Retro pin-up girl hair styles
We’ll show you how to get pin up girl hair. When you look at those retro Varga pin-ups and calendar girls, don’t assume those perfect waves, sculpted ringlets and squeaky-clean locks would need a team of stylists. Sally Rebel shows you how to achieve three classic pin-up girl looks: The Natural, the Sophisticate and Victory Rolls.
I know that when most people drool over pictures of the curvaceous, flirtatious, absolutely scandalous Vargas girls, the last thing they’re looking at is their hair. But I, for one, think that’s the most interesting part. How much effort must it have taken to get such perfect waves, such sculpted ringlets, such shiny, squeaky-clean locks (while posing for dirty pictures, yet)? Actually, you’d be surprised. With a few curlers, a healthy dose of vitamin H (hairspray), and a whole lot of self-confidence, pin-up hair from the Sophisticate to sweetheart rolls is a lot easier than it looks.
What you’ll need to achieve the classic retro Varga girl look (for daytime):
- Curlers (easier than pin curls)
- Hair product to hold those waves
STEP 1: Wet your hair. You don’t want it too wet, just damp enough to hold a curl. You may want to comb through some gel or lotion, too. You’ll be using curlers to achieve those pin-up girl waves, ideally curlers rather than pin curls as curlers work well with most all hair types, curly or straight, so a little product to hold the wave will help. If your hair is frizzy-curly, you may want to work in some anti-frizz gel or pomade as well.
STEP 2: Take a curler (about an inch in diameter) and hold it at the very tip of a section of hair. I have those bristly rollers, the ones invented by some misogynistic hairstylist back in god-only-knows-when. They suck. I wrap ’em in toilet paper to keep them from sticking in my hair.
STEP 3: Now roll the hair counterclockwise towards your head, winding tightly but not so tightly as to cause pain (we’re curling the hair, not disciplining it).
STEP 4: Secure the curler, and repeat with every single strand of hair on your head (including bangs). For best results, roll all curlers in the same direction.
STEP 5: Hairspray! And plenty of it!
STEP 6: Let hair rest for about 10-12 hours. You want to make sure it’s TOTALLY DRY. I don’t usually use gratuitous capitalization, but this is worth it. And don’t sleep on it, if you can help it – tossing and turning is not conducive to achieving beautifully styled hair.
STEP 7: Brush out the curls, pressing the brush close to your head and sculpting waves as you go. And you’re done!
This retro pin-up girl style is very natural. After brushing out your hair (mine is shoulder-length, with bangs), you’ll find it softly waved with short and curled bangs. Rest in Peace, Bettie Page.
Victory Rolls video guide – 1940s hair in 5 minutes
What you’ll need to achieve the victory rolls look:
- Sponge rollers. Cut these to size as required
- Bobby pins
- Hairspray to finish and hold
Victory Rolls are wonderful because you don’t need to style wet hair or wait hours for curls and waves to settle – you can simply roll your dry hair around the sponge curlers, pin the curls in place, maybe hold with a little hairspray – and you’re done. You can also add a fascinator or flower, if you wish. Now you’re ready to go out and paint the town red!
To achieve Victory rolls, I wrapped my hair around a sponge roller (known as ‘rats’ in the 1940s – how charming), pinned it to the upper back my head (sort of like a half-ponytail), and did the same with the other side.
When you take a section of hair to roll, you can have any parting you like – a side parting is a classic. Roll your hair froom the tip all the way up to the roots.
To achieve the Sophisticate, I’ve brushed the bangs up and into the rest of my hair, like a pompadour.
Give it a try yourself.
Knock ’em dead!
Sally Rebel shows you how to get the classic Natural pin-up look. See steps above
Here we have the Sophisticate…
… and Victory Rolls