Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A 1940's updo tutorial

I was asked how I did my hair here and as that may interest more people, here is a little how-to. My hair is cut in a middy that is quite long- soon it will be a femme fatale. The longest part is a little below my shoulders and the shortest layer reach me to my chin. It's also rather thick. You can do this style with both shorter and longer hair, if shorter it needs to be long enough to roll and with longer hair your rolls will be bigger.

What you need is booby pins, pomade, hair spray and some patience.

You also need to know a few things to start out. First you need to curl your hair. I always do my standing pin curls, but you can curl you hair any way you like best.

Then you need to be able to do victory rolls. Like curling hair, rolling victory rolls is rather individual. You have to find a way that suits you. There are tons of tutorials out there, like Fleur's;

Or search Youtube for a number of different tutorials, test a few different ones and see which method that suits you. Personally I fall back on my mascara wand to roll my hair into victory rolls, which makes them rather small, which is the way I like them.

And last, something that it took me ages to realise, though it's rather obvious, is that one of the key elements in a 40's hairstyle (well, not just 40's, but that's what we are talking about here) is that you need to separate the front and the back. Make a part from ear to ear and concentrate on the front and then do the back. The front of the hairstyle I did could be combined with the back hanging loose, tucked up in a snood, made into a french twist or, as I did, be upswept. I used to think of my hair as one mass and it wasn't until I learned to think of it as separate parts that putting up hair really "clicked" for me.

Now, please forgive the squiggliness, but try to imagine the blue lines as the parts I made in my hair before the rolls were made. One at the back, from ear to ear. Two side partings and then one diagonal, leaving your four sections to work with.

After parting my hair, pinning away the parts that I wasn't working on, I started out with the hair on the sides, rolling them into two victory rolls facing each other. Pin carefully and use pomade and hair spray as you work. I then divided the front half of the diagonally parted hair into two smaller parts, rolling each of them into rolls. The back part was divided into three parts. The red and yellow lines indicate the direction of the various rolls.

The back of the hair was brushed up and then pinned into curls. I wasn't completely successful, the curls should really have been placed higher to get the right 40's feel. When you are satisfied your hair is where you want it to be, makes sure you don't need another pin or two and then spray to make sure the do keep. Decorations are optional, I wore some white roses, though you cant's see them.

Here are some lovely variations of the same theme. A beautiful example of a very similar hairdo where the top hair has just been rolled into two victory rolls and instead of meeting the side rolls they are rolled in the same direction.

Rita Hayworth in lots and lots of victory rolls.

And with more simple curls.

Betty Grable with a version that looks more like dry pin curls.

I hope I haven't muddled things for you- please ask if you have any questions.

(Picture sources: http://twitgoo.com/4r88ef


Anonymous said...

Oh, that is a lovely clear way to think about it. And it makes it easier for me to see how to use techniques I know well to get a more elaborate updo.

Thank you bunches!

snippa said...

Thanks for sharing this. I'll show some pics if mine is as successful as yours.

Isis said...

I'm glad you liked it! Snippa, I would love to see the result!

Natalie Wells said...

Gorgeous love it!

Isis said...

Natalie Wells: Thank you!

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