How to Curl Your Bangs Like a Pinup Girl

by Melissa J. Bell

1940s and 1950s pinup girls like Bettie Page, Betty Grable, actress Ava Gardner and the illustration-only Vargas girls captured the hearts of the men in their time and continue to inspire offbeat fashions. Pinup models are iconic not only for their voluptuous figures, but also for their styling, including some truly unusual hair. These famous fringes aren't just for the rockabilly set or today's brand of heavily-tattooed pinup. From Page's high, heavy bangs to flirty wartime victory rolls, the modern woman can incorporate a vintage twist into her new silhouette or ramp up the retro vibe in a popular throwback trend.

Bettie Page Bangs

Wash hair thoroughly and let it dry partway, so that the hair is damp, not wet.

Tuck a small round brush under the bangs. Roll the bangs under, tight against the hairline, and apply heat with a hair dryer. Hold the hair dryer at least 8 inches from the scalp and move it back and forth over the hair to avoid burns. Dry the bangs fully, periodically unrolling and rolling them with the brush. Blow dry the rest of the hair and brush it out of the way.

Fold the ends of the bangs over a large hair roller. Roll the bangs under, all the way to the hairline, and pin the roller in place with a bobby pin.

Style the remaining hair as desired. Options include updos, waves, curls and even plain cascading hair.

Remove the roller from the bangs. Carefully comb the bangs downward over the forehead, and smooth them out with fingers so that the hair curls neatly over the face. Angle a can of hairspray several inches from the face and spritz the bangs for a light hold.

Victory Rolls

Part the hair on one side. Section off the front few inches of the larger side, from part to temple. If incorporating bangs into the rolls, keep in mind that they will need to stay flush against the longer hairs or the look will get messy.

Spritz the section with hairspray to help it hold the style. Let the spray dry.

Grasp the end of the section and angle it away from the part, to the side. If styling long hair, grasp the middle of the section and let the "tail" hang freely.

Lay two fingers from the opposite hand against the top of the section, near the ends. Roll the hair upward, over the fingers.

Roll the section again, and continue rolling all the way to the part. Slide a bobby pin into the bottom of the roll just beside the part.

Section off another few inches of hair on the shorter side of the part, from part to temple. Create a second roll and pin it beside the part.

Spray both rolls judiciously with hairspray. Style the rest of the hair into waves, curls or an updo.

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Items you will need

  • Materials:
  • Small round brush
  • Hair dryer
  • Large hair roller
  • Bobby pins
  • Comb
  • Hairspray


  • 1940s hairstyles; Daniela Turudich
  • The Look Book: 50 Iconic Beauties and How to Achieve Their Signature Styles; Erika Stalder

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.