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Style

Victory Rolls And The Stars Who've Dared To Wear Them

Thank the beauty gods for hairspray.

Whenever we watch films and TV shows set in the 1940s, we're instantly enamored by victory rolls. These perfectly-coiffed hairstyles, which were often covered by bandanas, started cropping up around World War II. The 'do is rumored to have gotten its name from the "victory maneuver" of fighter planes during that era. As men headed to war, women rolled up their hair and sleeves and went to work, according to Pantene celebrity stylist Danilo.

Cartoon by Bernard Tobey depicts men and women as they happily work together to build aircraft cowlings, each of which is decorated with a Christmas wreath, 1940s.
Cartoon by Bernard Tobey depicts men and women as they happily work together to build aircraft cowlings, each of which is decorated with a Christmas wreath, 1940s.

"Folding and rolling became a huge and practical beauty technique for women with long hair. It was also a great way to keep the hair maintained during the day and allowed them to let it loose during the night for glamorous waves," he says. "Money and convenience created the style at this time, which is much like ombré in the 2000s, born out of practicality."

Fast forward 60 years and we're still seeing victory rolls being worn by celebrities, including Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani, Jada Pinkett Smith and Katy Perry. "It's now more of a hair accessory than a practical style for the work day," says Danilo.

The hair professional suggests playing with the positioning of the victory roll to flatter your face shape. You can also make this retro hairdo modern and fresh by adding a bright hair color, fashioning the roll out of braids or cornrows, or incorporating your naturally wavy or curly texture. "It would be fuzzy and have flyaways instead of being sleek and pulled off the face, which is most common," he says.

When styling your hair in victory rolls, Danilo notes that your hair needs to be clean so that you can set your hair with hot rollers. Use a product like Pantene Pro-V Shaping Extra Strong Hold Hairspray to secure the look. Add jeweled bobby pins or barrettes for a stylish touch.

Inspired to go rockabilly? Scroll down to see some of the most memorable victory rolls hairstyles over the years. Plus, check out a video tutorial that breaks down the intricate steps.

Rita Hayworth, 1945
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Betty Grable, circa 1947
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Gwen Stefani, 2006
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Dita Von Teese, 2008
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Jada Pinkett Smith, 2010
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Christina Aguilera, 2010
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Katy Perry, 2011
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Rihanna, 2011
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Diane Kruger, 2012
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Fan Bing Bing, 2012
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Marion Cotillard, 2012
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Lady Gaga, 2012
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Mary J. Blige, 2012
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Paloma Faith, 2014
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Scarlett Johansson, 2015
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Kelly Osbourne, 2015
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Andra Day, 2015
Paul Morigi via Getty Images

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