Sarah Underhill from My Hair Lady has been dreaming of gorgeous vintage hair, and she approached us to guest blog here about vintage hairstyles. As vintage loving gals with almost no knowledge of hairstying how could we possibly say no?!
After yet another failed shopping trip into town where the latest trends made me want to cry and then go and eat cake (I actually asked the shop assistant to turn down the music - oh dear I have turned into ‘one of those’), I decided to come home make a hot cup of tea and put on my favourite old film ‘Gentlemen prefer Blondes’. Whilst immersing myself in the joyful glamour that was the 1950s I found myself inspired by the fabulous hairstyles and effortless allure of this era. This is the glamour I need, not half a t-shirt, shorts so small they would make Peter Stringfellow blush and hair that looks like it hasn’t been brushed in weeks. I began to research how to achieve these styles and the easiest way to do them (especially if you are a busy mum like me!)
Fresh out of Hollywood
My lovely friends at Lesley’s Girls Vintage have kindly let me share this with you and more importantly how you too can easily achieve it yourself. There is something wonderfully classic and feminine about the styles and whether you’re a Marilyn Monroe, a Ginger Rogers or a Rita Heyworth, the styles are versatile and make every woman look like a movie star fresh out of Hollywood!
If, like me, you spend hours trawling through YouTube for ‘how to’ clips then you might want to check out Thecherrydollface she mainly focuses on styles from the 1940s and 1950s or Pixiwoo , they also show you some amazing makeup looks to match the hairstyles.
Volume of Success
The key to a perfect 40s or 50s look is volume. You may find the idea of victory rolls daunting but as long as you have a decent hairbrush, good set of heated rollers or tongs and lashing of hairspray then away you go. The main point is to make it look as polished as you can. These styles were meant to be interesting and attention-grabbing as women couldn’t always get the latest fabrics because of rationing.
Most hairstyles will start with curls as the base, so always make sure you use a volumising and heat protective product before you apply your rollers or use your tongs. If doing Victory rolls, these always work best on day old hair. Put your curlers in your hair curling the hair under as you roll, when you come to your fringe section and around your hairline at the front of your head, curl the hair the opposite way, that will make it easier to put into the roll later.
To make the victory roll, take one side of your fringe, roll it round and tuck it under as you go, moving from the front and rolling towards the back, then secure with hair grips and hairspray….repeat on the other side. Brush through the curl in the rest of the hair and smooth through to get rid of any fly-aways or frizz.
For a touch of glamour with little hassle then the Veronica Lake look is for you, with this simple, yet beautiful style. It just requires a few minutes of your time in the morning (probably around 15 mins). The parting is important in this look so make sure you get a nice straight line, you can use a pin tail comb or even a hair grip to achieve this. Curl your hair with rollers or use tongs and secure your curls with hair grips. Potter about as you normally would, cup of tea and children sorted out later, remove your curlers and back comb the fringe into a high arch, then smooth over into a soft wave and lightly brush through the rest of the hair and spray in place. Hollywood glam and ready to go!
From Land Girls to the Rosie Riveter
The final staple look would be the ‘land girls’ head scarf or ‘Rosie the Riveter’ look, these are great on hair that maybe needs a wash and you don’t have time, or if, like me, your hair has decided not to co-operate with you. For this look all you need is a beautiful vintage scarf, preferably not too big and square is better. For the land girls look, first tease your hair or add in some clip-in extensions to add a little volume and style into a basic chignon. Take your scarf, fold it in half into a ‘V’ shape and drape it over your shoulders with the bottom of the ‘V’ facing downwards. Hold the other two ends and pull them up to the top of your head and tie tight (making sure you are covering part of your ears too). Bring the bottom of the ‘V’ up placing it on top of the knot you just tied and re-tie trapping the end in the knot. Take the sides round your head and roll them over and tuck them back in on themselves to tidy up.
The ‘Rosie the Riveter’ look is more a 50s version of this, you can use this with a high curly pony tail or just take all your curls and pin them up on the top of your head, or again use a basic chignon. This works well with either a square scarf or a long thin scarf. If you are using a square scarf, take one corner and fold into the middle of the scarf, then take the opposite corner and fold it in to meet the last one. Take the scarf with the corners folded inwards facing your head and wrap it around your head, tying it at the top securely. Take the sides and fold them in on themselves to tuck away any excess fabric. If using a long thin scarf, tie both ends together on top of your head in a secure knot. Take the ends and wrap them back under your head and tuck inside and secure with grips. If your scarf is slightly short then you can always tie the scarf into a bow on your head for a cute summer look.
Embrace the Curl
There are so many looks to flatter and no doubt I will be researching some more in my quest to achieve a Hollywood glam mum look! Hopefully Lesley’s Girls Vintage will let me come back and chat about some more about some of these gorgeous hairstyles some more. In the meantime ladies……dust off your heated rollers or and embrace the curl!
Huge thanks to Sarah for sharing some amazing tips, we would love to hear more about achieveing the perfect vintage barnet, and how she gets on achieveing the ultimate glam mum look! In the meantme you can find out more about Sarah and My Hair Lady by following her Facebook page here.