Judy Garland-inspired 1940s Bumper Bangs Tutorial

9 Materials
45 Minutes

Hey, everyone. In this 1940s hair tutorial, I’m going to be showing you how to do vintage bangs. These 1940s bumper bangs are an homage to Judy Garland’s hairstyle in the Meet Me in St. Louis film.

She actually has bangs in the film, and I do not, so I created this straight, sleek style of bumper bangs to create the feel of her look. Let’s get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Smoothing serum
  • Heat protectant
  • Flat iron
  • Hairspray
  • Brush
  • Pomade
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair rat/roller
  • Flower accessory
Applying a smoothing serum

1. Apply a smoothing serum

My hair gets a little fluffy when it’s left to dry unsupervised, so I’m going to use a smoothing serum.

Take a few drops and warm it up in the palm of your hand then apply it to your hair, starting at the ends, since that’s where the hair needs the moisture. This will help shine and smooth the hair. 

Applying heat protectant

2. Apply a heat protectant

It’s important to use a thermal protectant when using heat to style your hair. It’s going to help minimize any damage caused by that heat.

Straightening the hair

3. Straighten your hair

To straighten the hair, I do it from the bottom up. Section off the top portion of the hair and pin it out of the way.

I tend to take bigger sections of the hair and run the iron down the length of the hair.

Straightening the hair

When I get to the ends, I start to roll it in, so it creates the slightest hint of a curl at the very end of it.

Depending on your hair type, the straightening process might take a little bit longer. 

Sectioning off the bumper bang

4. Section off the bumper bang

Now that we’re all straightened out, we’re going to section off the hair for our bumper bang.

Simply section from one temple to the other in a U-shape. You want to get the sectioning of the hair fairly uniform.

Teasing the hair

5. Tease and hairspray the bangs

Take thin sections of hair and tease it. Do a little less teasing on the very top tier, because you don’t want it to be too teased up.

I just washed my hair, so it’s very slippery. These styles actually work better on hair that is at least a day old because the hairs stick to each other better. If this was day-old hair, I probably wouldn’t tease the very top layer.

Adding hairspray

Once all of the hair is teased, hairspray it.

Brushing hair

6. Brush over the teased hair

Give the hairspray a minute to dry, then brush the very top layer of the hair, and the sides as well so it looks nice and smooth.

How it looks after brushing is how it’s going to look when it starts to roll up.

Applying pomade

7. Apply pomade

Use pomade over the hair to calm down any flyaway hairs. This will also give a bit of sheen to the hair and gather those ends together. 

Rolling bangs

8. Roll your bangs in and pin it

You know you’re in for a good roll if you can push it back a little and it looks pretty good.

Using a hair rat, roll the hair taut. Start from the bottom and tuck the ends in as you roll. 

Pinning bangs

Once it looks nice and smooth, hold on to the ends of the hair rat and pin it right into the side of your hair.

You should be able to take your finger off of it and not have it pop away from your hand. I found that I needed two pins on each end to keep it in place. Cross the pins over when you put them in so it’s good and solid and won’t move.

Spreading out the bumper bangs

9. Spread out the bumper bangs

You can let your hair down now, so it doesn’t kink from the hair tie.

Now, spread out the bumper bangs so you don’t see the roll.

Start by inching them out from the center. When you start inching them out, you don’t want to be revealing any backcombing.

Tugging bumper bangs

Once you’ve inched out here, go below the bangs and tug on them a little.

Tugging bumper bangs

Place your finger down as you pull on them, so you get more of a U-shape.

Pinning hair

10. Pin the sides of your hair to the top of your head

Brush the sides of your hair just above the ear, and then bring it up to the top and middle.

Give it a bit of a twist and pin it down. The rest of the hair should fall to the sides.

Adding a flower accessory

11. Attach a flower accessory

A good style is never complete without some fabulous hair flowers, so attach them to the side of the bangs.

Completed 1940s bumper bangs hairstyle

1940s bumper bangs hairstyle

Here’s the finished 1940s bumper bangs hairstyle!

Let me know in the comment section what you think of this look. And, since I’m curious, what’s your favorite Judy Garland film?

Suggested materials:
  • Smoothing serum
  • Heat protectant
  • Flat iron
See all materials

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