A snood is a decorative hair net designed to keep the hair neat and together without the need for a full upstyle. Modern pinups utilise this accessory for those 'lazy hair days' and for protecting curl sets during disagreeable weather. But the humble snood has certainly done its rounds in vintage hairstyling with this style circulating in womens hair fashion throughout history.
Snoods were a popular hairstyle accessory for women of the court in the middle ages and throughout the renaissance period. It was described as a hair net made of either net or cloth, which was often embellished by women of high class and nobility.
Knitted and crochet snoods were also commonly worn during the American civil war era and again popularised in the late 30s with the leading ladies of Gone With The Wind also sporting the netted style.
With the insurgence of women entering the workforce to help with the war efforts in WW2, the snood became a matter of safety as well as style. The loose curled styles of the 1940s were not compatible for working conditions and women were seeking quick and effective ways to keep their hair out of their work without compromising on style. Encouraged by the government, actress Veronica Lake starred in a campaign to promote 'Safety Styles' for female factory workers (check out the video here).
Welcome back the snood! The netted style soon became synonymous with womens fashion of the 1940s from casual worker styles through to formal and feminine styles.
For the modern pinup, a snood can be both a saviour and a source of frustration. The netted style can be the saving grace for unruly curls, an easy way to add a vintage touch to any outfit or a pop of colour. But how did you keep it from sliding off your head? And how do you stop hair from poking through?
The answer is strategically placed bobby pins and ironically, another hair net. Fine hair nets can be used to secure all the hair in a structured layer, with the snood being the top decorative layer. If you have ever worn a snood before, you will know exactly where they start to slip off your head. Bobby pins should be placed vertically (locking the crochet strands and elastic in place) behind the ears, at the crown of the head (depending on how you have styled your front section of hair) and at the nape of the neck.
Check out this video tutorial on a complete hairstyle featuring a snood.