The ’40s was a magical decade filled with women in luxurious and glamorous hairstyles. One of the classic styles, the wave, is still holding popularity with women. Whether you are attending a formal event, or you want to spice up a day outfit, the ’40s glamour waves are simple to recreate. Unlike some curly hairstyles, the glamour waves are soft to the touch and bounce slightly when you walk. These characteristics, along with the Hollywood-type look, is what keeps the glamour waves coming back year after year.

Things You'll Need

Wash and condition hair with volumizing products. Towel dry your hair by blotting or squeezing out the moisture. Do not rub.

Apply a plum-size amount of styling mousse to your palm and rub hands together. Work the mousse into your hair from the tips to the roots. Comb through to distribute evenly.

Attach a hairdryer diffuser to the end of a hairdryer and set the heat to medium. Dry your hair with the hairdryer and a paddle brush. The brush will help disburse the heat through the hair and reduce flyaways. Continue drying until your entire head is completely dry.

Heat a 1-inch-diameter curling iron to the hottest setting possible. If you have thin hair, heat the curling iron to medium-heat to prevent burning. Beginning at the top of your crown, comb out sections of hair no wider than the length of the curling iron. Open the clamp of the curling iron and wrap the tips of the hair around the clamp and secure. Holding the iron at a slightly horizontal angle, roll the hair up to the scalp. Hold for five seconds and then open the clamp. Slide the hair out of the clamp and set the curling iron down.

Pin the curl to your head with a bobby pin. Repeat the process of combing out a small section of hair, curling it and then pinning the curl to your head. The curls will remain pinned to your head until your entire head is covered in curls.

Coat the pinned curls with a light mist of medium-hold hairspray and wait 10 minutes. Release the curls one-by-one and let them fall.

Use your fingers to comb through the hair and style to your preference. The more gently you work through your hair, the more likely the curls will remain in their shape. For a more wavy appearance, pull a paddle brush through the curls. Secure the final style with hairspray


  • Pin a bejeweled hair clip into the side of the hair, just above the ear, for an Old Hollywood style.

  • Create a deep side part before you curl your hair. Once the curls are released, pull the bang across one eye for the classic peek-a-boo hairstyle from the ’40s.

  • Gather the curls into a low chignon at the nape of the neck. The curly chignon was often spotted on women during the ’40s.