Easy Vintage Hairstyles for Natural Hair Look 1940s/WW2

How to get vintage hairstyles with their natural curly hair is a common question I get from readers. So I decided to do some tutorials with naturally curly hair.

We see so many images of starlets from the Golden Age of Hollywood with perfect curls and waves. It is very intimidating and almost seems that your natural hair texture will work against you. But the texture is where natural curly girls have the advantage. While straight haired girls are fighting to create a curl for a vintage look, your curl is already set. The curl is the basis of the vintage look and no matter the level of curl; the glamour can be achieved easily and quickly.

There is no need to make yourself insane trying to copy the curl level or texture of a vintage style. For a finished vintage hairstyle to look great, I believe the most important thing is to get the silhouette and form right. The silhouette or form in hairstyling refers to the outer shape of the hairstyle.

The time periods we idealize in the history of hairstyling had very recognizable silhouettes. The Jazz Age was known for its bobbed hair while the Mod 1960s were known for bouffants and beehives. When you want to style your hair for a certain time period, study the shape of the common looks you are attracted to.  Manipulate your curls to emulate the silhouette and you are ready to go. 


Keira’s curl will be an amazing base for vintage hairstyles that were all based around curl.

See the steps for a 1950s/Atomic Era natural curl hairstyle here.

See the steps for a 1960s/Mad Men natural curl hairstyle here.

For a WW2 or early 1940s vintage hairstyle with natural curl, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Start by parting a section out that is about 3 by 3 inches square on top of you head. For the most authentic look, the outer lines of the section should line up with the outer corners of the eyebrow. Parts at that time generally lined up with the outer corner of the eyebrow.

Step 2 – Roll this section of hair over itself  to create a wave effect and pin it in place.

Step 3 – Allow some of the curl to sit in front of this form and separate it some with your fingers to create a curl fluff.

Step 4 – Section out the full side piece that runs from behind the ear and directly up to the first form.

Step 5 – Twist this section back like a mini French twist that sits above the ear and pin it in place.

Step 6 – Fluff the curl toward the top to add some height and pin it place.

Step 7 – Repeat this step on the opposite side section so you now have the hair pinned back at the sides.

Step 8 – Direct the back section of the hair down toward the shoulders with your fingers.

Step 9 – Use pins throughout the hairstyle to control the natural curl into the form you want. I added bobby pins in the back section near the ears to get the look very common in the 1940s of the curl belling out at the bottom.

Final Style

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  1. Thank you for this amazing tutorial! I have this problem – seems no matter how I do my pin curls I always end up with not-quite an authentic look due to my natural hair curls. I will definitely keep these tips in mind. 🙂 ♡

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  2. Love this post, thank you! It so often seems like getting your hair to curl in the right way but still be sleek and frizz-free in the right bits is way easier for girls with straight hair rather than those of us who have abundant curls and volume already. But my curls are why I love doing vintage hair styling in the first place! Hardly anywhere has tutorials for curly-haired ladies, so I’d love to see more of these 🙂 Keira’s hair is gorgeous as well

  3. This has been just about the most helpful hair tutorial I’ve ever read, and not just because I needed advice about styling my curly hair. Your paragraph on silhouette and form was one of those forehead-slapping “duh!” moments for me. I’ve known and applied that idea to my sewing for years, but always struggled with my hair and despaired because I couldn’t make it look just like the photos. You’ve just doubled the amount of fun and satisfaction I’ll have with my personal style from now on. Thank you!!

  4. First of all! Umm. Amazing. I was so glad that there was a different perspective other than the pin curl base set that starts most other tutorials. Yay! I was thinking though, that maybe your next tutorial could be for those of us whose hair is neither straight…or curly enough to do anything with. My hair is like VVVVVV, so I have to blow dry it straight, then use curlers, then style. Plus…if there is any moisture in the air at all or rain -forget it. It is great, because my hair holds curl…but…there’s got to be an easier way. Any suggestions?

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Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

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