Thursday, May 22, 2014

1940's Victory Rolls

Linda Darnell, circa 1940's
Photo courtesy
A victory roll was actually the name for a WWII fighter plane maneuver. The women of the 1940's took this term and made it their own. Thus the hairstyle that defined a decade was born. Many Hollywood stars happily embraced this glamorous hairstyle.

Rita Hayworth poses for a circa 1940's jewelry ad
Photo courtesy

Ann Sheridan from "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (1943)
Photo courtesy

Hair accessories such as flowers, ribbons, bows, and scarves were the perfect complement to the victory roll. One of my favorite accessory for the victory roll is a snood.  Snoods function similar to a classic hairnet that were used to keep the back hair neat. They were the perfect option for medium to longer-length hair. Snoods could be worn during the day or evening and were available in a variety of materials. Crochet or knitted snoods were the most popular, but they could also be made of the same material as a dress to create a coordinated look.

The classic 1940's crochet snood in a fabulous color.
Photo courtesy

On the girl in blue: A sequin snood accented with a
sapphire & moonstone clip.Costumes from Nettie Rosenstein.
Jewels from Tiffany & Company.
Photo by Horst for Vogue Nov 15, 1940.

"Belle of the Ball" Gene Marshall wears a silvery knit evening
snood from The Couture Touch to complement her sensational
brunette victory rolls.

Fabric snood to match a dress or top, circa 1942
Photo courtesy

"Parfait" Zita Charles wears her victory curls in an elegant
 evening style. Ransom in Red gown is from Ashton Drake.

Back view of a tightly rolled hairstyle option, circa 1940's
Photo courtesy

"Destiny" Gene Marshall in Pinque Passion.
Gloves from Gold Sensation. All from Ashton Drake.
In search of the perfect victory roll? Try curling the hair first. Here's how I created Destiny's victory rolls.

What you will need are some regular size drinking straws, end papers (found in beauty supply stores), straight pins, jewelry pliers, eyedropper or small measuring cup, a small pot of boiling water, a small bowl of cold water and ice, and a doll hairbrush. I use a Mattel's Barbie hairbrush.

Be sure to start with clean and tangle-free hair. I sectioned Destiny's hair from ear to ear and parted slightly off-centered. Each side was rolled using a straw cut to size. Wet the hair with water (or hair gel if desired) and wrap the ends with end papers before rolling. Hold the hair taut as you roll. To hold the roller in place, insert a straight pin through the straw and into the vinyl head with jewelry pliers. Repeat with the other side.

Fill an eyedropper or small measuring cup with the boiling water and carefully pour a little over the rollers avoiding the face and remaining hair. Immediately repeat with the cold water. Blot dry with a paper towel and allow to air dry for at least 24 hours.

When thoroughly dry, remove the pins with the jewelry pliers. Carefully remove the rollers and end papers. I just positioned the curls and secured with a couple of straight pins. That's it. The remaining hair was left long and slightly curled. No cutting or trimming was necessary for Destiny's hair length.

Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional hairstylist. If I can do it, so can you. If possible begin with an Ashton Drake Gene as their hair fiber is much more forgiving. And if you don't like the result, you can always rinse it out and start over. Happy Rolling!

Love 1940's hairstyles and want more? Click HERE to read my popular 2011 post on 1940's Hairstyles: Pompadours, Rolls, & Bangs.


"Belle of the Ball" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake's 2001 Tulsa Oil Baron's Ball Gene Convention.

"Parfait" Zita Charles is from Integrity's 2010 Stardust Gene Convention.

"Destiny" Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

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