Easy WWII WAC Hairstyle




About: Jack of all trades, master of none.

One of the hardest things for me to learn for my WWII WAC impression was how to style my hair. Because I don't wear vintage 24/7, I needed to figure out a hairstyle that fit the following requirements:

  • Did not require a style-specific haircut like a middy
  • Was something I could do with minimal training
  • Was a style that could be accomplished while in "field conditions" (i.e. primitive camping)
  • Was period correct and fit the regulations of the Women's Army Corps during WWII

After much trial and error, and an extensive learning curve I believe I have finally found a style that fits all of the above requirements.

Disclaimer: This is just one of a multitude of possible hairstyles that will work for WAC impressions. I am not a professional hairstylist by any means--and my styling techniques are reflective of that.

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Step 1: Supplies Needed

  • Scarf (large enough to cover hair)
  • Hair pins and/or Rag Curlers (my kit is a reproduction available from The WWII Soldier)
  • Setting Lotion
  • Teasing Comb
  • Bristle Brush

Optional Supplies (Not Pictured): Spray Bottle or Washcloth to reedman hair while setting, Pomade

Step 2: Wet Set

Your wet set can be accomplished in several ways, and it comes down to personal preference. I like a mix of pin curls and rag curls best. Pin curls can be hard to learn, but the above video by Candace DeVille of Vintage Current is an excellent primer.

You will need your pins/rag curlers, comb, setting lotion, and if you need to re-wet your hair, a spray bottle or wet washcloth.

Once you have all of hair set, cover it with a scarf to protect the curls while they dry.

Because most WWII Reenactments are in a field setting, and there frequently isn't access to an electrical source, please anticipate setting your hair during the evening and allowing it to dry overnight.

Step 3: Take Out Pins/curlers

Once hair has dried completely, remove pins and rags. Your hair will be in tight curls, but do not worry--it will get better.

Step 4: Brush Out Curls

Using the bristle brush, brush out your curls. Brush away from the face and keep brushing until your hair has smooth waves.

Step 5: Tease Hair

Using the teasing comb, tease the hair around your forehead to create lift and grip for rolling your hair.

Step 6: Begin Your Roll

Starting at your part, roll hair up and away from your face, secure with hairpins.

Step 7: Continue Roll

Repeat roll on other side of part. Continue roll behind ears and nape of neck, rolling in towards your scalp and securing with hairpins as you go.

Step 8: Finish Roll

Your continuous roll should look similar to the above photo. Secure any loose ends.

Step 9: Finished Look!

This hairstyle can work with either a garrison cap or helmet & knit cap depending on your uniform for the weekend.

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    9 Discussions


    1 year ago

    This presentation brought back memories. I remember my mom setting her hair in pin curls. I even tried it a few times on my own hair. The pictures and video were excellent choices to show how it is done.

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I love nostalgic feelings like this....when something hits home.


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you so much--being told we bring back memories is one of the best compliments in WWII reenacting.


    1 year ago

    That great! Love the uniform at the end too...really brought it home! Great job!


    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Wow, super cool! The hair is perfect, and the uniform at the end is really great.

    Nice job,


    1 reply

    It is always fun to recreate the styles of other time periods. This looks really accurate. Good job.

    1 reply