HAIR | 1940s hair experiment

1940s hair look

I don’t write a lot about hair on here because I am Not That Great at it, as the polish (or lack thereof) on this hairstyle will betray. I do enjoy playing with my hair, though, and in particular with my hot rollers. I learned how to use hot rollers at makeup school and I largely rate them above a curling wand for their versatility. (That being said, I just wrote about using a NuMe wand on xoVain, if you’re interested to hear my thoughts on YouTube’s favourite hot tool.)

Callum and I have been watching the BBC’s Farm series (Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm etc) and despite my mixed feelings on Ruth Goodman (I love her really, but she’s hard work to watch sometimes) I was really interested to try copying some of the hairstyles she had in Wartime Farm—ordinary everyday 1940s hair, not glamorous pinup shit.

I can’t in good faith call this a 1940s hair tutorial as such, given I didn’t so much research as watch some TV before bed and use my imagination a little bit. I think it looks alright though, and I went to lots of effort and took lots of photos and even made a gif, so it’s going on the blog, goddamn it.

1940s hair heat protectant

If you’re using hot tools, no matter what they are, you want to a) protect your hair from the heat and b) use something to help hold the shape. I’m using the KMS Free Shape which I won in a giveaway from Sophie years ago, which just goes to show how often I do this kind of thing in my hair.

1940s makeup

I sectioned out my “bangs” and then started curling 1-2 inch sections onto rollers, rolling under and securing them way off-base. Off-base means that you don’t secure the roller directly over the roots of the section but further down. You’ll get what I mean better in the next picture. This photo is mostly here because you can see my makeup which is not what I’d usually do but more true to the 1940s.

Oh and by the way, I’m using Remington Silk Heated Rollers, which I got for about $100 when I worked at Farmers, and I rate them pretty highly.
back rollers for 1940s hair

My undercut is not at all authentic, I know. You’ll also see that I secured the rollers at the back lower down that the ones of the side—so they’re in a halo kinda shape. This is emulating an authentic 1940s hair thing, called a middy cut, if this blog post is anything to go by.
roller set for 1940s hair

Let your rollers cool til they’re cold. Hopefully have less flyaways than I do here. Take the opportunity to do some productive things like tidy your makeup because it is definitely messy.

brushing 1940s hair curls

Once its cool you get to do the fun part and brush it out! I know, you thought you weren’t meant to brush curls. Well, you’re meant to brush these ones. This works best if you use a natural bristle brush. Your hair will go fuzzy and fluffy and then after a few vigorous brushes it will settle into nicely brushed waves. (Your mileage may vary if your hair texture is very curly already, but if it is you’re probably not following this at all.)
1940s hair and makeup

So the finished look is pretty cute, and the curls will gradually drop and look even more natural. I did a wee pinned curl with my fringe which you can kinda spot here. I did try make a gif of me doing this but it was a bitch to do and took me ages and I got so frustrated I nearly quit this whole thing entirely. Basically just try wrestle a curl into a flat shape and pin it down with two bobby pins in an X shape.

As ends up happening with a lot of “looks” on Hyacinth Girl, I wore this around the house until bedtime when I took off my makeup and whacked my hair in a bun and no one was the wiser until I published this post. That being said, if I needed a quick costume or look for a themed event this would be fast and easy to do!

Have you tried hot rollers before? 

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  • I have had my hair done with hot rollers but I’ve never used them myself! I kind of want to now.

  • Love this look babes <3 and PS What foundation are you using, it looks immaculate xx

    • Thanks lovely! I am 95% sure it’s the YSL Fusion Ink one!

  • I love love LOVE this post Morgan! Your hair is simply stunning. P.s such a beautiful backdrop for your photos.

    • Thanks Steph! The background is actually just Clinique tissue paper!