40+ fabulous ’40s hairstyles for women

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women

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Take a look at more than 40 vintage ’40s hairstyles — long hair and short cuts, curled and waved, with and without hats — and see what was the most fashionable way for women to wear their hair!

Smart hair today should hug the head (1943)

By Eileen Bryne – The Miami Herald (Miami, Florida) October 24, 1943

New clothes and Chinese influence inspire stylists who favor new smooth look

The day of the long “glamor” hairdo is definitely over, and we, for one, don’t mourn its passing.

Women look much neater, prettier and better groomed when their crowning glory is coifed close against the head instead of hanging like a mane around their shoulders.

Hairstyle with waves and curls from the 1940s

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (3)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (12)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (5)

The new L-85 clothes [wartime restrictions] have had everything to do with this smart, hair-hugging-the-head fashion. When skirts become as narrow as a Pilgrim father, hair must be short — or appear to be — in order to keep the picture in balance.

That’s why this winter you’ll be seeing Miami’s smartest women with their hair neatly gathered up into a smooth chignon, or else cut quite short softly, but definitely, outlining the true shape of the head.

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (2)

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (1)

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (9)

The Chinese influence is very evident in many of the newest hair stylings, which explains the neatly netted “bun” the stylist made of our long back hair. The front is arranged in a modified pompadour to lend an illusion of height.

Those here-I-come-Heaven pompadours are just as passe as the long bob, incidentally. While we couldn’t possibly duplicate this dramatic hairdo with our own comb and bobby pins, it’s lots of fun to have your hair elaborately arranged for special occasions.

Why don’t you try the morale-lifting effect of a new hairstyle yourself?

ALSO SEE: How is lipstick made? Look back to the lip makeup’s 1940s heyday

High hairstyles from the ’40s

Old fashioned hairstyles from the forties (4)

Old fashioned hairstyles from the forties (3)

Old fashioned hairstyles from the forties (2)

Vintage 1940s hair styles (2)

9 easy ’40s hairstyles from 1944 from stylist Enrico Caruso

9 retro hairstyles from the 1940s

Fall hairstyles accent refined, ladylike trend (1947)

By Florence Gibbon – The Miami News (Florida) July 29, 1947

A gentle, refined appearance will replace any suggestion of a siren in next season’s hairstyles. When world-famous hairdressers launch a new trend in hairstyles for glamor seeking ladies, they don’t just reach into thin air and grasp an idea the way a magician does a bouquet of flowers.

You can depend on it they’ve been keeping a watchful eye on style trends, hemlines and hat-lines, before they create their beauteous designs for topknots. After all, a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and she isn’t going to wear it a new way unless there is a reason.

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (4)

ALSO SEE: The history of the famous Breck Girl shampoo ads, plus 25 iconic vintage images

Close-to-the-head hairstyles

This fall, new hairdos are especially appropriate. With skirts swooping downward and shoulders reverting to more natural lines, sleeker, close-to-the-head hairstyles give the figure better balance.

Also this pretty, ladylike appearance perfectly complements the more feminine, elegant look of the new fashions. Whether your hair is long or short, you’ll wear it over your ears this fall, experts say.

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (8)

Retro forties hairstyles (1)

In the case of long hair, this treatment usually means bringing the hair forward from a center back part to form a flat bun or coil that completely covers the ears.

With short hair, the center back part is also featured with the hair ends forming flat curls over the ears. These hairdos are radically different from page-boys and upsweeps, but they have great charm and are feminine.

Also, they are just right for wear with the new fall hats, which feature bulky crowns and side interest in brims.

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (7)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (11)

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (3)

Glamour-making possibilities

It’s a wonderful feeling to be heading into a new season that presents so many glamour-making possibilities, but take a tip from the experts and get your hair in condition first.

During the summer, focus shifts from hairstyling to hair care, since you probably wear your hair in a short feather bob or upsweep because of the heat, you now have a wonderful chance to condition your hair for the fall styles.

The proper care of hair revolves around the question of the frequency of shampooing. A gross misunderstanding of hair has led to the fallacious belief that frequent shampooing is damaging to the hair structure.

Vintage 1940s hairstyle - 1949

Shampoo hair frequently

Hair should be shampooed as often as is necessary to keep it clean. If this involves two or three shampoos a week, as in the case of excessive oiliness, do so.

Normal hair may be washed every week, and dry hair about every 10 days. Check with a reliable beauty shop operator about the type of shampoo you need and then stick to it — don’t use just anything that is handy.

If you get salt water in your hair, be sure to rinse it out with warm water when leaving the beach.

MORE: Vintage ’40s swimsuits for women: Old-fashioned beach & poolside fashions

Vintage 1940s hair styles (1)

Hair that has been touched up should be protected from the sun’s rays and never allowed to be wet by salt water. These combined factors will dis-color tinted hair and overbleach lightened hair to a strawlike condition.

It is extremely difficult for even the most talented beautician to rejuvenate hair that has been subjected to such treatment. Summer hair care is simple if you remember to keep your tresses clean, and protect them from dryness and overexposure to the sun.

Old fashioned hairstyles from the forties (1)

PSSSST: 1950s hairspray brands: See the most popular styling products they used back in the day

Vintage ’40s hairstyles for short hair

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (4)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (8)

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (6)

Here's a retro shampoo commercial so gosh darn wholesome, it's like a '50s cliche in a bottle

Shoulder-length and long hair vintage ’40s hairstyles

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (7)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (1)

Vintage '40s hairstyles for women from 1949 (5)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (10)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (9)

Vintage 40s hairstyles for women from 1948 (2)

Retro hairstyle 1940s from the back

Actress Janet Leigh with a vintage ’40s hairstyle

Actress Janet Leigh with a vintage 40s hairstyle

Swimmer/actress Esther Williams with a shoulder-length hairstyle from the forties

Esther Williams hairstyle from the forties

’40s hairstyles: Get a head start… for the holidays and new year (1949)

Choose from these nine new hair arrangements the one that will turn you into the prettiest girl at the holiday parties… and give you a brand new look for 1949!

The future for short hair is a gentle winging away from the face to a fetching back interest. The fashion for long hair lies in the silken-smooth, close-to-the-head arrangements highlighted (and held in place) with veiling, combs, jewels or flowers.

Soft waves

Soft waves begin from a center part, which goes down the back of the head.

Pretty 1940s hairstyles

Veiling and chignon in 1940s hairstyles

Crisp veiling: Shape 1/3 yard veiling to fit back of head, and attach beribboned bicycle clip. Add own flower.

Evening chignon: 1-1/2 yards of 15″ veiling ties around chignon and ends in a wide bow.

Veiling and chignon in 40s hairstyles

’40s hairstyles for the holidays

Holiday hair-dos take to flowers for evening. Front hair combs into bangs from a side part — the rest of the hair brushes into back curls.

1940s hairstyle ideas (4)

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Add a veil

For any length of hair, 1 yard of 15″ veiling goes over the head

1940s hairstyle ideas (3)

Shining and short hair

Waves away from smooth bangs to a cluster of curls in the back. Combs and a ribbon hold curls in place. (Glistening locks courtesy regular shampooing!)

Blonde 1940s hairstyle

An elegant ’40s hair style

Stunning and simple for an elegant touch. Center part, wide waves. Ends are looped up and pinned in knot effect in back.

1940s hairstyle ideas (1)

’40s hair: A bandeau

… of folded veiling (or wide silk ribbon) goes over the head and pins in place over each year. Allow two inches on each side for crisp, perky ends.

Popular hairstyles from 1948 (1)

Short 1940s hairstyles

Cut and brushed away from face, the short hair-do takes on a new look for the new year. Hair is cut 2-1/2 to 3 inches all over the head. Easy and versatile.

1940s hairstyle ideas (2)

How to create 5 different classic '70s hairstyles (plus check out 8 more retro 'dos)

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