Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hair: Everything You Need For Vintage Styling!

Aloha Dolls! Here's a post to tell you my must-haves for vintage styling. From the basics to the not-so-basic... I've got you covered!

Rollers/Curlers - Something that is essential for vintage styling. There are many different types to choose from so even if one method doesn't work out for you, there are plenty of others to try! Foam rollers, heated rollers, velcro rollers, bendy curling rods (no idea what you call them but you know what I mean!), heated rods, curling tongs - clip or wand and then your good ol' fashioned pin curls which only require a pair of hands and some clips (bobby pins or pronged curl clips).

Which one you choose is up to you. I suggest you try as many methods as you can before choosing a firm favourite. Of course, each one will give you different curls - for example, heated rollers normally give softer curls but a wet set of pin curls will give you a solid sturdier (for lack of a better word) set. The size of the rollers/curlers is very important too. If you find your curls just being too hard to smooth out and shape then try going for a larger size, but if you find your curls dropping too quickly or not being defined enough then try a smaller size. I think 1 inch is a good size to start with. 

The best place to source all of your hair supplies is online and the best place online is Amazon/eBay. That's where you'll find the best prices and it also allows you to browse around without feeling pressured or rushed! I use Babyliss Heated Rollers for most of my sets as I have quite thick and coarse hair I feel like the heat acts like a blow-dryer and curler in one as I get the smoothness of a blow-dry but the shape of the rollers.

Setting Lotions & Potions - The key to a long lasting perfect set is using some sort of setting lotion that will hold the curl and shape in your hair long after you've removed the rollers/curlers/pin-curls. Two I, and many vintage hair gurus, recommend and use are Lottabody Setting Lotion and Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion. Both very different in consistency but pretty much do the same thing. You apply them just before you put your rollers/pin curls in and this will set your hair in the formation you want. If you're doing a wet set with pin curls you can also just add a spritz of water which does a similar thing in terms of resetting the hair follicle (or something like that). When you get your setting lotion, you must dilute it by adding a small amount to a spray bottle and then filling the rest up with water - the exact measurements will be on the back of your bottle. My Lottabody is enriched with olive oil which helps assist in smoothing my unruly mane!
Bobby Pins  Absolutely essential. And lots of them! I can't emphasize enough how much it is worth investing the extra couple of pounds getting good quality ones, too. For years, I have been guilty of buying the cheapest £1 packs only to have to buy another pack a week or so later due to the fact that they end up tearing my hair because the tiny rubber bobbles on the ends fall off to reveal horribly sharp edges or the paint of them just crumbles off and goes everywhere! I recently bought a pack of the long ones from Wilkinsons for around £2 and they are honestly the best. They are sturdier, stronger and just all round better at holding in styles and pin-curls. I also feel like if you've paid a little bit more for them then you look after them more too and they don't end up mysteriously vanishing after 4 days!

Brushes - Where do I start? Well how about I tell you about all the brushes that I have and then I'll tell you what ones I think are essential. I have a classic Denman brush, Back-combing brush, round bristle brush, a comb, regular bristle brush and handbag sized Denman brush. I'd say my must-haves are a Denman brush (worth the investment, even though they're only around £8-£10 which is a small price to pay for a brush that lasts a lifetime!) and a back-combing brush (mine was £1 from Primark! and it has a pointed rat-tail end which is perfect for sectioning and parting!). Additional brushes would be some sort of smoothing brushes e.g a bristle brush or a paddle brush. I use my round bristle brush for blow-drying and shaping. It's also handy to have a mini-brush in your bag for midday touch ups and smoothing - especially if you live in England where the weather is unpredictable! 

Finishing Products - Hairspray, pomade, wax, smoothing/styling cream - there are lots of options to choose from here and again, it's just about finding something that suits you and your barnet. For hair spray I recommend Elnett for the brush-out qualities because I want my sets to last for a few days and not feel sticky and product-laden. I'd recommend using a hairspray that has shine-enhancing properties to it because who doesn't want mirror-like shine a la Dita!? Unfortunately I haven't tried any pomades yet but I know they're a popular choice amongst the vintage community. I've heard good things about Layrite and Suavecita. At the moment, when I really want good hold, I use Lush's Dirty styling cream.

Extras - Hair fillers are not typically essential but I believe they make certain styles a hell of a lot easier and they really do put the 'bump' in your bumper bangs. (See my perfect bumper bang tutorial here). They are also perfect for creating a smooth even Gibson roll. All you need to do is buy a cheap hair doughnut (Sold pretty much everywhere - Primark, Asda, Poundland) and snip one side of it so you have one long filler.

Accessories - The best bit! After you've perfected your brush-out or you've wrangled your hair into a victory roll formation it's then time to draw even more attention to your gorgeous locks by adding whatever the heck you want to it! Bows, fruit, flowers, hats, scarves - whatever! I love the fact that you can match your hair to your outfit and I think it finishes a look off perfectly! You can go all out with the contents of a fruit bowl with the likes of Carmen Miranda as your inspiration or keep it tame by adorning a few tiny blossoms.
If you want something a bit more sophisticated and fancy - try a vintage pillbox hat or a beret. Perfect for, but not limited to, weddings and more dressy occasions. However, you never need an excuse for a hat!

 Snoods are perfect for a lot of things - bad weather, bad hair days, good hair days, everyday wear or for when you just want to add a bit of 40's fabulousness to your look! They are essential for all of my curly/frizzy haired gals out there!

Some great websites I recommend for finding your perfect accessories are Vintagious Hair which is run by vintage vixen Natalie who also has her own YouTube Channel (Search: Vintagious). She hand-makes the most beautiful well-made perfectly designed show off hair blossoms that every retro doll should own! She also does custom made floral creations so don't hesitate to drop her a message if you have something specific you're after. Bow And Crossbones is great for building your hair stash as they offer a wide selection of different varieties of hair accessories - something to suit every one!
BeBop A Hairbands also is amazing for patterned rockabilly style reversible hair scarves which are superb quality and she also does custom orders.
 Vintagious Hair piece (left) and Vintagious Nylon Scarves (right)

And there you are! All the basics you need to create that perfect Vintage Do'! I'll also be doing a few more posts in this hair series, like where to source the best vintage inspiration and help. Please feel free to leave any comments about anything you think I've forgotten or any tips and tricks on vintage styling! I also would love some general blog feedback! I look forward to hearing from you, my loves!

With love,