Post WWII Hairstyles – Beauty After the War

Beauty after WWII

After the end of WWII, style didn’t really go through major changes for the first couple of years. Women continued to sport about the same style of clothing, hair and makeup. Getting back to life was more about families reuniting and getting use to a life without war. The rationing of cloth and the style-for-work mentality took some time to dissipate.


1947 planted the seeds of fashion change. Christian Dior’s popular and controversial New Look was released in 1947. In direct contrast to the resource conscious and the wear-to-work look so prevalent during WWII, women loved the new feminine look. But Dior also suffered some criticism for it. The amount of fabric this new look used directly contrasted the ration style and some women thought the corseted-waste look was a step back for feminism. Those of use that are such fans of the vintage 1950s dress style know what fashion trends won that fight.

Hairstyles in 1947

This vintage magazine article, “Cross-Country Hair-Dos”, printed in the Des Moines Sunday Register magazine predicts the top hairstyles for the coming season in 1947. Scroll down to read the full article.

My take-away from looking at these is that the silhouettes are very similar to the silhouettes popular earlier in the 1940s, but they do feel “free-er”. The curls are a little looser and they seem less complicated to many styles movie stars wore during WWII.

The Photographs of Post WWII Hairstyles

The images are by Frank Powolny, the famous 20th-Century Fox photographer. Powolny shot many famous images we all know today, including a lot of the studio images of Marilyn Monroe.

Full Article

Cross-Country Hair-Dos

A high-flying editor unites the top talent in New York and Hollywood to bring you these four smart-but-simple hair styles for the new season.

By Judy Rees

The pictures on this page represent a lot of trouble. They are the result of combining sophisticated New York, glamorous Hollywood, a coast-to-coast plane and a traveling editor. The point: to bring you a forecasting blueprint of the four top hair styles for the coming fall-winter season.

First move was to poll the experts and pick a hairdresser who could do the job. We needed a stylist with a reputation for smart sophistication. But he couldn’t be fad-happy — he had to be able to create styles for average women and their normal, everyday life. Jacques Paschkes was the answer to all our demands.

The Hairstyle Concept

Mr. Paschkes reached Manhattan via Paris, Rome, St. Moritz and Vienna. Before Hitler, his Vienna salon swarmed with very upper-crust European ladies. Now he’s busy with U.S. socialite clients like Mrs. Vincent Astor and Mrs. Barbara Cushing Mortimer, movie visitors like Gene Tierney and Virginia Mayo and old friends from Europe who arrived with the United Nations.

With that kind of background, Mr. Paschkes was not stumped when we asked him to design a quartet of hair styles guaranteed to please all our lady readers. He drew up his blueprints, tested them in his salon, then handed them to our editor, who took the next plane to Hollywood.

The Hairstylist

Reason for the trip was the recognized fact that Hollywood has as much to do with setting the nation’s hair styles as New York’s smartest hairdressers. We figured that by combining the best of both, you’d end up the winner. So we turned over the blueprints of the Paschkes designs to Irene Brooks, head of 20th Century-Fox’s hairdressing department. Miss Brooks went right to work, added a few touches of her own, adapted them to four of the loveliest heads to be found on the Fox lot. Results are the Cross-Country hair-dos you’re looking at on these pages.

The Free-er Hairstyle

All members of the quartet carry out Mr. Paschkes’s firm belief that hair styles should be functional. Whatever style you pick, he says, should “mesh in with your activities.” “Remember,” he warns, “your hair-do is not frozen in a mold. It has to stand up under a day’s work, a ride in an open car or a day at the beach.”

Just as important is his tip that you hair-do must conform not only to the outlines of your face and head — but to the dimensions of your figure. “Choose a hair style,” he says, “which meets the test of both your hand mirror and the full-length looking glass.”            

Test yourself with any one of the Cross-Country styles. When you’ve selected the one best for you, you or your hairdresser can adapt it to your type by following blueprint and picture. The experts promise results.

The Hairstyles

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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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