Show Off Your Victory Roll

Victory rolls hairstyle

Oh darling, don’t you love a little vintage? A little rust here, a little tarnish there, it’s no matter. It’s remarkable how a few pieces of chipped china and weathered wood can have so much charisma. Certainly, when one thinks of vintage, they think of worn down furniture and faded clothing; styles of which often make their way back around with a bit of a modern twist. On the contrary, one vintage detail that has charmed its way into the hearts of the fashion and beauty world is the classic 1950’s hairstyle, victory roll.

Once worn by American women during the World War II era, this twisted ‘do has been spotted on celebrities such as Katy Perry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gwen Stefani and more. Not only does this vintage-chic style flatter your face shape, but it’s ultra-glam and bound to get you a few compliments. When you’re ready to rock the victory roll, check out the steps below.

Keep in mind, there are many variations of the look, this tutorial will guide you through the steps of creating a single asymmetrical victory roll. Should you be interested in having a set of victory rolls, you should follow the proceeding steps, then simply repeat the processes on opposite side of your head.

  1. You’ll want to begin with clean, dry, detangled hair. You’ll want to use a comb to create a straight part on the top on your scalp. How/Where you part your hair will depend on whether you plan on creating a pair of victory rolls, or a single asymmetrical victory roll. If you want to create a pair of victory rolls, you will part your hair right down the middle, this way you have the same amount of hair to work with on each side, allowing the rolls to be symmetrical. Likewise, if you want to style a single victory roll you should use the comb to part your hair off-centered, allowing there to be more hair on one side – the further away from the center the part is, the more dramatic the final look.
  2.  Now you’ll want to section off a chunk of hair on the thicker side. You’ll want it to be the top section of hair, that which is “connected” to that part. It should be about two or three times more than the amount of hair that you would take to create a side bang.
  3. Use a clip to hold that section together and secure the remaining hair into a low ponytail so that it is out of your way.
  4. Assuming your hair is out if it’s normal part, it may have a mind of its own. To keep the look tight, slide a bobby pin horizontally into the top of the ponytailed hair where the loosely clipped section begins. Then do the same thing, this time sliding the bobby pin into the roots of the clipped section, positioning the bobby pin where you want the base of your victory roll to lay.
  5. Unclip the section of hair and use both hands to roll it onto itself, being sure to create an O shape as you roll the hair up towards the scalp. Once you’ve rolled the O all the way to the top, hold it in place (easiest done by holding down the inside of the roll) and slip a bobby pin into the base of the O so that it is secured to your scalp.
  6. Use your thumb and index fingers to loosen backside of the O so that it falls into the base of your head – you shouldn’t be able to see through it like you would a tunnel.
  7. Give your victory roll a good bout of hairspray before releasing the elastic and adding just a bit more for that extra hold.

Popular 50s Hairstyles

It was a thrilling time to be alive–a return to restore families and life as usual to Americans, right after WWII, when prosperity was being returned and once again there was such a thing as “disposable income.” Many women, just like today, styled their hair to copy styles they had seen on the big screen, where beauty was big business those days. With a wave of films made in Italy and with great screen stars like Sophia Loren, there was a strong Italian influence on hair styles. And as TV became more widely available, the star influence flourished even more. While the trend was to style hair to look more natural, for many women that actually meant using a lot of products and efforts like perms and coloring. And they were called “hairdos, rather than hairstyles, encompassing every length imaginable, but there were more short styles than at any time before. What follows are some of the most sought after styles of the decade:

Woman with retro hairstyle.

Italian Influenced Hair
It was those gorgeous stars of Italian movies whom left American women undergoing major transformations to emulate big name stars like Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida whose trademark hairstyles were short, fluffy and wavy, with shaggy ends. Larger hoop earrings and bigger chunky necklaces were paired with these styles with great impact. This was known as the Italian cut.

Shorter Styles
There was a wide variety of styles worn in the 50s, but shorter hair more or less came into prominence during the decade, with a couple of select styles typically featuring big waves and curls that were concentrated on the ends of the hair, with the hair proceeding from the crown being flat and straight. The curls or waves would tend to frame the face. Another couple of popular hairdos kind of predated the 60s afro, although the styles were sported by caucasian women. One was the bubble cut, featuring a bit looser curls, and the poodle cut had tighter ones.

Woman with short hair

Bobs and Pageboys
Bobs were the shorter versions of the two, and pageboys typically involved bangs. The hair had to be perfectly silky-straight, all the way down until it would loosely turn under, on the ends, as if naturally. Usually, “natural” didn’t have anything to do with it. There might be an occasional wave here or there, but only when purposefully articulated to look natural. A prime example was the Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly, whose pageboy turned under right at her jawline.

Longer Locks of the 50s
Still a good number of trendy 50s women, both in Hollywood and at “Small Town, USA” wore their hair longer. A huge trend among teens was the ponytail, typically worn with bangs worn straight. Short bangs were a thing more then than now, and generally, the younger the female, the higher the ponytail would be positioned. Many teens would secure their ponytail with a pretty scarf. Audrey Hepburn was certainly one of the most influential of Hollywood heads, and when she starred in Funny Face in 1957, her long ponytail surely inspired the trend that followed. Bouffants were the rage in the 50s, with its trademark volume and height. A whole lot of hair lacquer was necessary to pull this one off, and the style would last for days without washing. With this style, wearing hats was out, but sometimes accents were added directly, like feathers, bows and more.

Pixie cut.

Short 50s Hair
Audrey Hepburn made the “gamine,” or “elfin” look a 50s trend, which was also called the “pixie cut.” This cut was quite short and layered, and inspired many a fan to duplicate the look with a trademark high cut shaggy fringe.