1940s Victory Roll Hairstyle by Hollywood Noir Make Up

I wanted to try my hand at a victory rolls hairstyle, a common style for women of the 1940’s that comes with a very interesting history. I’ve always been fascinated by vintage hair styles, but they can often appear intimidating and difficult to recreate. Some retro styles can require a lot of preparation so I thought I would show you how to achieve a retro look with the use of modern tools and techniques. This style is easiest to do with day old or slightly dirty hair.

If you happen to have product in your hair from the day before this style will be even easier to recreate. My hair was already a bit wavy to begin with, but you can easily create the same look if you begin with  straight hair as well. There are multiple variations of the victory roll so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. It takes a lot of practise to get it looking precise and symmetrical. As you can see in my video, I went through several stages of smoothing out my hair with a moussing foam wax and hairspray. I had a lot of difficulty with this because my hair has many layers in it and is naturally very curly. This makes for a lot of pesky short baby hairs and required a fair amount of fiddling around with to make it look polished.

Products Used:

Hair Prep

  • The first step is to apply a heat protecting spray, making sure to concentrate the product mainly on the ends of your hair.
  • Next, use a rat tail comb to create a side part.
  • Starting with whatever side you prefer, section off a portion of hair between 1-2 inches wide.
  • Using a flat iron, clamp down on your desired section about mid way and twist the iron backwards, continuing to twist the flat iron as you move down to the end of your section.
  • Make sure to alternate the direction of the curl as you go for a more natural affect.
  • Once both sides are complete, spray with a strong hold hairspray.

How To Do the Victory Rolls:

  • Start by creating a section that starts from the front of your hairline and ends behind your ear.
  • Brush through the desired section to smooth down any unwanted strays.
  • Take a strong hold hair spray and spritz the back of your hair, using your comb to tease the back of the section. This will give the hair some texture so the bobby pins have something to hold onto.
  • Next, hold out two fingers and wrap the ends of your section around it to create a loop.
  • Once you have wrapped the piece around a few times, release your two fingers from the middle and pinch the side of the loop to ensure it keep its form.
  • Continue to pinch the loop and start rolling it down towards the scalp. Make sure to tuck in any hair that may come out of place during this process.
  • When your loop has reached the scalp, hold it in place with one and use the other to secure the base of your roll with a bobby pin.
  • Continue to bobby pins into the bottom of the roll until you feel it is secure.
  • Once you’ve set the basic foundation, take your thumbs and insert them inside the roll on either end and begin to tug in opposite directions to alter the width.
  • Use your rat tail comb to gently smooth out any unwanted bumps or fly away hair.
  • To create an even more polished look, apply pomade to your fingers and smooth out the roll by running your fingers over the area of concern.
  • Repeat the same process on the other side.
  • For a finishing touch, take a paddle brush and run it through the curls in the bottom half of your hair. This will create a very soft waved affect which will look more authentic for the period.
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