Victory Rolls, Pin Up Girls & Timeless Style

Victory Rolls are one of the most requested styles we get asked to create at Russell & Brown’s.  They are a real classic of the vintage hair world and remain as iconic now as they were when they first became prevalent in the 1940s.  But where did this unusual style opinup4websiteriginate and how is that they are still so popular amongst the vintage vixens of today?

The Victory Roll started it’s life in a world that couldn’t be further from that of the hair & beauty world. The original Victory Roll was in fact an aeroplane manoeuvre conducted by the pilots of the RAF during the Second World War. It was an evasive move to avoid enemy fire when caught up in the heat of an air battle but also a celebratory demonstration of success that the pilots used after defeating their enemies. With their male counterparts away fighting, the women of the country soon picked up on the story of this famous aerobatic manoeuvre and began to style their hair in a similar shape as a way of honouring their absent friends and family who were out fighting and also as a defiant sign of national solidarity.

The Victory Roll was also a very practical style given the restrictions enforced onto the country through rationing.  Beauty supplies were often hard to come by at this time and so women would scarcely wash their hair more than once a week. During this period however, curling techniques also became very popular, most notably wet-set pin curling and wrapping the hair in rags.  In order to maintain these curls and keep them in place between washes, women were required to create styles that would not be destructive to the curls.  The rolled shape of the Victory Roll was a perfect fit for this as it preserved the curl of the hair as well as added detail and height.  pinup10

The prominence of the Victory Roll even in today’s modern vintage world owes a lot to it’s diversity as a style.  It is so adaptable to fit any face shape and it can be manipulated into many variations including the classic double roll, the triple roll and even the suicide roll in which the roll is formed up and away from the face to create a similar silhouette to that of the pompadour which became extremely popular in the 1950s. Victory Rolls have also well and truly been adopted by the pin-up community as the go to style of choice.  This could be because of their heroic and romantic back story, but also because they create great detail at the front of the head and around the face which is perfect for photographing.

If you haven’t tried a vintage hairstyle before, then Victory Rolls are a perfect introduction to this diverse world.  They can be dressed up or dressed down, they can be big and bold or small and intricate and they always create a beautifully classic silhouette which is perfect for any occassion, so why not give them a go!

Written By: Carl Brown (Director: Russell & Brown’s Ltd.)

The Vintage Hair & Beauty Bar

Those of you who are familiar with Russell & Brown’s will know that we have been working on a freelance basis since 2013, traveling out to our fabulous clients at their chosen locations across the UK – but now we have opened our very first bricks and mortar Vintage Hair & Beauty Bar! coverphoto

Our first bijou salon is now open in the heart of Liverpool City Centre at the fabulous Duke Street Bazaar, a vintage lovers dream! Situated amongst a wealth of vintage trinkets, clothing and homewares, our bijou hair & beauty bar is the perfect place to spend an afternoon getting preened and pampered. With the perfect vintage soundtrack and hot tea and coffee served in our finest vintage china you won’t want to leave!

It has been a long but fabulous journey getting to this point in our careers having worked so hard for two years travelling the country and styling you all vintage. We grew Russell & Brown’s so much that we knew we wanted to offer something new and exciting to our customers and decided that the best way to do this was by establishing a place they could come and visit us!

The Vintage Hair & Beauty Bar is the perfect place to be styled, we have all we need on hand to transform you into your favourite vintage vixen.  All styles from the 1920s-1960s are on offer and you’ll be sure to be in for good_MG_6619 music, great conversation and above all, amazing hair! Set in the heart of the city centre we are surrounded by bars, shops, hotels and the best city in the world – so why not pay us a visit!

To book your vintage vixen makeover, simply give us a call on 07974 431 166 or email [email protected]!

Satisfied vintage hair customers

Customer Reviews

What people have said about their Russell & Brown’s experience:

“Amazing work creating 50s Marilyn hair in models for Channel 4 show in my studios…Highly recommend”  Christine Edson (Fashion Designer)

“Had me hair done at Liverpool Does Vintage today, it looks amazing and I wish I could have my hair done everyday! Highly recommend!” Sam Scarlet (Vintage Enthusiast)

“Elegant and beautifully crafted styles created in a professional, fun and vintage ambiance… Favoloso!” Nella Fantasia (Professional Opera Singer and Vintage Personality)

“Fantastic! I was made up with my vintage up do I had done before my performance. It looked amazing and stayed in place all through my performance and all night dancing…would definitely recommend them.” Scarlett Adelaide (Burlesque Performer)

“They are such a lovely team with a passion for what they do. They took time putting a lot of detail into every inch of the hair style. I was over the moon with the results and so many people approached me afterwards to say how fantastic it was. I really couldn’t recommend them enough” Caroline Brown (Vintage Event Organiser and Business Owner)

“Ridiculously talented hairdressers. Carl has the patience of a saint putting victory rolls in my little girls hair. My hair looked amazing after Amy’s magic touch. Can’t wait until I see them again.” Lizzy Cole (Vintage Enthusiast)

A Guide for a Vintage Bride

Everyone likes a wedding but everyone LOVES a vintage wedding even more, including us at Russell and Brown’s Vintage Hair. It has to be said, creating unique vintage bridal hair and being part of some amazing vintage weddings probably tops as one of our favourite things to do! For most people, your wedding day is one of the most important days in your lifebfd4c0d239-hannah and andrew - blueskyjunction wedding photography (238), and it’s always a privilege to be a part of transforming our brides into the glamorous vintage vixens they’ve always dreamt of being (yes….we love our job!) But….it’s true to say, when faced with the prospect of planning such a huge occasion, we understand it can be a little difficult to even know where to begin. So here it is, our Guide to a Vintage Bride, the first post from the Russell and Brown’s Vintage Chronicles. With a little help from our friends, the amazingly talented and creative people we’ve met along the way and some who we’ve admired from afar, this guide is packed full of handy tips, pointers and potential suppliers for making your wedding planning hotsy-totsy (as they said in the 40s) and ready for 2015. So let’s begin!

Choosing Your Era

abb1d8f96c-vogue2Vintage can be so many things, from the roaring 20s to the swinging 60s and everything in between and roundabout. There’s so many versions of vintage that you’re almost spoilt for choice (part of the reason we love it so much) so we think the best place to start is with you. You ARE the most important after all! What is your style? Do you jack it up to Jesus with your fabulous big hair or sashay your way through the crowds with the elegance of the old Hollywood glamazons? Perhaps you prefer the natural beauty of bohemian chic vintage or the old school opulence of the 50s starlets? Your wedding should always be a celebration of you (…and your other half of course) and be a reflection of your style. It’s your opportunity to show the world who you are and what (and who) you love! So our best advice is to let your style do the talking. Still stuggling?

f230a40dc8-vodue1-Top Tips- – Pinterest is the first stop for every bride (and vintage hair stylist) when looking for inspiration! It is a gold mine of usefulness, why not start by simply searching “Old Hollywood.” But, trust us, you’ll need a huge cup of tea and a nice packet of biscuits to see you through, as you’ll be glued to it for hours!

 One of our absolute favourite ways to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, is looking through vintage copies of Vogue magazine! Vogue magazine needs no introduction, it’s the bible of fashion and has been since it first launched in 1892, but you may not want to go THAT far back! Editions from the 20s-60s on the other hand are FULL of amazing inspirational images and tips and are a great way to explore what different vintage styles are out there!

The Dress

We’ve all seen it in the movies, the scene when she finds that perfect dress and turns in the mirror with happy tears rolling down her cheeks – but in reality, finding the gown of your dreams can be a real nightmare! There’s so many different styles and shops and nothing seems to be exactly right for you! So why not go vintage?! We really believe some of the most beautiful 7d310aaccc-silversixpence2gowns we’ve ever seen have been vintage, but don’t take our word for it – let’s hear from the expert!

We asked Jacky Doyle from Silver Sixpence Vintage Brides, “Why do you think it’s better to go vintage when buying a wedding gown?”

Answer:There are many advantages to choosing a vintage wedding dress. As they are almost certainly unique, one-off pieces you can bet no other bride will be wearing the same. Th

 -Silver Sixpence’s Top Tips for Buying Vintage Gowns-

Because vintage wedding dresses are worn for one day only they are usually in good condition. Never buy a badly stained dress; if the mark’s been there for a long time, it proba7e6dbc10aa-silversixpence.pngbly won’t shift. Check underarm, hemlines and ‘fox’ spots (rust like marks)

Most pre 1950s dresses won’t have care labels as they were homemade or couture so always check that your dry cleaner is willing to clean it (early sequins were made of a gelatine substance so will dissolve)

Choose a dress that best suits your body shape and style and never assume a vintage size 14 is what is says on the label – it’s more likely to be a size 8!

Think about altering the dress if you love the cut, colour etc, but hate the sleeves. For example lowering the neckline, removing sleeves or adding embellishments will give a whole new look that is personal to you.

 Above all, try on as many as you can and have fun!

For more information or to see the fantastic gowns Jacky has available please click the following link and visit her website, There’s a great collection of authentic and stunning vintage bridal gowns available from a range of eras! Not only that, Silver Sixpence also produce a range of unique bespoke vintage bridal head pieces from old vintage jewellery items and other trinkets which are just simply amazing. You have to see them!

Vintage Wedding Fairs

Another amazing tip for finding a truly unique vintage wedding gown is by visiting the many vintage wedding fairs there are around the country! These events are absolutely amazingly perfect for a vintage bride looking for inspiration, dresses, table decorations, wedding favours and anything else you could possibly dream of! Some of the best fairs in the country are run by our friends over at Britain Does Vintage, and we asked them “What can a potential vintage bride expect to find at one of your wedding fairs?”

c011f10305-hannah and andrew - blueskyjunction wedding photography (64)Answer: “Our Vintage Wedding Fairs are aimed at the creative couple. We want your big day to be as unique as you are and there’s no better way to find the best cool and quirky exhibitors than at a Britain Does Vintage Wedding Fair. Expect everything from true vintage and vintage inspired dresses to retro entertainment, rustic wedding cakes and beautiful photography. Our exhibitors are passionate about what they do and will do their best to help you make the right decision for your wedding, you never know, they might think of ideas you’d never have even thought of!”

To find out more information about Britain Does Vintage fairs, click the following link – we’re BIG fans of their work and have had the pleasure of working with them a lot over the last year so you can be sure their fairs are worth a visit!

Bridal Hair and Makeup

Now for our favourite part, the hair and make up! So often we get brides coming to us for vintage bridal hair feeling unsure about what styles would suit them best and what to choose for themselves and their bridesmaids. It’s completely understandable, your wedding day is the one day you want to look your absolute best, and so this is our advice!

When choosing your bridal hair, take the lead from your every day style. I know this sounds crazy, but trust us, we’re professionals! People often feel that a bridal look has to be all up – but82fef6c120-laurenbacall we say, it has to be a glamourous version of what you feel most comfotable in. If you never wear your hair up, it’s more than likely you will feel more beautiful and elegant on your big day if you wear your hair in a style that reflects this, perhaps a gorgeous Bardot inspired half up half down would do the trick or maybe even some Lauren Becall style hollywood waves….stunning! Equally, if you wear your hair up off your face most days then you’re free to explore the amazing variety of vintage bridal updo styles there are, from 40s victory rolls to 60s spectacular beehives, the world is your oyster!

One of the most important things to do is make sure you have a thorough consultation day with your stylist! You may have found the perfect inspiration from your favourite film star and build up a spectacular dream of a hair style in your head but when you spin round to look at it in the mirror your heart sinks and you think, “I don’t like it!” A consultation day is not just for timings, it’s an opportunity for you and your bridesmaids to explore a whole variety of styles together and find the best one to suit exactly what you want! This is why we at Russell and Brown’s include a fun and interactive b342dac829-audrey1consulation day with all of our bridal clients!

For inspiration why not get the girls around and put on some old movies, the hair and make up coming out of the Hollywood studios in the forties and fifties was some of the best ever seen and the stars of the day are always a great starting point when it comes to getting your ideas buzzing for a unique vintage look for your big day!


We hope these quick tips and advice help you with you wedding planning! Remember, just have fun, relax and enjoy exploring the world of vintage! For more information on our bridal hair styling services please see or drop us an email to [email protected]! Our 2015 bridal hair styling package is now live – hair styling for the bride plus 3 others just £300 including interactive trial day for all! Secure your wedding hair styling package today with just a £60 deposit.


Written by: Carl Brown (Director – Russell and Brown’s Ltd.)

Special thanks to Jackie Doyle

Gina Walters

The Evolution of Hair (1920s-1960s)


One of the first questions we ask our clients when they sit down to be transformed into a gorgeous vintage vixen is, “have you thought about any styles you’d like?” The most common reply is “not really, I just LOVE vintage hair!”

Whilst this is amazing for our stylists as it gives them free reign to explore all the eras that vintage entails throughout their day, we can’t help but think we should share with you the amazing wealth of styles and fashion that fall under the umbrella of vintage that you may not have considered before and perhaps introduce you to some new style icons to inspire your next vintage look!

This blog post is all about informing you on the ins and outs of the vintage decades and what influenced these changes. We’ll walk you through the ages giving you an introduction to styles you may not have explored before so that next time you’re choosing your glam vintage look, you know exactly what style you want to keep you looking hotsy totsy from head to toe! So without further ado, let’s head to the fabulous roaring twenties!




The Styles of the 1920s

The 20s were defined by a fracture in society from the fuddy duddiness of Edwardian high society to the fabulousness of the flapper girl! This cultural shift was certainly embodied and manifested in the fashions of the age which saw hemlines and hair-lines jacked up to Jesus! The defining hair styles of the 1920s were all short. We saw the introduction of the bob as well as the use of finger waving to create detail and movement.

Cloche style hats were a huge trend in the 20s and hairstyles were shaped to accommodate these. Detailing was confined into low chignons around the base of the neck whilst the crown and midlength areas were often left simple or waved.

The 1920s is certainly an era of rebelling against the status quo of previous eras. Many women opting for the radically modern change in style were forced to gents barber shops on the refusal of the traditional ladies hair salons to embrace the new trend for the forward thinking short haired styles of the modern 20s woman!

If you’ve never explored the 20s before, the modern vintage purveyor may perceive it as an era of elegance and propriety, but in reality, it is an era defined by raunchy radicalism and the feisty female, so why not give it a go!




The Styles of the 1930s

The 1930s is one of the lesser recognised vintage eras but it was an era that saw the introduction of beautiful new hair styles coming through.

The 30s continued some of the style trends established in the previous decade, most notably finger waving and hats, but also was a founding era for new trends in hair styling that would continue through to the 1940s and 50s. We saw a more traditionally feminine silhouette come back into fashion in the 30s with the length of styles becoming longer than that of the 20s, but hair was still very rarely below shoulder length. Longer finger waved looks were all the rage but, in the later 30s we began to see pin curls and sausage curls becoming prevalent in the more fashion conscious sectors of society. These new pin-culing techniques would eventually prove to be vital in creating some of the defining styles of the next two decades – so the 30s were really a time of innovation when it comes to hair.

In many ways the 30s is more deserving of the modern perception of the elegance and refined style we often allocate to the 1920s. Fashion and style often reflect the stability of the general socio-economic environment in which they exist and the styles of the 30s are no exception to this rule. They reflected the post-rebellious nature of the 1920s and the peaceful elegance of the later inter-war years.

In short, if you want a vintage look that translates as classy, sophisticated and elegant, the 1930s is your perfect era!




The styles of the 1940s

The 1940s is perhaps one of the most popular decades in the modern vintage market and it’s not hard to see why. The styles and fashion of the 40s are just simply stunning! It is an era defined by the ravages of war and economic hardships and as in any era, these difficult economic and social conditions were reflected in the styles of the day. One of our favourite things at Russell & Brown’s is when we hear stories from some of our older clients about how their mothers and aunties used all kinds of home tips and tricks to get the perfect vintage styles such as using old rags to do sleep in curl sets and only washing the hair once a week to maintain shape and curl in their style!

The trend for longer hair continued through from the 1930s during the 40s and we began to see many women using pin curls, que curls and barrel curls to create amazing detailed hair ups for more special occasions. For the every day look, most women wore hair snoods to maintain their curls for styling later in the week. One of the most defining styles we think of associated with the 1940s is the Victory Roll look. The Victory Roll is a stunning vintage look and was worn as a sign of solidarity between the women of the home front and the pilots of the RAF, who would barrell roll their planes after successfully winning battles during the Second World War, hence the name, Victory Roll.

The 40s of course had it’s fair share of Hollywood glamazons, but broadly, the styles of the 40s were beautifully crafted in the homes of ordinary people and offer an array of different silhouettes and shapes for you to choose from, so why not give it a go!




The Styles of the 1950s

The 1950s saw a change in the more reserved understated styles of the 40s to full glamour and femininity. As Britain and the USA began to recover economically from the aftermath of the Second World War, there was a period of relative prosperity and women began to have more disposable income to spend on non-essential luxuries such as fabulous hair! Anybody who was anybody took part in the newest craze of the time, the roller set, and this is what defined the styles that were prevalent during this decade.

Teenagers often wore their hair in a curled ponytail style complete with cutesy ribbons and we also saw the introduction of new cuts coming through such as the amazing Poodle hair style. Styles were heavily influenced by the movie stars of the era and women really began to aspire toward glamorous, elegant fashions with their hair. Society in the 50s was upwardly mobile and even the average house wife would look like a glamourous star of silver sceen by todays standards!

If you’re looking for class, beauty and elegance, why not try exploring the 1950s vintage scene a little further!




The Styles of the 1960s

The 1960s was certainly an era of variety and experimentation. We saw a plethora of styles arrive during this decade. The earlier part of the 60s took influence from some of the styles made popular in the previous decade but evolved them with added height. A perfect example of this is the evolution of the traditional French pleat into the gravity defying iconic Beehive style. Volume at the roots was a massive trend during the 1960s and it truly was the decade when big hair was born.

The swinging 60s scene in London also brought us more high fashion looks such as the Pixie Crop which harked back to the bob of the 1920s era and was seen on the iconic models of the day such as Twiggy.

As the 60s progressed we began to see the start of the Hippy fashion perforating into mainstream culture and this was of course reflected into the hair styles worn by the younger generations. We can thank the 1960s for the birth of the beachy, long waved look that is so prevalent in today’s current hair trends.

This decade was one of experimentation and an anything goes attitude, so if you’re feeling creative, why not start swinging your 60s vibes with your vintage looks!


Experimentation when it comes to your fashion and beauty choices is one of the most cathartic and self-affirming processes you can take part in. It allows you to craft your own identity and explore your creative side. We at Russell & Brown’s just love vintage, it is a passion we’ve all shared all our lives and we always want to encourage others to explore the fashions that the vintage eras have offered over the decades and not simply those that you see prevalent in todays magazines. Choosing vintage truly gives you the opportunity to express yourself in a individualistic way and opens you up to the possibility of something we all seek to be…unique, beautiful and happy!

Written by Carl Brown (Director of Russell & Brown’s Ltd.) – Copyright 2015