15 authentic vintage hairstyles for curly hair

Give your hair some retro charm with our vintage hairstyles for curly hair.

What is it we all love about vintage hair? It’s been almost 100 years since some of these trends first came about, but there’s something about them that we just can’t give up.

Many of our favourite classic vintage looks are typically considered as being for straighter hair, so with this post we wanted to shine some light on the best vintage hairstyles for curly hair specifically.

So, for all our naturally curly girls out there who’ve ever struggled with finding vintage hairstyles for your curls, hopefully, we’re about to show you that there’s a whole host of different looks that can look absolutely amazing. Ready to go retro?

instagram selfie of a girl with curly mid length dark blonde hair with mini vintage victory rolls
Victory rolls are one of the most recognisable vintage looks. Credit: Instagram.com/old.roses.anyways

1. Petite victory rolls

Even if you’re new to the world of vintage hair, you’ll probably recognise victory rolls. This style first became popular during WWII as women entering the workforce for the first time needed a hairstyle that was practical and would keep their hair out of their faces.

Although some victory rolls can be quite big, these smaller ‘petite’ victory rolls are perfect for newbies and great for casual wear. Credit: @old.roses.anyways

Next read: Give victory rolls a try by following along with our tutorial.

redhead girl with curly shoulder length hair styled into a vintage suicide roll with a red flower hair clip
A suicide roll adds a touch of retro flair to any look. Credit: Instagram.com/bonnietheriveter

2. Suicide roll

Another popular variation of the victory roll, suicide rolls are great vintage hairstyles for curly hair. Simple to do and a clever way to create Bettie bangs or style your fringe if you’re currently growing it out, just add a flower hair accessory for pin-up girl vibes. Credit: @bonnietheriveter

girl with light brown hair in a curly vintage 1940s updo wrapped in a hair turban
Keep your hair under wraps with a vintage scarf. Credit: Instagram.com/rubymiranda_

3. Wrapped updo

If you feel like wearing your hair up, this cute, curly wrapped updo is a must-try. Typically vintage and an easy way to keep your hair under control, simply put your hair into a loose messy bun and tie your scarf around, before securing in a bow. Credit: @rubymiranda_

woman with dark red hair in a vintage triple victory roll style with a ponytail and white hat
Roll goals! Credit: Instagram.com/nooneknows_itsyou_missjackson

4. Triple victory roll ponytail

Obsessed with the rockabilly look? Then this triple victory roll will be right up your street. Between the oversized rolls, the curly low pony and the pillbox hat, this vintage hairstyle for curly hair is ticking all the right style boxes. Credit: @nooneknows_itsyou_missjackson

Next read: More on the rockabilly revival, here.

Editor’s tip: If you want to take on this 3-in-1 style, the TRESemmé Extra Hold Hairspray is a must. This strong hairspray will keep your hair stay put, protecting it from frizz and humidity for 24 hours.

woman with curly red natural hair styled in a pin up updo wearing a vintage style dress
For those times when only an updo will do. Credit: Instagram.com/chrissy_rif

5. Pin-up updo

When we think of pin-up girls we think fun, flirty and feminine and this curly updo is definitely on theme. As if it wasn’t already fabulous enough, the pop of colour of this cherry red ‘do makes it even more fun. Credit: @chrissy_rif

woman with strawberry blonde voluminous curled hair
Are you ready for your Marilyn moment? Credit: Instagram.com/erikareno_artistry

6. Monroe curls

Marilyn Monroe was the ultimate beauty icon of the 1950s and her style is still a source of inspiration today. You can emulate the blonde bombshell’s iconic look with big, voluminous curls – just remember to part your hair to the side to perfect her signature look. Credit: @erikareno_artistry

Editor’s tip: Marilyn’s curls always had a lot of height at the roots, so we’d suggest applying some the VO5 Big Volume Mousse around the hairline before curling with hot rollers.

Never curled your hair using hot rollers before? Our easy hot rollers tutorial breaks it down step by step.

brunette woman with her hair in a curly half updo style wearing a spotty retro dress
Isn’t it funny how trends come back around? This vintage look would totally work today! Credit: Instagram.com/leannerhymes

7. Half-up curls

During the week when you need quick looks that you can do in under 5 minutes, you’ll be grateful you discovered the half-up, half-down. Especially great for thick hair, it’s a neat way of taming your curls and still keeping the length. Credit: @leannerhymes

brunette woman with sideswept vintage hollywood waves wearing a silver sequin dress
Be the queen of the silver screen with classic film star waves. Credit: Instagram.com/vtgesther

8. Hollywood waves

Of all the vintage hairstyles for curly hair, old Hollywood waves have got to be the most glamorous of all. Whether it’s celebs on the red carpet or brides preparing for their big day, cascading side-swept waves have a universal appeal. Credit: @vtgesther

Editor’s tip: Once you’ve brushed out your curls to loosen them into soft waves, we recommend running a serum through the lengths. The Nexxus Nutritive Serum is light and moisturising to smoothing any frizz and keeping your ends nourished.

woman with platinum blonde curly bob hair with a patterned head turban
Hair turbans are the ultimate retro style. Credit: Instagram.com/missrockabillyruby

9. Hair turbans

If only there was a way you could give yourself a quick-fix vintage look without actually having to do anything to your hair… oh wait, there is! Adding a hair turban onto any look instantly gives a Great Gatsby, 1920s art deco look, all without a hair tie or bobby pin in sight. Credit: @missrockabillyruby

red haired woman with a curly vintage faux flapper bob posing outside in a black sleeveless dress
Flapper vibes are just a faux bob away. Credit: Instagram.com/freyarosehann

10. Faux bob

Flapper bobs are a quintessential vintage hairstyle, but what if you don’t want to cut your hair? A clever way of creating the illusion of cropped, bob length hair is to tuck your hair up under itself using some cleverly places hair pins – you can thank us later.  Credit: @freyarosehann

brunette woman with curled hair in a brigitte bardot style updo with split bangs wearing a green printed dress
Our Brigitte Bardot obsession continues. Credit: Instagram.com/prettyprettyrew

11. Bardot updo

If you’re in need of vintage hairstyles for curly hair and are currently rocking a fringe, this look is seriously on trend. Split Bardot bangs work well with any hairstyle, but pairing them with an updo adds a soft and face-flattering look that’s just as fashionable right now as it was in the ’60s. Credit: @prettyprettyrew

woman with very long dark curly hair worn in a half up style with vintage bumper bangs
Step up your regular fringe by trying out the quintessential bumper bangs of the ’40s. Credit: Instagram.com/the_pinup_mommy

12. Bumper bangs

Were we to choose one vintage look to convince you to try, it would have to be bumper bangs. Spotted on stars like Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani, they’re kitsch, unique and a lot of fun. Credit: @the_pinup_mommy

woman with dark red chin length curly bob hair swept to one side
Flirty chin-length curls are the perfect ’20s accessory. Credit: Instagram.com/nooneknows_itsyou_missjackson

13. Side-swept curly bob

Feel restricted with short hair? Don’t think that having shorter hair means you can’t channel your inner vintage vixen. Just look at these sophisticated side-swept curls, which pair perfectly with this Instagrammer’s high neck blouse.

Simply use bobby pins to secure your hair to one side and you’re ready to go! Credit: @nooneknows_itsyou_missjackson

woman with long dark brunette hair in a vintage sixties inspired ponytail with brigitte bardot inspired bangs
Here’s how you give a regular pony a stylish sixties twist. Credit: Instagram.com/hollygirldoeshair

14. Sixties ponytail

The next time you put your hair in a ponytail, why not give it an old-school vintage twist by adding a bouffant detail? By teasing the top section of your hair, you’ll give your mane a boosted, bumped-up style that’ll make you look just like a sixties siren from back in the day. Credit: @hollygirldoeshair

Next read: Our how to tease hair tutorial will show you how to create lasting volume.

Editor’s tip: Struggling to create this beehive effect? Whenever we’re creating hair height, we find it helps to sprinkle the VO5 Instant Volume Powder into our roots beforehand.

This little wonder product gives your hair more grip and texture to stop it falling flat and we rate the matt formula, which means it’s not visible in the hair once you work it in.

Vintage hairstyles for curly hair: woman with auburn hair in a retro vintage headscarf with two victory rolls
Going to a vintage-themed party? Take note. Credit: Instagram.com/iisblm

15. Pin curls

We tend to think of pin curls as a way of curling our hair, but what if instead of taking the curls out once they’ve cooled, we kept them in? This is also a great way to make your style last over multiple days, as the next day you’ll be able to take out the pins and your hair will be super curly, win-win!  Credit: @iisblm

Take a look at this beginner’s guide to vintage hair!