Get the Look: VE Day Victory Rolls

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It was tipped to be a long weekend of street parties and community celebrations. VE Day 75 will be very different than what was planned but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate within our own homes, reach for the kit bag to recreate that classic 1940’s hair and raise a glass to the heroes of World War II on Friday 8th May.

When it comes to hairdressing, very few decades are as iconic as the 1940s. One of those most recognisable hairstyles is without a doubt the Victory Rolls. It’s a hairstyle that goes down in history as a reminder of the strength and determination during the 1940s and let’s be honest, we could all do with a bit of that right now.

Hair historian, Rachael Gibson says:

During the Second World War, more women than ever were recruited into manual labour – and that meant wearing their hair in practical, safe hairstyles that wouldn’t get caught in machinery or otherwise get in the way. The Victory Roll became a trend thanks to its combination of glamour and practicality; hair was worn swept up off the face, with detailed rolls at the front to add an elegant touch that could peek out of a hair net or headscarf.

Here, award-winning stylist Brooke Evans provides a modern take on the Victory Roll using the very fitting, Kent Salon brushes.

Get the look:
  1. After waving the hair, use the Kent Salon KS04 Back Combing/Dressing Out brush to section a front panel of the hair.
  2. Then, back comb the hair from mid-way up the hair's length using strong downward strokes and compressing to the head. Brook says: “KS04 is a great brush to use instead of a comb as it’s a softer approach, will hold for longer and easier to remove after.”
  3. It may look messy but then with a Kent Salon KS01 bristle brush, smooth all the edges to create a more polished feel with the back comb remaining in the middle. Once in place use your fingers, spray and smooth along the hair shaft twisting the hair allowing it to fall into a Victory Roll. Brooke’s top tip: “Allow it to fall the way it wants to - not making it go a certain way will add to the overall look.”
  4. Use a setting clip to hold in place. Pull small amounts out to feel more modern and spray in place. Finally, remove the clip and add a few discreet grips for extra hold.

With parallels between then and now, Rachael Gibson adds:

The concept of hairstyles borne out of necessity and the need for a practical solution still resonates today, as we search for styles that we can easily replicate at home to look and feel our best during a time of crisis – and those that allow us to hide roots or style grown-out cuts. While today we might have more tools than ever at our disposal, you can’t beat a classic bristle brush for achieving a smooth, glossy finish – just like our grandmothers might have used back in the 1940s. For gents, grooming was also paramount – even during the War.  Along with a classic comb, the hairbrush would have helped achieve the perfect smartly styled, side-parted style.

Like many businesses today supporting the countries fight against coronavirus, Kent supported war efforts. They produced hundreds of thousands of brushes for soldiers’ kits. These kits contained seven brushes by Kent for hair – a brush and comb, teeth, shaving, clothing, shoes and buttons. They even made brushes for the secret service which contained hidden compartments designed to conceal maps and compasses.


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