How to Do Pin-Up Style Victory Rolls – A Guide For Hair And Beauty

Pin-Up Style Victory Rolls

Over the years, the way we treat and present our hair has changed and developed with the tides of fashion. Some looks still are typical today, while others are best remaining in their respective eras.

Nowadays, we have numerous types of hairstyles for every occasion, ranging from the sleek, controlled look all the way to the messy and tousled styles.

The 1940's and 50's were a different time. Rather than the looks we prioritize today, women of the era focused on styling their hair into voluminous, perfect looks. Part of that fashion was due to the war era; with fabric rationed, hairstyles were the best way to create a unique statement. Even though we don't have those same restrictions today, that doesn't mean we can't bring up the hairstyles of the past.

Victory rolls are an incredibly distinctive look, consisting of near cone-like rolls of hair up front and center above the forehead, usually with the rest flowing free. The most classic version of the look includes of two curls parted evenly in the middle, but you can make just one. This style got its name from the fact that the war had ended shortly beforehand, allowing beauty and fashion to flourish once again.

Vintage as it may be, the victory rolls style is one that still makes an impression today. You can still benefit from learning how to make victory rolls, even if they aren't the look you plan on sporting. Simple rolls can serve as the base for numerous other hairstyles, so it's worth the effort. If you're ready to get started, keep reading. Your ticket to 1950's hair styling is here.

Retro Hairstyles

Gather Your Supplies

Victory rolls are a distinctive hairstyle that doesn't just happen with clever manipulation of your hair alone (though that is important). To complete this look, you're going to need:

  • Curling iron
  • Round brush
  • Heavy duty hairspray
  • Mousse
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair cream

People with very straight hair will require the curling iron the most since soft curls help make the rolls come together better. Rather than using bobby pins, you can also use hair grips to help keep the roll in place. Our instructions will focus on the bobby pin method.

How to Do Pin-Up Style Victory Rolls

woman wears retro curly hairstyle


Now that we've gathered up all your supplies, it's time to get started with the styling. We're going to provide instruction on how to create the double victory roll style, with notes on how to create a single roll later on.

Step One: Curl All Your Hair

Before getting into the pinup process, you should use the curling iron to curl your hair first. Do so in sections. You don't need to iron for too long since you aren't aiming for an intensely curled look. Instead, focus on creating waves that will help complete the rounded style once you've finished.

Step Two: Use the Mousse

The purpose of using mousse on your hair isn't to get it to stick (that will come later), but instead to make it more malleable and help condition your locks. As such, you don't need a heavy-duty mousse; any product you can pick up should be able to do the job and help set up the rest of the process. For most effective results, apply the mousse from the bottom of your hair up.

Step Three: Part Your Hair

Use the round brush to part your hair. The traditional look focuses on parting directly in the middle, but you can also mix up the style to have asymmetrical rolls. The key is to make sure that your part is straight along your head. Your hand can serve as an excellent guide in keeping everything in place.

Step Four: Section Off Your Hair

You'll have a much harder time building your rolls if you don't have all your hair free. Keeping the sections that you plan to use for your curls free, pull the rest back into a ponytail. For those with multilayered hair, you'll have the best results if you use the top layers for your rolls and tie the rest back.

Before moving into the next step, you have the option of teasing out the sections of your hair to add more volume. This process is't necessary to complete the look, but it can help. If you do tease out your hair, separate it into sections for a more straightforward process. Note that you'll likely see some damage as a result. Proper conditioning can repair it.

Step Five: Start to Roll

With that done, it's time to roll! Note that the goal of victory rolls is not to be able to see through the tunnel you create. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to start from the back of your roll and ensure that section is the tightest while allowing the parts near the forehead to be much more pronounced.

The process of rolling can depend on your strategy, so don't be afraid to try out different methods. Usually, you can be successful by starting to wrap around your fingers and swapping hands when you can't roll anymore. A slight tuck at the beginning can also help your roll better hold its shape. Try not to let go.

If you're working with asymmetrical rolls, it can help to curl the broader portion first.

Step Six: Fasten the Curls

Once you've rolled up all your hair to the top of your head, it's time to fasten them into place. Line up bobby pins so that they secure the base of the roll. Once that's ready, you can use a bit of hairspray to hold the look in place. That way, you won't have the fuss with the curl as you work on the other side of your hair.

Step Seven: Curl and Pin the Other Side

With one roll ready, it's time to curl up the other side of your hair. Repeat the same process as you did with the first roll, then fasten into place alongside the other. Once more, top off with a small amount of hairspray and check over your look for approval.

Step Eight: Spray the Whole Hairstyle

While you've used a bit of hairspray before to hold the rolls into place temporarily, it's time to make sure they stick. The amount of spray you'll need will depend on the thickness of your hair and how long you need the look to last. Generally, the thicker your hair and the more time you want your rolls to hold, the more hairspray you'll want.

Step Nine: Finishing Touches

If you like, you can release ends of your remaining hair from your ponytail and use the round brush to curl them, cleaning up the hairstyle. A small portion of hair cream can add an extra shine to the look. With that, your victory rolls are complete and ready to rock!

Alternate Steps: Using Hair Grips

pin up curly grip

If you're not a fan of bobby pins, you have the option to use hair grips to secure your rolls instead. To do this, you'll want to add the hair grips after you've sectioned out your hair. The best place is to add the grips roughly where you want the roll to rest and keep them parallel to your part. When building the double victory rolls style, try to keep the grips evenly from your part.

Once you've secured the hair grips, you'll want to back comb the rest of your hair. This approach can serve as an alternate to teasing the sections of your hair to create the full and voluminous final look. Be careful not to interrupt the line of hair grips while backcombing.

The rest of the steps for building your victory rolls are the same, save for once you're ready to secure your curl. Once you've finished the shape of your roll, you can insert hair grips through the tunnel, covering up the original line of grips and securing the form. Add some hairspray and finish up the look as you would when using bobby pins!

To create a seamless look, you'll want to use hair grips that are the same color as the rest of your hair. Otherwise, they might stick out, even if your roll makes a shadow.

Getting the Most Out of Your Victory Rolls


Victory rolls are no doubt an intricate style that can take time and practice to master. When you do, however, you'll have a look that not many other people can match. Whether you're attending a retro party or you want to make an impression at a formal occasion, this hairstyle is more than capable of getting the job done.

The curved style of victory rolls also plays a part in several other vintage hairstyles. From singular curls to rolled bangs, the potential for what you can do with this knowledge is vast. It just takes a little creativity to start pulling off the distinctive looks of eras gone past. Now do up your hair and get ready to look like you've stepped right out of history!

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