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Simple Victory Rolls

The victory roll is one of the most iconic hairstyles for vintage and pin up style. Popular in the early 1940's, no one is entirely sure exactly where the style came from but there are a few different theories about their origin. The name comes from an aviation manoeuvre where planes would spin horizontally in the air in victory. The spiral shape that the hair takes for this style mimics that. The style didn't just look good- it was a practical hairstyle for women working in factories during the war, as it kept hair tied back safely. The victory roll became popular in Hollywood too, with stars such as Veronica Lake and Betty Gable encouraging the trend.

I have been trying to get the perfect victory roll for years and now feel confident doing a basic one and here are the important things I have learned:

  • Do more backcombing and use more hairspray than you think you need to. It's a really important step and will make it much easier to shape your victory rolls. Got to get that volume!

  • Two matching victory rolls on either side of a centre parting are the easiest to learn to start with (so that's what I've done for this tutorial!)

  • If you're planning on wearing a top or dress with a tight neckline, be sure to put this on before doing your hair (yes, I have found this out the hard way. Doh!).

  • More hairspray.

I normally do my victory rolls on my hair as it is naturally- I have thick hair with a bit of curl and a lot of frizz. If you have very fine or straight hair, you may want to add a few curls to the front section before you begin the following steps.

You don't need much in the way of equipment to do this style- hairspray, bobby pins (a minimum of four per roll, but you'll probably want more than that), a teasing comb and a clip or hairband to tie back the hair you're not rolling.

1. Part your hair in the centre.

2. Section off around 2 inches of hair from your parting down to your ear on both side. It's much easier to get matching sections before either side is rolled.

3. Tie back the rest of your hair.

4. Grab one section of hair and start using your teasing comb to backcomb. Focus

primarily on the hair at the root as this is where you want the most volume. Lightly back comb the rest of the section, down to the ends. By the time you've finished, the hair should be pointing upwards slightly.

5. Liberally spray your hair with hairspray. Be sure to get the ends too as this will make starting your roll much easier. Smooth over the outside using the edge of your brush.

6. Now it's time to get rolling! Stretch up the section of your hair so that there is a little tension. Wrap approx. 2 inches hair at the ends around your thumb, using your forefinger to hold it in place . Begin to roll your hair inwards towards your scalp, trying to keep the roll nice and tight- you'll find it will loosen up as you pin it in place.

7.Once your roll has reached the top of your head, use one hand to hold it in place and the other to slide in a bobby pin. It should go from front to back, through the centre of the roll , attaching it to your head. The roll should be about 2 inches wide and should finish just before your parting. Add another pin through the front and then two more going from back to front. Your roll should now feel nice and secure.

8. Repeat on the other side. Remember this time you will be rolling it the opposite direction so that the second roll mirrors the first.

9. Pin the second roll in place with your bobby pins. Try to make sure you position this roll so that it matches the first, ending the same distance from the parting and roughly the same size.

10. Spray both rolls with hairspray, making sure to get the back and front of the rolls.

11. Use the fine end of your teasing brush to adjust your rolls from the inside if you feel they need tidying up or reshaping slightly. Add more bobby pins if you feel you need to. Use the edge of your brush to smooth over the outside of your roll. Give your hair one final little spritz of hairspray.

12. Let down the rest of your hair. You can leave it down, perhaps adding a little curl to it or tie it back.

13. Finish off your hair with a hair flower- you can have one on each side or just on one side. The beauty of hair flowers is that they can be placed strategically if there is a bit of your roll you're not happy with and want to cover up. (And if you're in the market for a new hair flower, you can find plenty in my Etsy shop!

So there you have it! Let me know how you get on if you try this style!

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