Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Playing with Vintage Hair

Okay, so I love vintage things. I have always had a fancy for old things. I love looking at photos from the 60's and earlier, and I've bought a few dresses just because they evoked something oh-so-50's (or another era). I'm not obsessed, I don't buy strictly vintage, I'm no expert, but I love it.

I love old houses, with their sweet little charms like keyholes, strange closets and wood floors. I love mid-century homes, with their kitchen islands, breakfast nooks, floral wallpaper, counter-height ovens, counter-top stoves and housewife-charm.

I especially love the fashion of bygone days. I love full skirts with fitted waists, petticoats and crinolines and adorable peep-toe pumps. I love the dramatic hair styles, be it a big bouffant look of the 60's or a sleek curled do from the 40's.

So I guess the point is that I've always loved vintage, but lately I've discovered a few blogs from girls who dress vintage every day. I envy them, but I could never. I like to be comfortable on occasion, I am also far too hard on my clothes to buy 60-year-old clothes and actually wear them, and I am far too cheap to pay the prices for reproduction vintage constantly.

Along with the blogs come amazing hair tutorials. I've tried to emulate 50's and 60's hair a few times before, but it always falls short. With a few helpful tutorials in mind, and knowing what tools I need, I figured a few out.

I have this adorable dress I bought awhile back. I spotted it and needed it. I tried it on, and fell in love. It was so sixties. I loved it. It`s skintight, and a little short, so I don`t wear it much, but with armed with my Spanx, some fleece-lined tights and a little bolero, I wore it to work. Of course, with my oh-so-sixties dress, I had to do a dramatic cat eye, and a sixties hairdo to go with it. 

 With the right tools, I could have gotten my hair much higher, and of course my grown-out bangs are not very vintage, but I loved the look anyways. I apologize for the bathroom selfie, but it's really hard for me to get photos of my outfit otherwise...

I've always thought the 60's were my favourite decade, but as I read more and look into each decade more, I'm realizing I've actually always loved the 50's. The 40's are really awesome too, but I always overlooked them, thinking it was just the war. As if women stopped doing the hair or buying new clothes, just because there was a war for the first half of the decade.

I started looking through photos from the 40's, and I am so in love with the hair, especially. I read a few tutorials on how to achieve 40's hair, and tried a ragcurl one. Basically, you cut a bunch of strips of cotton and then wrap a piece of wet hair around each strip of fabric and sleep on it. In the morning, you take it out and have curls. Except I had crazy, wild, ridiculous curls that took me forever to tame and pin and look decent enough for work.

So I read a few more tutorials, and went out and bought some curlers. The foam roller style that you probably played with as a child. I followed instructions carefully, putting them in damp hair before bed and slept with curlers in my hair. 

I wrapped a silky scarf around most of the curlers, and slept fitfully. I do not know how women spent decades sleeping with rollers on their heads. Seriously.

I woke up, thankfully with enough time to take them out before work. I carefully unrolled each roller, starting with the last ones I put in.

The curls came out pretty Shirly-Temple-ey, and the two in my bangs were hanging out right in the middle of my forehead. Easy, fix, though.

I softly ran my brush through each section, being careful not to overbrush, and to brush in the right direction (especially with my bangs). Much better, hmm?

I added a little red lipstick and eyeliner, and pinned the lighter side back, right behind my ear, and plumped, twisted and pinned back my bangs.

As the day went on, the curls got frazzled, smoothed and repinned, so by evening, they looked a little different. I really loved this look. It had a glamorous edge, and while it did evoke a very vintage feel, my cowl-neck sweater dressed it down a little bit.

I used to put curlers in my hair every now and then, but I could never get it to look anywhere decent. The lessons I learned from this hair do are 

A) The curlers have to be even. Make the two sides similar, and go from one side to the other, back and forth, working to the back.

B) Brush through the curls! I used to curls my hair and then have these bouncy Shirley Temple curls that I hated. A quick brush solved this problem in no time.

C) Wrap a scarf around the curlers or put on a cap before sleeping. It keeps everything nice and neat and keeps curlers from falling out.

D) Damp hair is best, not soaking wet, not dry.

E) A handful of bobby pins can fix any curling "errors". If one curl droops or a chunk doesn't curl, just twist and pin it underneath. If you don't like how crazy a chunk is, pin it. If you want it to sit a certain way, pin it. Bobby pins are your best friend.

Also, for a vintage look, don't roll the curlers past your eyebrow line. Women always wore hats, so they kept their crown flat.

And remember: It gets better.

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