Beauty

What Were the Most Popular Hairstyles Of the 1940s?

What Were the Most Popular Hairstyles Of the 1940s?

1940s hairstyles are still all the rage in alternative modern trends, from victory rolls to pompadours, you’ve probably seen someone sporting these sultry styles. Of course, these weren’t the only go-to styles of 1940s hair, there were many other iconic looks that can be translated into today’s vintage-inspired fashion looks. 

1940s Hairstyles for Women

Despite the war, women in the 1940s were still able to create jaw-dropping looks simply by styling their hair. 

1940s hairstyles were largely inspired by actresses during an era of glamor that provided a sense of escapism from the war. While long locks were in at the beginning, the United States government encouraged actress Veronica Lake to cut her long locks to help influence women to cut their long locks that were hazardous while operating machinery. 


Image credit: hairandmakeupartist.com
 

Tight waves (Finger Waves) and curls: 

Tight waves offered body and glamor to every-day looks of women. This was the perfect pin-up look that worked for both long and short hair. It wasn’t uncommon for women to wear curlers throughout the night to achieve this look during the day, but, these stunning waves are easier to achieve with today’s modern curling irons. 


Image credit: chicvintagebrides.com

To get the look you’ll wrap small sections of hair around a thin curling iron, release the curl, and pin them into place. But, if that’s still too much work, you can simply braid wet hair the night before and unbraid it in the borning for an instant vintage look. 

Image credit: chicvintagebrides.com
 

  Curls were also very popular in the 40s, whether they used perms, irons or curlers, leaving curls tight and high on the head was easy to achieve for many women. 
 

Image credit: verityvintagestudio.typepad.com
 

Victory Rolls: 

  Victory rolls are an iconic style of the 1940s that was inspired by the glamorous women in Hollywood at the time. 
  This style features tight curls around the face and the crown of the head. 
 

Image credit: pinterest.com
 

  To create this look you will curl the hair tightly around your face, then curl it in toward your face and pin it in place. You can sport a single victory roll, dual victory rolls, or multiple depending on how you’re feeling that day. 
 



Image credit: pinterest.com
 

Women’s Pompadour: 

  Pompadours weren’t just for men in the 1940s. The pompadour is a rebellious look that is the ideal of the 1940s inspired retro fashion statements. 
  To create a pompadour you’ll need to tease the hair at the crown of your head to create a cushion of hair, then pin a straight section across the teased section to create that iconic poof of hair. 
 

Image credit: glamourdaze.com
 

Pageboy: 

  An iconic look, the Pageboy style included a long, smooth curled under roll that went around the entire back and sides of the hair. This style was perfect for medium length hair. 
  To create a pageboy look you will need to roll your hair under toward your neck and set with a little hairspray. 
 

Image credit: deborahburrows.blogpost.com
 

Accessories: 

  While many women kept things simple in the 1940s, there were many practical hair accessories that were used to keep hair out of their faces while working during the war. 

 

Headscarves and Turbans: 

  Headscarves or scarves were used both as decorative pieces and functional accessories to keep hair out of the face while working. 
  They came in a variety of colors, sizes, and patterns and were worn either folded into a triangle and tied atop the head, worn around the head and knotted under the chin, or plaited into the hair and tied. 

  

Image credit: allthingshair.com
 

  Turbans, much like scarves were wrapped around the head to keep hair out of the face and tidy. Turbans were usually made of soft wool or rayon crepe. 
  Women could leave them plain or decorate them with pompoms or flowers for extra flare. 
 

Image credit: hairandmakeupartist.com
 

Snoods: 

  Another means of keeping hair out of your face, snoods were worn to keep hair out of the face and neatly in place. 
 

Image credit: thehistorygirls.blogpost.com
 

  The majority of snoods were homemade crocheted bags, worn placed between the crown or back of the head. The front of the hair was then swept back into the snood or left out and styled in curls or waves. 
  Snoods were very popular for factory workers to ensure that they could safely keep hair out of the way. 

Image credit: hairandmakeupartist.com

Ribbons: 

  Much like snoods and scarves, ribbons were used to keep hair out of the face. They were made of many different materials and were available in a variety of colors. 
 

Image credit: verityvintagestudio.typepad.com
 

1940s Hairstyles for Men: 

  In the 1940s men started growing their hair out, even if just a little bit. However, as a whole, men’s looks didn’t seem to change quite as much as women’s hairstyles during the 1940s. 
  Most men still favored short hair options with oil used to keep it slicked back or parted. 

Quiffed Hair: 

  Though slight, men would slightly quiff their hair at the front to add a little more dimension to their style. This is thought to have been the start of the pompadour that would come into fashion in the 1950s. 
  The slightly quiffed hair of 1940s men varied in length, the front, or top of the head was allowed to grow an extra inch or so in length, while the rest was cut short and left straight. 
 

Image credit: nextluxury.com
 

  Slicked Back:  

Sophisticated and popular, the slicked-back look was a go-to style for men in the 1940s. Slicked hair was easy to achieve by simply spreading oil through the hair and pushing it back against the head to keep it in place. 

Some men liked volume with their slicked-back hair, others preferred a streamlined look.

 

Image credit: hairstyleonpoint.com
 

Short Curls: 

While straight hair was definitely the “in” look in the 1940s for men, some men had curls that they couldn’t straighten. These men would often keep their curls matted down with oil to fit in with the crowd. 

Image credit: pinterest.com

  The elegant hairstyles of the 1940s were all about class or function. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for vintage hairstyles for men or women, you can never go wrong with 1940s hairstyles. 
  Which 1940s hairstyle is your favorite? Share and comment below! 

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