What Are Some 1940s Black Hairstyles?


1940s black hairstyles are characterized by elegance, chic, sophistication, class, and an emerging keenness for fashion.  During this period, which followed the Industrial Revolution, America was becoming more refined as a social community and country.  People were becoming more interested in style and aesthetics, as opposed to the much more utilitarian philosophies of the previous generation.

While clothing was undergoing a massive transformation, so were hairstyles.  Soft curls and updos were becoming more common.  As such, you could frequently find rollers in the bathrooms of many homes during the period.  These curls are slightly different than those that are more common today because women of the time were supposed to wear hats in public.  Because of this, the ends of locks were usually all that was curled with the roots left strong and straight so they could be hidden under hats.

Although these styles required a great deal of work, women wore them every day.  Some of these styles may seem tedious and unnecessary today, perhaps simply because women have come out of the home and into the work place, but it was very common to see a woman wear curls and well-designed hair while shopping, attending a picnic, or making an appearance on her husband’s arm at a large gala.

The Chignon was one of the most popular hairstyles of the time.  A knot pinned to the base of the neck is the most notable characteristic of this hairstyle.  Pin curls and ringlet curls were also common, and presented in a very similar way as the Chignon.  Pin curls are isolated, pinning small portions of the hair to create a soft, elegant, feminine look.  Ringlet curls were used to pin a larger quantity of hair.

Another popular hairstyle was known as the Omelete.  This uses a technique where the hair is parted at the back and a hairdresser or stylist uses a criss-cross effect to create folds that is then directed somewhat forward.  If your hair needed to be treated, then, you would also have to wear a Do-Rag to keep the hair in place so the treatment can do its job.  However, Do-rags were not only used in this way, as they were popular among both men and women who were trying to style their hair in a way that needed a little extra help staying in place.

Unfortunately many of these styles are not as common today, simply because no one has the time to style them every day.

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thirsty roots®

Our goal is to share the beauty of Afro-textured hair and to have a place where we can come together to get examples, advice, and information of black hair growth and hairstyles. Whether you have permed, pressed, or natural hair it's still black hair and it's beautiful.

1 Comment

  • I am searching for photographs & technical descriptions of the style formerly referred to as “crokinole”. My spelling may be incorrect, but I believe the word could be francophone in origin.

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