10 Hairstyles From The 1940s That Look Amazing Today

It isn’t a secret that many of the styles, makeup, and hair that is popular today were once popular many years ago. Styles and trends evolve with time, but they have to take inspiration from somewhere. Specifically, we’re going to take a look at some of the best hairstyles from the 1940s that have found their way back to today’s hair trends!

Victory Rolls

Victory rolls are one of the most iconic hairstyles of the 1940s, and they even stayed popular into the 1950s too! During this time, women started becoming more employed. In the workplace, they were required to have their hair out of their face. Victory rolls were a great way to do so while still showing some style and expression in their hairstyle.

There were many different ways to style victory rolls. Some women just pinned the rolls and left the rest of their hair curled. Some wore a scary behind them to keep the rest of their hair out of their face. Some even wore the rest of their hair up in a styled ponytail!

Nowadays, we see many people recreating victory rolls for not only fashion photoshoots, but for everyday wear as well!

Finger Waves

Finger waves started becoming hugely popular in the 1920s. But their popularity extended a few decades into the 1940s. So many women loved finger waves, and they styled them in numerous different ways. They were usually done with a lot of gel to look as shiny as possible. Also, they were normally done with a dramatic side part to emphasize the finger waves.

They returned to popularity in the 1990s, and we still see a lot of finger wave styles today. They have a sleek and glamorous look that everyone is definitely still all about.

Pin Curls Left Up Style

One of the most defining styles of the 1940s was pin curls. Nowadays, we usually let the pin curls down. But lots of women did the pin curls but left them sitting in the hair which was a style within itself!

Instead of clips, they would use less noticeable pins that were more hidden in the hair. Some women would even put a scarf or bandana over the pin curls for a more modest look.

To this day, this hairstyle is very popular. With more and more people searching for heatless ways to curl their hair, they go back to pin curls as one of the original heatless hairstyles! Also, you see this hairstyle a ton in fashion magazines and editorials, and runways.

Pin Curls Let Out Style

After women would let their pin curl set stay in their hair for a day or two, they would take it down and reveal gorgeous heatless curls! They are usually very bouncy and uniform. But they can also be brushed out for a more sophisticated look.

This look is super versatile, and it was often the base for a lot of other different hairstyles. For example, women could do a pin curl set on their hair, take it out, and then do victory rolls on only the top section. Or, they could let their pin curls drop and put a scarf on top for a more casual look.

In recent years, pin curls are still very popular amongst all age groups. They are a great way to get some amazing curls without using any heat on your hair!

Voluminous Curled Long Bob

For most women in the 1940s, a long bob haircut was the perfect length to do any style they want without having their hair be too long. And it goes without saying that all of these hairstyles have tons of volume in them. A lot of women preferred to style this hair cut by adding smooth curls with a lot of volume. They would either do pin curls, victory rolls, or just a lot of teasing on the top of their hair to achieve this.

Today, long hair is much more popular than it used to be. But the long bob is easily still one of the most popular hairstyles. Especially within the last two to three years, it seems like everyone and their mother is rocking the long bob.

Milkmaid Braids

Young women in the 1940s did the milkmaid braids for a fun and youthful style. They were either done with a side or center part, and they brought something fun to the table when it came to hair.

One of the best things about milkmaid braids is how versatile they are. They can be done tighter for a more sophisticated look. They can be done looser for a messy, but put-together style. Also, they work on all hair types, and they pretty much look flattering on everyone!

Nowadays, this hairstyle is ridiculously popular. Lots of women love bohemian, messy hairstyles which can easily be achieved with loose braids. They can even be transformed into different bridal styles.


Pompadours were not only popular for women in the 1940s, but they were popular for men too! During this time, you would rarely see someone style their hair with any type of fringe, bangs, or hair hanging in front of their face. So they had to find ways to pin back the hair out of their face. Pompadours were a style that got the hair out of their face while adding tons of volume which we know was super popular!

Today, we see pompadours incorporated into lots of updos and special occasion hairstyles. For example, they are very popular for bridal styles. Volume is still popular among pretty much everyone, so they are a great way to add some extra volume to any hairstyle!


Women used headscarves all the time in the 1940s for their hair. The main reason is that they were protective of whatever style they chose. They would help keep pin curl sets in place. They would also help to keep the hair out of their face. But they were also a way to add some extra style to their appearance!

They came in many different colors and styles to accentuate whatever look they were going for. They were tied and folded in different ways depending on how they wore them.

Recently, specifically within the last year or so, headscarves have made a huge comeback. Women will do loose curls or waves and use a scarf to keep it out of their face while also adding some extra flair to any hairstyle!


The pageboy hairstyle was usually achieved by using larger pin curl sets and brushing out the hair to get a more uniform curl. The curls were rolled under towards the face for a sleek finish. Also, this look was usually achieved by using a deep side part. The other side was either left combed behind the ear or rolled into a pin curl or victory roll.

Today, we see this hairstyle incorporated into lots of special occasion styles, updos, and bridal styles. We also see them in fashion magazines, editorial photoshoots, and fashion runways!

Quiffed Hair

Finally, we thought we would put one of the most popular men’s hairstyles on this list. Quiffed hair was easily one of the most popular men’s hairstyles in the 1940s. It showed a lot of sophistication, but still style in their hair. Men would typically use a lot of hair gel or other hair product to hold the hair in place and keep it looking sleek.

Today, the quiff for men still remains one of the top trending men’s hairstyles. But today it is done usually messier and laid back compared to in the 1940s.

Final Thoughts

Here were 10 hairstyles from the 1940s that still look good in 2021. This year is just starting, but we can guarantee that these styles will remain popular. And though many of us were not even alive in the 1940s, we can still reminisce and appreciate all of the hairstyles they had to offer!