Hairstyles from the 1940s — Updos & Bangs

retro updo 1940s hairHairstyles from the 1940s include updos and peek-a-boo bangs.  Women everywhere have their own versions of the updo, another great style in 1940s hair.  If your hair is shoulder length or longer, the updo is easy.  It’s a great option for bad hair days, and all it requires is a paddle brush, a comb, a hair elastic, and bobby pins. 

Here's how to create a 1940s updo for yourself.  Brush your hair back and gather it into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Secure it with the hair elastic. Split the ponytail in two. Using a comb, tease each half. To do this, place the comb in the section of hair, about halfway down the length of the section, and then comb it back towards the elastic.  Take one section, twist it under, and secure with bobby pins. Do the same with the other side. If you want the sleek look of 1940s hair, smooth out stray hairs and spray in place.

1940s Hair: The Peek-a-Boo Bang

peek a boo bangs 40s hairThe style made famous by 1940s starlet Veronica Lake is the kind of 1940s hair that never goes out of fashion, and it’s super-stylish.  Wash hair and dry until it is barely damp.  Part your hair deep on one side.  This is important to get the peek-a-boo effect over one eye.

Using a 1-inch diameter curling iron, curl small sections of hair, beginning at the top. Each time, do not unwind the curling iron, but open it up slightly and slide the curl off the barrel. Then pin the curl in place with a bobby pin. After you’ve done all the curls and have them pinned in place, wait a few minutes for your hair to cool. When your hair is cool, remove the bobby pins. Use your fingertips to loosen the curls into waves. Because one side is parted so deeply, the other side will have hair that partly covers one eye. You can put a bobby pin in the wave over the eye so that you can see.  Otherwise, glance seductively out from your peek-a-boo bangs and charm everyone.

The 1940s may have been 60 years ago—but 1940s hair is timeless and ultra glamorous!


1940s Hair – Create 1940’s Hair that Turns Heads

1940s hair updoFew styles are as gorgeous as 1940s hair.  The rationing of clothing and fabrics during World War II made women concentrate on making their hair as beautiful as possible.  While some of the styles looked complicated, 1940s hair can be replicated with just a few tools: bobby pins, hair elastics, curlers or a curling iron, a comb, and a hairbrush.  We're going to look at one of the most popular styles of 1940s hair, the top reverse roll. 

1940's Hairstyle — Top Reverse Roll

The top reverse roll was a popular style for 1940s hair.  It is similar to a 1940s pompadour hairstyle, but easier to create.

Here's how to recreate the top reverse roll.  Set hair in rollers with all rolls going away from the face.  Take rollers out, and make a part on each side of the head from front to back, and a third part across the back.  This will give you a rectangular patch of hair that you can hold straight up off the top of your head.  Brush this section forward and put pins on both sides of the section.  Roll loosely toward the back with the ends remaining inside the roll.  Pin roll in place crosswise with bobby pins.  Depending on your face shape, you may need to make the section of hair in the roll smaller or larger.  This is a style of 1940s hair that really shows off your face.


1940’s Hairstyles – 1940’s Pin Curls “How To” Tips

pin curls head 1940s hairHave you ever wondered if you could create sexy 1940’s hairstyles for yourself?  Do pompadours and side rolls appear too complicated?

With practice, you can create 1940’s hairstyles with simple tools like curlers and bobby pins.  I’m going to give you a few "how to" tips for pin curls.  Pin curls are one of the most popular elements of 1940’s hairstyles.

 How to Tips for Pin Curls

Of all the 1940’s hairstyles, this is probably one of the most stylish.  Begin by washing hair the night before and letting it air dry until it is damp. To set your hair in pin curls, comb damp hair and part into small sections. You’re going to pin each curl with a standard bobby pin, so sections must be small. Wind each curl around your finger smoothly. Pin each curl in place with a bobby pin.

Gently tie a silk scarf around your hair before going to bed. Sleeping on pin curls will take some getting used to, but the results are worth it. In the morning, remove pins and gently finger comb your hair. If you use a hairbrush, don’t overdo it, or you’ll brush the curl out.  Letting pin curls fall loose from a side part was one of the sexiest 1940’s hairstyles. 


Retro Hairstyles – 1940s Retro Hairstyles

retro hairstyle 1940s updo The “updo” is one of the most popular 1940’s retro hairstyles.  To recreate a 1940’s updo, requires knowledge and a few basic skills.  Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can quickly create a 1940's retro updo in very little time.

Here's how to create a very basic updo.  All you have to do is take a low pony tail, split it, tease the two sections, wind them under and pin them in place. This is a look that can be sleek and perfect, or messy and modern.  No wonder it is a “go-to” choice for everyone from working women having a bad hair day—to Hollywood stars walking the red carpet!

1940s retro hairstyles are not the only vintage styles that are gaining popularity.  Other vintage hairstyles from the 1950's and 1960's are also coming back into fashion.  Even the hair damaging confection that was the 1960’s bouffant is seeing a bit of a comeback.  Sure, Penelope Cruz would look gorgeous no matter what hairstyle she wore, but at the 2009 Academy Awards, the slightly bouffant updo served to highlight the lines of her strapless gown and her graceful neck.  The key to creating this look is back combing at the crown of your head. 

Celebrities Spotted With Glamorous Retro Hairstyles

At the 2008 Academy Awards, Katherine Heigl had her chin length blonde hair in a style that was reminiscent of the sexy, face-framing curls that Marilyn Monroe wore. And many casual snaps of young Hollywood starlets today show that the long, tumbling waves made famous by Farah Fawcett in the 1970’s are influencing styles today.

Believe it or not, even the 80’s are having some influence on today’s retro hairstyles. Fashion icon Kate Moss was photographed at the red carpet premiere of her perfume line with big, stiff hair. Maybe there is no such thing as a “new” hairstyle, but it’s a fitting tribute to the women of earlier decades to bring back a retro look and remind everyone what old school glamour really is.

Retro hairstyles hail from just about any decade of the twentieth century, with a 1940’s bob looking fine with your work outfit, or a sleek, 1950’s pony tail keeping you cool and pretty at a summer picnic.  It’s difficult to turn on a television show about stars today without hearing some reference to Old Hollywood Glamour, which more often than not means 1940’s retro hairstyles.


1940’s Hairstyles – Pompadour Hairstyle and Victory Rolls

1940s hairstyle pompadourCreating a 1940s Pompadour Hairstyle

Sometimes associated with the 1950’s, the pompadour actually falls in the category of 1940’s hairstyles.  The pompadour hairstyle involves back combing, a technique that doesn’t take long too long to learn. 

Here's how to create a basic, 1940's pompadour hairstyle.  Choose a section near the front and top on the side of the head.  Hold it straight up.  Insert a comb about halfway between the roots and ends. Push the comb down towards the roots.  The comb will take hairs with it.  Do this a few times, until you’ve made a “cushion” at the bottom of that section of hair.  Repeat by back combing a section on the opposite side of the head from the first one.

Next, comb hair underneath the teased sections up and over the cushion of hair and pin in place. The hair from your front hairline should be combed up and off the forehead and pinned in place. You should have a nice “pouf” of hair at the crown. Of the many 1940’s hairstyles, pompadour hair has made a big comeback recently.

Victory Rolls Hairstyle

No discussion of 1940’s hairstyles would be complete without the victory roll hairstyle.  To create a victory roll, style hair in pin curls and remove pins as instructed above.  Part your hair as you usually do.  Section off hair behind each ear, and let the back hang normally.  On one side, brush the section of hair up high and straight out.  Spray with a little hairspray to keep ends in place.  Using fingers, curl the section upward so that it curls in on itself and the ends are in the innermost part of the roll.  Pin in place on top of the head using hair pins. You can make more than one roll on either side of the head if you want. When you have the rolls on one side done, repeat on the other side.

Creating 1940’s hairstyles takes practice, but they can be very flattering and glamorous—and they are never boring!


Retro Hairstyles – How to Do Retro Hairstyles

retro hairstyle 40s hairRetro hairstyles are hot right now—from 1940’s retro hairstyles like finger waves to modern versions of the 1960’s bouffant. These looks are pure glamour, and they are fun choices for everyday glamour, special occasions, weddings, and proms. You could even work a more extreme retro hairstyle, like Swiss Miss braids into a party costume.

The 1940’s retro hairstyles are glamorous and womanly, reminiscent of war brides looking their most beautiful to welcome home husbands from the war.  Hair in the 1940’s was done in the most elaborate ways. Some of the more classic styles included pin curls, perfectly placed finger waves, or a classic 1940's updo.  1940’s retro hairstyles required mastering a few techniques.  And, because of the lack of modern hair appliances like blow dryers, they also required patience.

Recreating 1940’s retro hairstyles is not as labor intensive today, because we have modern technology such as curling irons and personal hair dryers.  Getting that deep side parted Veronica Lake “peek-a-boo bang” style doesn’t require sleeping in curlers.  Creating 1940’s victory rolls or pompadours takes some practice—however, people will appreciate the effort you put into these retro hairstyles, because they look sexy and up-to-the-minute when paired with modern fashions.


Rockabilly Hairstyles – Classic Rockabilly Hairstyles

rockabilly hairstyle 40s hairWant to create rockabilly hairstyles?  You're in good company.  The word “rockabilly” used to refer to early rock and roll country music of the 1940s and 50s.  Today, rockabilly is an entire subculture that embraces vintage style, right down to creating hot rockabilly hairstyles.

The 1940’s rockabilly hairstyles influenced all rockabilly hairstyles that followed.  The most popular of the 1940’s rockabilly hairstyles was a mid-length style made famous by pin-up girl Bettie Page.  This look from the 1940’s goes great with swing dancing, and at celebrations of anything vintage—from cars to music.

The 1940’s were very special years in terms of hairstyles. With fabric and clothing being rationed in wartime, women became more creative than ever with their hair.  Though some 1940’s styles were more glamorous and subdued, the 1940’s rockabilly hairstyles were more of a fun look.  The Bettie Page look from the 1940’s is a very common rockabilly hairstyle. The hair is around shoulder length, with blunt cut bangs across the forehead. Hair is center parted and styled with soft waves—except for the bangs, which are straight and smooth, and reach to the middle of the forehead.

Want some tips on how to create rockabilly hairstyles?  This article on rockabilly hairstyles how to will help you.


Rockabilly Hairstyles How To

rockabilly hairstyleWant to learn how to create rockabilly hairstyles? 

True rockabilly hairstyles require hair to be cut into layers that are about 4 inches long all around, except for in front of the ear.  It should be about 3 inches long there.  Hair in the back can remain long—up to 10 inches long. If you don’t want to commit to the haircut, mid-length hair can be coaxed into a rockabilly hairstyle with some extra patience.

To begin creating a rockabilly hairstyle, section hair, and set in large rollers.  Hot rollers work great, as do regular foam rollers on hair that's slightly damp.  Once your hair is cool (or completely dry) remove the rollers, and back comb the inside of the front curls to create volume. To do this, hold up a section of hair, insert a comb about halfway down, and gently comb it back toward the scalp. This will create pouf and volume. Create a roll from the hair at the very front. Using your fingers or a brush handle, roll hair under with the ends of the hair tucked inside. Use bobby pins to hold in place. Spray with hairspray and make sure pins aren’t visible.

You have some flexibility about how to style the sides and back. Rolls and loose curls will work. Set the back hair on rollers or in pin curls, spray with hairspray and let cool or let dry. Remove pins or rollers and arrange back and side hair with your fingers. Variations in rockabilly hairstyles for women include wearing mid-forehead length bangs rather than making a front roll and pinning it in place. There are also variations in the tightness of curl in the back hair.

You can learn how to do rockabilly hairstyles once you master the technique of curling hair on rollers or in pin curls. There are numerous variations in rockabilly hairstyles, but in general, they have height and volume on top, are shorter and closer to the head on the sides, and the longest hair is at the nape of the neck.  Women’s rockabilly hairstyles are curly—with the loosest curls being waves cascading down the neck. 


Vintage Hairstyles 1940s, 50s, and 60s – Marilyn Monroe & Beehive Hair

marilyn monroe vintage hairstyleVintage hairstyles are some of the sexiest hairstyles you can create.  Vintage hair from the 1940's, 50's, and 60's has inspired hairdressers, celebrities, and brides (for vintage wedding hairstyles).  Women of all ages can look sexier and feel more glamorous in beautiful retro hairstyles. 

Marilyn Monroe Vintage Retro Hairstyle

1950s star Marilyn Monroe often wore soft curls at an angle that framed her face.  This is one of the best vintage hairstyles for hair that is shoulder length or shorter. You can use medium sized foam rollers that you get at the drugstore, or you can use hot rollers.

 To set hair, apply mousse to hair that is not quite dry, then comb it into several sections. Roll sections of hair under, and roll the sections framing your face so that they’re angled toward your face rather than horizontal. Once hair is dry or the hot rollers have cooled, take rollers out. Using only your fingers, arrange the curls in front so that they frame your face. Once you get it just right, spray it in place with hairspray.  This glamorous look is one of the most popular vintage hairstyles, and for good reason.

The Beehive Hair – Beehive Hairstyles Revealed

vintage hairstyles beehive hairAmong vintage hairstyles of the 1960s, the beehive took hair to magnificent heights—literally.  It has been seen in the 80s on Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson of the band B-52s (which itself is a style of beehive hairdo shaped like the nose cone of a plane), and more recently on British singer Amy Winehouse. This is a style that gets noticed—one of those vintage hairstyles that you need to save for a special occasion!

To recreate the beehive, work mousse through the roots of your hair, then set on hot rollers. When you remove the rollers, separate out your bangs, or if you don’t have bangs, the hair where bangs would be. Pin this aside. Starting with a section of hair crossing the top of the back of your head, bring hair up and towards the front of your head, secure it in place with styling gel and bobby pins.  Repeat this process one section at a time, bringing each new section up and over the last, which will build up layers of hair.  The more layers you have, the higher the beehive.

The front section can be styled however you like: pulled up over the beehive, across the forehead, or in bangs if you have them. Once you’re done, spray generously with hairspray. This is one of those vintage hairstyles you’ll want to get pictures of!


1940s Vintage Hairstyles – How to Create Vintage Hairstyles

1940s vintage hairstyle updoVintage hairstyles are extremely popular, with Hollywood stars showing up on red carpets with classic updos and finger waves. 

Combined with today’s fashions, vintage hairstyles create a fresh look with elements of the classic and modern.  Do you want to learn how to create vintage hairstyles?  Well, you're in good company.  We're going to look at some of the most popular 1940's vintage hairstyles…

Popular 1940’s Vintage Hairstyles

It would be hard to find more glamorous looks than 1940’s vintage hairstyles.  With pin curls and updos with side rolls, 1940’s vintage hairstyles were meant to be noticed.  Two popular 1940s vintage hairstyles are the pompadour for women, which pairs “big hair” in front with sleek hair in back, and the basic updo.  Both are glamorous styles for when you need to look chic and polished.

Another 1940’s vintage hairstyle is the basic pin curl set.  The old fashioned way to create pin curls is to wash hair at night, wait until it is almost dry, take small sections of hair and curl them around your fingers.  Then pin them in place with bobby pins.  When you wake up in the morning, take the pins out and comb hair with your fingers.