March 6, 2011

Taking a look back (literally) at 1940s hairstyles

Day 65 of Vintage 365

Perhaps I'm the odd (wo)man out here, but as much as I adore seeing what vintage hairstyles look like from the front (and sides), I've always been intrigued by how they appeared from the back as well. Typically in beauty ads, vintage hairstyle books and magazines, and old school photographs and magazine images, we see hairdos as they appear straight on.

However, in the real world it's not uncommon at all to see the back of someone's head (for example, while walking down the street, sitting in class, taking a bus, or waiting in line) and there's much to be said for styling your vintage hair looks so that they sparkle with old school pizzazz (and authenticity) from any view.

Finding genuine vintage images that show how hairstyles of the mid-twentieth century looked from the back is a fair bit trickier than sourcing those that present styles from the front. As such I'm always on the prowl for "back of the head" photos that show how 1930s, 40s and 50s styles appeared from the back. While I sometimes find photos featuring one woman with the back of her head to the camera, it's quite rare to encounter a shot that shows multiple gals all facing away from the lens.


Thus today's terrific vintage find is a real treasure. Featuring numerous 1940s teenage girls' hairstyles as they appeared from the back, this lovely photo is both historically interesting and highly practical (if you're trying to recreate styles from that era yourself, I mean).

My hair is currently of a similar length to that of most of these young women, and I could definitely see myself trying to recreate any one (or more) of these looks, using the back of the style as inspiration for how the front would turn out (instead of the other way around, as is often the case).

There's something so fun and charming, timeless and beautiful about this 1940s hairstyle filled image (which comes via kimintn on Flickr). It's a both a slice-of-life look back at fun, wavy hairdos (and teenage fashions, don't you just adore all of their lovely dresses?!) of the day, as well as a super useful reference for creating 1940s hairstyles of your own that will look fantastic from any angle!


  1. HI!! Hope you are doing well. I wanted to stop by and say hello :o)
    I love the look of the hairstyles in this era. I love the styles of the clothing from this timeframe too.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    As blog time is limited, much like many bloggers :o) Just know that although I am not over here as often as I would like, I send you well wishes and have you on my sidebar, my friend :o)

  2. Oh! I love this photo! All those waves...they are so beautiful!

  3. I love the back head shots of the 1940's too, and so rare to find them. Thank you for this lovely image.

  4. I knoiw what you mean- the back of teh head is so often neglected, but it is an important part of a look. I re-enact the 18th century, and it's even harder to get back-views of heads. A couple of years ago a friend and I visted an art gallery that had a whole room full of 18th century portrait busts. The guard looked quite suspicious when we leaned into the walls and craned our necks to see how the backs looked. :)