How to Do Victory Rolls

Three Parts:Prepare the HairCreate the Victory RollsComplete the Look

Victory rolls were first made popular in the 1940s and 1950s, but they still remain popular among those interested in classy vintage hairstyles. Duplicating this look requires time and patience, but with a little practice, nearly anyone with long hair can recreate it.

Part 1
Prepare the Hair

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    Apply mousse. Dispense a dollop of light hair mousse into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together to spread it, then work the mousse into your hair, moving from the bottom up.
    • Use a light mousse, not a heavy one. You'll be using the mousse to make your hair fuller and easier to manipulate, so it doesn't need to hold your hair in place.
    • If you don't have mousse, work with hair that hasn't been washed in a full 24 hours. The oils from your scalp should have coated your hair during this time, giving it more structure and making it easier to shape than freshly washed hair.
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    Separate the top from the bottom. Use a comb to draw a curved line from temple to temple. Tie back the bottom portion of hair using a hair band.[1]
    • The line should gradually curve upward from one temple, then curve downward as it reaches the other temple. The highest part of the curve should be the back center of your head, and it should be nearly high enough to reach your natural part.
    • When creating the victory rolls, you'll only work with the top portion of hair. Tying back the bottom portion can keep it out of your way and make it easier to complete the rolls.
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    Part your hair along the side. Use your comb to create a straight, deep side part.
    • If you have side-swept bangs, section your hair so that the part lands on the opposite side of your bangs. If you don't have bangs, draw the part on either side.
    • You'll work with the smaller of these two sections first, so it might be a good idea to clip or loosely tie back the larger section until you're ready for it.
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    Tease the smaller side. Separate the smaller section of hair into three sub-sections. Tease the top and middle thirds along the underside of the hair, then tease the bottom third along the top of the hair.
    • Use a standard comb or boar bristled teasing brush while teasing your hair.
    • Hold the hair taut with one hand. Using your other hand, brush upward along the sub-section, moving closer to the scalp. Start approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) away from the scalp and work along the length of each sub-section in 3-inch (7.6-cm) intervals.
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    Tease the larger side. Release the larger side of hair, then separate it into five sub-sections. Tease the top four sub-sections along the underside, then tease the bottom fifth along the top side.
    • Follow the same teasing procedure for this larger side as you followed for the smaller side.
    • Note that you're still only working with the top section of hair; the bottom section should remain tied back in a ponytail.
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    Create a line of bobby pins. Form a line of bobby pins along both sides of the part. Position the pins roughly 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the part.
    • Start each line at the back of the part. Lay the pins from end-to-end, continuing until you nearly reach the front of your forehead. Stop at least 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) away from your forehead.
    • This step isn't strictly necessary, but following it will create a base for your victory rolls, which may make it easier to shape them correctly.

Part 2
Create the Victory Rolls

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    Roll one section toward the scalp. Gather together the hair along the small side of your part. Bring the ends over and around to the top, forming a loop. Continue rolling over this loop until you reach your row of bobby pins.[2]
    • To create the right shape and width, position two fingers roughly 3 inches (7.6 cm) above the ends of the hair and roll the ends around them. Tuck in the ends to keep the roll tidy. Continue rolling toward your scalp, keeping it as neat as possible the entire time.
    • Alternatively, you can roll the section around a 1-inch (2.5-cm) curling iron instead of your fingers. Doing so can produce a smoother, neater roll.
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    Pin it in place. Gently remove your fingers or curling iron from the center of the roll, then slide a bobby pin into the roll through the front to hold it together. Insert a second bobby pin through the back of the roll to make it more secure.
    • Secure both bobby pins through the bottom of the roll and into the hair lying directly along your scalp.
    • Right now, the roll should look like a small "o" with a hollow center.
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    Touch up the shape of the roll. Use your hand to gently flatten the back of the roll, closing it off. Pin the bottom of the roll in place using another bobby pin or two.
    • If necessary, shape the front of the roll during this step as well, making it as rounded as possible.
    • You can use more bobby pins to help hold the shape of the roll, but make sure that each one remains hidden somewhere within the roll itself.
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    Apply plenty of hairspray. Cover all sides of the first victory roll with hairspray to help hold the final shape.
    • Cover your unrolled hair with one of your hands to prevent the hairspray from soaking into it too much.
    • It's best to spray down each roll individually instead of waiting until you complete both. By spraying the first roll now, you'll protect it from possible disturbances as you work on the shape of the second roll.
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    Repeat with the second section. Gather the hair together along the larger side of your part. Follow the same steps to create another victory roll from this portion of hair.
    • Roll the hair, pin the roll down, shape the roll, and apply hairspray.
    • Note that this roll can be more difficult to complete than the first since you'll be working with more hair. Be patient and work slowly.
    • When finished, the two rolls should be mirrored side-by-side down the length of your part. The victory rolls are complete, but you'll still need to style the bottom portion of hair previously tied back.

Part 3
Complete the Look

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    Release the bottom portion of hair. Untie the bottom portion of your hair. Comb it out, working the brush straight down until your hair seems smooth again.
    • Unless your hair was wavy or curly before you began, this bottom section will likely seem out of place with your victory rolls. There are several ways to create a matching style, but the simplest is to leave the lower section down and give a loose, wavy curl.
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    Curl the loose hair. Use a 2-inch to 3-inch (5-cm to 7.6-cm) curling iron to curl large sections of your remaining, loose hair. Work around your entire head until you achieve a result you feel pleased with.[3]
    • The waves or curls of this section should spiral down vertically. Do not curl the hair in horizontal sections.
    • To give the look a little more pizzazz, form tighter curls toward the ends of each section. You can use your curling iron for this, or you can make the curls more pronounced by accentuating them with a round hair brush.
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    Add a final coat of hairspray. Cover your face and spray your entire head of hair with more hairspray. Use enough spray to help hold both the rolls and your loose-hanging waves/curls.
    • If your hair looks frizzy at this point, you can also use a small amount of hair cream or serum to help tame the frizz and create a smoother style.
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    Accessorize as desired. You can leave the victory rolls as they are, or you can give the look even more retro, feminine flair by highlighting them with a flower or bow.
    • For best results, use a bow or flower hair ornament attached to a hair clip.
    • Position the accessory on the side with the smaller victory roll to keep the look balanced. Slide the hair clip into the flat hair toward the front of your face and just above your ear. The ornament should not grab into the hair used to complete the victory roll itself.
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    Flaunt your new style. Give your victory rolls a final check in a mirror and touch them up as needed. Once you're satisfied with how they look, you should be ready to show off your new victory rolls out in public.

Things You'll Need

  • Light-hold hair mousse
  • Hairspray
  • Elastic hair bands
  • Bobby pins
  • Long comb
  • Boar bristled teasing brush
  • Small round hair brush
  • 2-inch to 3-inch (5-cm to 7.6-cm) curling iron
  • 1-inch (2.5-cm) curling iron (optional)
  • Hair cream or serum (optional)
  • Ornamental hair clip (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Hair Styles & Cutting | Women’s Health