Lionesse Flat Iron | 1940’s Hair Tools
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1940’s Hair Tools

1940’s Hair Tools

Tools used during the 1940’s to develop hairstyles vary widely depending on the style and look the woman wanted to achieve. Today, Lionesse breaks down the main components on any woman of the 1940’s era’s vanity, and explains what each of them were used for and what purpose they had. Many of these items are still used in today’s world, albeit with marked improvements in technology. Let’s take a closer look at these items and what type of styles they were used for.

40s style hair look with headband

Head Bands
Head bands and head wraps were very popular during this time, and were popular amongst girls, teenage girls, and women alike. They were fashionable and helped the girl or lady achieve a cute, fun style that is still worn today.

Setting Lotion
Setting lotion is still used in today’s beauty world, and was quite possible one of the best products women of the 40’s had. This lotion would allow the hair to set in the rollers and stay put all day, keeping the curls in place much like gel, mousse, or hair spray would.

funny woman with hair rollers in a retro look.

Hair Rollers
Hair rollers were essential to every woman’s daily style. Finding the time to set the hair into the rollers was the true obstacle. It seems as though every woman that lived during these times always had perfectly coiffed hair, wavy and beautiful and luxurious. The hair rollers were typically made from foam and plastic, although there were other forms of rollers such as wire wrapped with rayon or silk. Hair rollers were essential when finger waves and pin curls weren’t attainable due to time constraints.

Bobby Pins
Bobby pins were the go-to hair tool when it came to developing the infamous pompadour hair style, buns, or the half-up half down look. They also came in very handy when wearing a snood, creating an updo, or even to keep frizzy pieces of hair at bay. They were used to keep pin curls in place. Although their design has morphed quite a bit over the years, the idea of them was the same – and they served the same type of purpose.

Woman combing her hair with a comb.

Combs were an essential part of any woman’s hair care regimen back in the 40’s. There were different types of combs in which women would use for their styles, from the decorative kind places into an updo or bun of some sort, to the kind they would use for styling and creating styles in their hair.

Bristle Brushes
Bristle brushes, such as boars head bristles and vegetable based brushes with wooden handles, were very popular during the 1940’s era, and donned every woman’s vanity and bathroom counter. These types of brushes provided the perfect brush through for wavy hair after curls had been implemented into the style.

old fashioned barrette.

Much like the hair clips of today, barettes were a great, fashionable way for teenage girls and women of the 40’s to keep their hair out of their face and add style. They came in different colors but were usually in colors that matched hair color such as brown, yellow, and black.


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