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Children's Hairstyles of the 1940s

Updated April 17, 2017

Hairstyles in the 1940s had a sleek elegance. Men and women combed their hair away from the face, to show off the facial features. While the men went to war and the women worked in the factories, children's hairstyles needed to be neat, stylish and easy to manage.

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Comb Back

A simple boy's hairstyle that was easy to trim and maintain was the comb back. This hairstyle was also popular with men at the time. Hair was cut ear length or shorter. It was then parted to the side, closer to the middle. Hair was then smoothed up from the top of the forehead with a comb and then smoothed back. Hair was held with a small amount of pomade.

Hair Twist Partial Updo

An easy, partial updo for young girls was the hair twist. Hair was brushed, to create soft and loose curls; it was parted down the middle. A one-inch section was taken from the left side of the part and twisted back, then pinned. A second, one-inch section was taken from the other side of the part and repeated as with the first. The result was two neat little twists on top of the head; the rest of the hair was combed softly back.

Bows and ribbon

Bows were tremendously popular in the 1940s for young girls. Hair was simply combed or brushed out, then tied with a bow in the back. Hairstyles could also be accented with bows, such as braids or half updos. Adding a bow created a soft feminine look without too much hassle. Ribbon was used as a headband. Hair would be brushed out; a ribbon would be placed on the nape of the neck or tied at the crown of the head. The bow could stay on top or be turned to hide underneath the hair, leaving only the headband.

Side Part

Another young boy's style that was popular with men was the side part. Hair was cut ear length or shorter; sometimes the hair on the sides of the head was trimmed very short, while the hair on top was longer. Hair was then combed into a side part, close to one ear; it was smoothed to the over side and held in place with a small amount of pomade or styling product.

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About the Author

Errin Reaume

Errin Reaume started writing in 2005 for publications including college brochures, camera informational websites and vegetarian food blogs. Reaume is pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Florida.

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