Vintage hair: 1940's Curls

Vintage hair - something so well known, and some people seem to have the knack for it..I'm not one of those people. As you know if you read the post, I recently went to The Chap Olympiad, and you can find that post here, and I wanted a good hairstyle for the event. I had such a struggle with it that I thought I'd share it with you all in case anyone else experiences the same as me.

Okay so first of all, I was aiming for a 30's-40's-50's look, so generally the set brushed out curls rolled under - or whatever I could get that was close to that. I should point out my hair is really bad at holding a strong curl, and I kinda forgot this until I tried to curl it..

Influences/styles I liked..

Diana Dors

Lana Turner

Veronica Lake

And in combination with this I watched a few youtube tutorials on how to get the look:

So I started with this tutorial, although it doesn't really give much information in putting in the rollers, it gives the information on brushing, which is the most important part of a vintage style, aparently. I used a set of heated rollers, Clairol (I think), and they belonged to my mother, so they're really old haha. They look like the ones in this tutorial (here) and you can get loads off ebay.

Now for me, this way didn't work whatsoever. My hair is quite thick, and there wasn't really enough rollers for my hair, so the curls weren't as tight as they should of been. And once I got to the brushing stage, they fell out super quickly, even with a ton of hairspray.

So, I tried this tutorial, by Fleur (who actually attends the Chap Olympiad every year - who better to teach the hair for it?)

As used in the video, I didn't actually have any hot sticks. So I thought I'd try it on damp hair with bendy rollers, hoping this would give the same effect. I used ones like these, although I actually picked up a bunch from a pound shop, as they looked pretty much the same, but I lot cheaper. Once again this didn't work for me, and as Fleur mentions, putting damp hair in rollers doesn't dry it off evenly. I got a really nice beachy wave, but not exactly what I was after.

Sooo third time lucky... this lovely lady inspired me to use my trusty curling tongs and bam! It worked!

The first part of the video is a makeup tutorial, but the second part is super useful. I used my Carmen Multistyler (here) with the single barrel, at the highest setting. I also bought two packs of curling pins from Superdrug at about £1.70 a pack (two packs, for my thick hair), and followed the curling instructions word for word on the video.

So here's how it turned out for me! Not as accurate at the videos, but my hair is very strange and I'm happy I actually managed to get it to do anything! Following the advice of these videos, here are my tips for the vintage hairstyle:

- It works way better on day old hair.
- Mousse and Hairspray help it hold better, I used this and this
- Whatever you try, make sure you don't take out the curls until they are completely cool!
- Practice practice practice, don't leave it a couple of days before the event like I did, in case you get a distaster like me!
- When brushing out be quite gentle and brush under
- Youtube tutorials are really helpful, watch a bunch of them first!

Have you had a nightmare with styling your hair before?


  1. Your hair looks awesome! I've always wanted to try something like this but my hair is so bad at holding a curl, and I wouldn't even know where to start. Having read this though, I might have to give it a try. I'm pretty sure my mum's got some super old heated rollers that she's not used in years knocking about, maybe an excuse to go and visit ;) xx

    1. The advice I would give to you is just try everything on your hair and see what works best for you! Mine didn't work in heated rollers which really surprised me, but I know it works wonders on other people. I'm sure you'll figure it out! x