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How to do 1940s hair

The 1940s was the era of elaborate and glamorous hairstyles. During World War II, women began to wear these complicated hairstyles due to the rationing of fabric for the war effort. The hairstyles were used to offset a woman's limited wardrobe. The 1940s hair was made famous by the movie stars of the time, from Veronica Lake to Marilyn Monroe. Due to the lack of hair care products and appliances such as we have today, the 1904s hairstyles required a great deal of time and patience.

Wash your hair and allow it to air dry until just slightly damp.

Comb your still damp hair into small segments. The tighter you wish your curls to be the smaller you should make your sections of hair.

Twist each section of hair around your finger. Assure that each section is smoothly twisted.

Slide the twisted piece of hair off of your finger and secure the curl with a standard hair clip.

Continue curling and securing each section until your head is completely curled and pinned.

Wrap a scarf gently around your head in order to prevent removal of the pins while sleeping. For best results, you will want to allow your pin curls to set overnight.

Remove the pins from your hair when the curls have been permitted to dry throughout the night. Once all pins have been removed, gently run your fingers through your hair in order to slightly separate your curls.

Place your curled hair into a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. This will be the beginning of an updo. The updo, along with the pin curl, is a staple of the 1940s hairstyle.

Separate the low ponytail into two sections and carefully tease each section towards your head.

Wind each section of teased ponytail under and secure it in place with hair clips.

Smooth the hair gently with your hands, and spray it with hairspray to hold it in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair clips
  • Scarf
  • Hairspray
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About the Author

In 2008 Lauren Osborne received the Doretta Dick Award for Excellence in Scholarly Writing from Stony Brook University. Osborne began writing professionally in 2010 when she wrote a nationally published statement for the March of Dimes. Osborne holds a Master of Science in midwifery from Stony Brook University.