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1940’s Hair – Victory Rolls to Pin Curls

The 1940’s saw a huge change in women’s hairstyles, with the war beginning in 1939 and dominating the country up until 1945 and beyond, women’s hair was to see changes in upkeep and styling.

With a huge percentage of men off fighting in the armed forces, it landed with the female population to take up the ‘men’s’ jobs, and this meant many women having to keep their hair up and neat due to the health and safety regulations of many of the unfamiliar workplaces they found themselves in.

Victory Rolls

Probably the most well-known and recognisable styles of the century, thought to have got its name from the manoeuvre performed by fighter planes returning from successful outings, was created by taking the top sections of the hair, rolling and pinning it into large rolls. The remainder of the hair was often set into soft pin curls.

Hairnets, snoods and headscarf’s

Once your hair was set, if you were heading out to work it was often easy to keep your style neat and safely tucked away with a hairnet or snood, or even a full headscarf. This way the hair at the back would sit above the collar, which was often a rule in many working environments such as factories and workshops.


Luxury items such as bobby pins and headbands could be quite scarce so women would use ribbons and fabrics in their hair, often tied to their prized bobby pins which they kept a firm grip (get it!) on!

With the popularity of movies and their stars at an all-time high, women would often take inspiration from the leading ladies of the time, but with austerity measures in place, it would only be the very rich who would frequent hairdressers for the latest movie inspired styles. The average lady of the time would try to recreate styles at home with increasingly popular styling products such as hairspray and setting lotions.

Nowadays vintage looks are proving popular with lots of fairs and events such as Twinwood and our own Cleethorpes Armed Forces Days, people are also adopting the style as their everyday vibe, so would you try the 1940’s hair look? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!