Modern & classy vintage hair updos from the 1940s

Updated April 17, 2017

You can create an updo hairstyle from the 1940s with chin-length hair. With shorter hair, the sweep of hair up from the sides will stay in place longer and look sleeker. The key to a classy and modern 1940s updo is the haircut itself. To style updos, you can use different parts, cutting techniques and pin curls. You can recognise an updo by how the hair moulds to the head in glamorous curls sweeping up on the sides and piled high.

Parting the Hair

For a common 1940s updo hairstyle, cut your hair short to contour the shape of the head. Part your hair from ear to ear across the top of the head and brush it forward. Part the hair on the front section into three parts, with parts running from above the eyes back to the original part. On the back part, part your hair into three sections. Put the parts behind the ears.

Cutting the Hair

Starting with the middle of the back section of hair, cut hair about three inches from the nape of the neck. Cut the hair short at the nape of the neck so the curls will hold. Pull the back sides of the hair out straight from the head and cut to three inches. Hold the top sections of the hair straight out from the head and cut about two to three inches long.

Setting the Hair

Make a circular part in the hair from the edges of the crown, (the crest of the forehead) and around the top portion of the hair. Put that hair in a clip. On the sides, split the hair into small vertical sections and spin around your finger, then pin it in place with a hair clip. Do these curls clockwise. Curl the row behind the same way, but turned counterclockwise. The third row is curled clockwise. Set the hair parts behind the ears clockwise. Divide the back of the hair into sections diagonally across the head. Pin the first row counterclockwise and the rest clockwise. Pin all of the top clockwise, with one lock in the front pinned counterclockwise.

Styling the Hair

Set the curls either wet overnight or sprayed with hairspray. When you take out the hair clips, run a bristle brush through the hair, sweeping the sides up and the top over to the side. Spray the hair to hold the updo shape.

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