ranged from Shirley Temple’s ringlet curls and soft feminine waves on women with medium or long hair to gentle feminine waves on those with medium to long locks; all represent 1940s hairstyles in terms of texture and shape. Straight, sleek modern hair was not the norm; voluminous curls emphasized femininity, perfectly complimenting 1940s clothing styles. These 1940s hairstyles looked sophisticated and tasteful, whether brushed out into a bob or pulled up into an updo like that Rita Hayworth wore in Gilda. Achieve this look quickly with practice and plenty of hairspray. To achieve a 1940s hairstyle, choosing the appropriate roller size is vital. Larger rollers create smooth, big curls with lots of height/volume at the roots, while tighter, smaller rollers produce smaller, faster waves and curls. If unsure, experiment with various sizes until you find what works best for your hair; remember that more rollers equals fuller hair!

Slicked-Back Hair

As the 1940s began, women started styling their hair to enhance their features. If they had full faces, they’d pile their locks high for volume; otherwise, if their faces were narrow, they gathered it over their ears to appear more expansive. As a result, the slicked-back look quickly gained popularity. Defined, this style involves brushing the hair away from the face and securing it using oily or waxy products. It pairs particularly well with beard fade styles for men. While not typically associated with the 1940s, this style was also very fashionable during that decade. Think Rita Hayworth in a Covergirl advertisement sporting her signature style of slicking back her hair and wearing bold winged lipstick. This style is easily achievable and can even complement full bob haircuts, making it suitable for work environments or when combined with business suits.

Curly Hair

Women with long hair sported big, voluminous curls during the 1940s. Pinned to one side or swept back with a scarf or snood for events like parties and weddings inspired by this decade, this elegant look makes a strong impression. This style may take time and requires pin curls, a nylon hair scarf, duckbill clips, and hairspray, but the effort will pay off! Show everyone you mean business as an iconic pin-up girl. Pin-up styles were designed to accentuate the best features of a woman’s face. For example, if she had full cheeks or a square face, her hairstyle might emphasize the narrow part of her forehead.

Similarly, if she had wide features, her locks would likely be pulled back behind the ears and tucked behind them for easy styling. Bangs were uncommon during this era, but if present, they could either be hidden from view or blended seamlessly into her style. Sleek, straight modern hair was never in style.