Instructions on How to Do 1940s Hairstyles


Hairstyles from the 1940s are as popular today as they were at their inception. Wearing a vintage hairstyle can make you feel timelessly gorgeous and oh-so chic, whether for day-to-day wear or for a special occasion. Many hairstyles were created during this memorable era, but the most iconic hairstyle, which screams the Swinging 40s, is the Victory Roll. Follow a few simple steps to pull off this look with confidence and glamor.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair mousse
  • Hair spray
  • Brush
  • Rattail comb
  • Bobby pins
  • Hot rollers (optional)
  • Straighten and smooth the hair if necessary. Add a golf ball-sized amount of mousse to the hair and spread it evenly from roots to ends. This adds the needed volume to the hair. Alternatively, set straight hair in hot rollers for extra volume before styling.

  • Create a side or middle part to the middle top of the head using your rattail comb. Divide this front section with an ear-to-ear parting so that you have two parts on each side of the hair, and one section in the back. Secure the back section so it won't get in the way of styling the front parts of the hair.

  • Pull hair up and back at a 45-degree angle starting on one side of the head. Clasp the middle part and twist the hair two to three times. Bring the twisted middle slightly forward and to the scalp, creating a modified French twist. Secure with as many bobby pins as needed, being careful to not letting the pins show.

  • Repeat the Victory Roll on the other side of the hair. Adjust the height of the rolls to your preference. Smooth flyaways and spray the rolls with hairspray.

  • Unsecure the back portion. You have the option of leaving it loose in waves or soft curls, or twisting it back in an easy French roll. Another option is parting the back portion in the middle and braiding the hair in pigtails, securing the ends with ribbon.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your 1940s hairdo does not need to be perfect, just sophisticated and glamorous. Asymmetry is very flattering and adds to the authenticity of the hairstyle.


  • "How to Create 1940s Hairstyles -- Instructions and Illustrations for 17 Swing Era Styles"; George Russell; 2007
  • "1940s Hairstyles"; Daniela Turudich; 2001
  • Photo Credit George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
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