Haircut Styles of the 40s

Written by katie wilson
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Haircut Styles of the 40s
Create a glamorous style with rollers and a hairdryer (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

World War II affected many countries during the 1940s, including America and England. Nevertheless, the 1940s was still a glamorous time, with many movie stars creating classic hair cuts and styles for men and women everywhere to replicate. Think Gene Tierney, Rita Hayworth and June Allyson for classic 1940s female cuts and styles or Dana Andrews and Frank Sinatra for men.

Female Haircuts of the 1940s

Female haircuts, in the 1940s were fairly simple. Women tended to have a side fringe and mid-length hair which rested on or just below the shoulders. In general, women did not layer or feather their hair, instead creating a straight, a-line cut. The cuts were simple, mainly so that the classic 1940s styles could be created.

Male Haircuts of the 1940s

Male haircuts of the 1940s were also fairly simple. The length at the back and sides was quite short. Today if you are trying to create the look, ask the hairdresser to use a number five or six on the clippers. The top of the hair, from the crown to the fringe, should be left a little longer so the fringe can be waxed and swept back.

Female Hairstyles of the 1940s

Women's classic 1940s hairstyles were created using waves and curls. The waves and curls were created by leaving hair to dry naturally in rollers, as electrical appliances, such as hairdryers and heated rollers, were not yet invented. Women with slightly longer hair tended to have a deep side-part, which involved a sweeping fringe pinned over an eye. If 1940s women did not have a fringe, the classic look was to sweep the hair off the face in a "Victory Rolls" or a "Pompadour" style. These styles created curls and waves behind the head and take the focus off the front of the face.

Male Hairstyles of the 1940s

Men in the 1940s tended to wear their hair in one of two styles. The first was a "wax slicked side-part" or a "military style crew cut." Both required a classic cut of the 1940s, which involved the hair long on top and short on the sides and back. Men then added products such as wax, gel or grease and styled accordingly. Some men chose to create a slicked-back look that was very flat, while others chose to backcomb the hair a little at the root to create volume. Both were very popular.

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