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How To Style Victory Rolls

Alberto Vargas Varga Girl January 1941 Victory Rolls

The iconic vintage victory rolls were named after a fighter plane maneuver from World War II, and adopted by the women of the 1940’s as a means of honoring their victorious soldiers.

1940s Victory Rolls

Sported by classic pin-up beauties like Betty Grable all the way to modern day rockabilly goddess Gwen Stefani, this is a fabulous and funky style that works for Sunday brunch as well as a girls’ night out.

High Fashion Victory Rolls

Styling Techniques

Begin by working a dollop of firm hold mousse through your hair, starting at the back of the head.

Using the tail of a rattail comb, part hair from ear to ear, just in front of the ear, and then set the back section of hair with large hot rollers or a curling iron, rolling hair down and clockwise and clipping into place to cool.

For the front section of hair, you’ll need to decide where you’d like your part to fall.

If you have bangs you’ll be working around, a center part is very cute, or a side part is universally flattering without.

Back View Vintage Victory Rolls

Curl this hair upwards, or counter clockwise leading up to the part, and clip to cool.

Once your curls are set, go ahead and unclip and give those tresses a bit of a shake with your fingers.

Start with one parted front section of hair and gather the curled pieces together into one larger piece.

Using a rattail comb or teasing brush, back comb each section of hair just at the root at the underside of what will be the victory roll.

This base is going to give your roll some structure, as well as giving you bobby pins something to grab hold of.

Once you’ve got a bit of volume teased into the base, smooth hair with a natural bristled brush and then take three fingers and wrap the ends of hair around to form the roll.

The actual shape of hair can either be pinned at an angle or vertically, depending on whether you’d like to see the top of the curl or not.

Once you’ve found to desired angle, criss cross bobby pins and smooth hair with spray to secure, and repeat with the other side.

Don’t be disheartened if your first roll isn’t perfect – even seasoned pros often need to go back and forth to get the right symmetry between the two rolls.

A side part is easier to manage at first, since the victory rolls don’t need to be exactly even.

Style Inspiration

Victory Rolls Hairstyle

If Your Hair Is Layered

If you’ve got flyaways due to a modern, layered haircut, a bit of Enjoy Creamy Pomade and some firm hold hairspray will help smooth those jagged pieces into submission.

Using the same natural bristled brush, shape and smooth out the rest of your hair into perfect waves.

Complement your look with a classic red lip, or update your look with some glossy fuchsia or violet hues.

Dramatic Victory Rolls Hairstyle

You can also dress up your retro ‘do with the addition of hair flowers or bows tucked behind one ear.

Our Featured Vargas Girl

Esquire Magazine

January 1941

Vintage Art

Alberto Vargas

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How To Style Victory Rolls
Published November 8, 2012

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