Wednesday, July 20, 2011

1940's Hairstyles: Pompadours, Rolls, and Bangs

Carmen Miranda

What's a woman's most versatile accessory?  Well hair, of course!  Women in the early 1940's certainly mastered the art of keeping their hair in place while still looking their most attractive and glamorous.  My absolute favorites of the 1940's hairstyles are the fabulous variations of pompadours, rolls, and bangs.

Madame Pompadour

1940's pompadour hairstyles can have many variations.  The high rolled top section can be smoothed straight back off the forehead or combed into forward roll bangs.  It can be used in combination with rolls at the nape of the neck or with "Victory" rolls.  Sometimes the hair is left to fall in soft waves in the back.  The true pompadour has a lot of volume which was achieved by back-combing or by utilizing a "rat" to support the hair. During the war years, women used to save the hair that accumulated in their hair brush and then used it to stuff a stocking. This "rat" was then used to roll the hair to achieve the needed volume. Tip: You could actually recreate this method for styling the hair on your own Gene Marshall doll.

I was lucky to find these marvelous hair rollers at a flea market.  The rayon covered flexible wire made it easy to achieve rolls at the nape of the neck.  There were several variations of these rollers available on the market.

These Simply Gene dolls from Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall Collection were perfect for hair play.  I was able to use a vintage Solo hair roller to achieve the roll at the nape of the neck and then just played with the sides and top sections to get this glamorous look.  The gown is borrowed from Black Ice Madra Lord by Ashton Drake.

Here's an early restyled Gene with just the sides and top sections rolled.  The hat is positioned so that the pompadour style is emphasized.  OOAK hat, necklace, and belt are from The Couture Touch.  The blouse and skirt are from Bogue's Vogues for Fashion Boulevard.

I find Integrity's hair fiber to be extremely difficult to handle, but decided to rework the rolls on Ooh La La Gene's updo to give her an earlier 40's look.  I designed the hat just for her hairstyle and to compliment Mark Middendorf's Fond Farewell 1940's era suit ensemble.

Carmen Miranda shows off her 40's style in this fabulous ensemble.  I love how the veiling accents her asymmetrical rolled bangs.

A last look at this popular 1940's hairstyle.  From the archives:  A platinum Simply Gene from Ashton Drake restyled in true pompadour glory!  Suit from Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection.


  1. very nice post and very cool hairstyle!!!!



    1. I am by no means a professional hairstylist. I play and experiment until I get a look I like. Vintage hair magazines are helpful. Also there are several videos on You Tube that give demos on creating 1940's pompadour styles. I use straight pins (instead of bobby pins) to hold and secure rolls. Ashton Drake did the best period hairstyles for the Gene doll IMHO. There are also a few very talented collectors that do fabulous hairstyles that post on The Studio Commissary (link to the right). Thank you for your comment.