Hello! Welcome to Gloriously Vintage today, dear Reader, thank you for visiting. It is a pleasure to bring you the third post from the series Tales from the Dressing Table. It focuses on how I “do” my hair.
I hope you are going to find this post on a great vintage hair day worthy of note. Having great hair is so important. I am sure you will agree. It can make you feel very well, confident and strong. When your hair is right, looking first-rate, you are too! So having a good hair day is really a big part of everyday life. Having a great vintage hair day is marvellous and can make a huge difference to an outfit and how you feel wearing it.
Having an excellent relationship with your hairdresser, who you trust is extremely important.
My grandmother used to say to me that you could wear a sack and look great if your hair and makeup were done well. What do you think? I have to agree with her. It is a principle I have adhered to all my adult life, making sure my hair always looked well groomed and if wearing makeup, it suited me and looked “right”.
We all have interesting hair histories. The transition from childhood hair, to teenage style, to young adult can be the back drop to many great memories and stories. Throughout my life I have had a number of different hairstyles and hair colours before arriving at the Vintage hairstyle I have today. You have seen the hairstyle I have now in the photographs on Gloriously Vintage.
This vintage hairstyle I wear now has developed over a number of years. Here are some of my past hairstyles going back to just before I was 50 years old.
2005 – My hair is auburn red and I was using hair straighteners! I coloured it myself using a blend of five colours to cover grey and pepper and salt!
2007- My hair is professionally coloured here, with a lot less curl!
2008 – My hair is longer and getting closer to a vintage, Marilyn Monroe inspired style.
2009 – My hair is much longer and is styled using ceramic Velcro rollers.
2011 – My hair is styled here on Velcro rollers.
Christmas 2014 – I am using plastic rollers and the salon hood hairdryer.
February 2016 when I started being a blogger and writing posts on Gloriously Vintage.
I cannot help noticing that my skin has improved greatly in the two latest photographs. I will be writing about my skin care regimen in future posts from Tales from the Dressing Table.
I now have a style that can be managed at home and comes out consistently every time it is done. This enables me to have a signature look that is a major part of the success of what I choose to wear. It can be tweaked by changing the colour and shape and also by adding hair accessories for the evenings and special occasions. I have been working on a signature look that is unique and memorable and that is an integral part of the finished outfit and vintage style looks that I love to put together.
Having considered what it is about vintage style I love, it is the mixing up of old and new, expensive and inexpensive to create something unique that is at the heart of my passion. I feel ideas for another post coming on…!
I hope you will feel that it is possible to experiment with your hair and get a great result. It is important to have a clear picture in your mind of the outcome you desire. For me, dear Reader it started with me having a spiky straightened hairstyle that I wanted to change into something softer. My hair is naturally curly and rather coarse; it is very thick and has a tendency to go its own way if I am not careful. So I started to embrace my curls and stop fighting them.
At first I rollered the top and diffused the back giving a softer curly style that my hairdresser cut to a round shape. Marilyn Monroe was always my style icon here. This really got going after turning 50 years old and going blond from auburn red. I then graduated to using ceramic rollers that did not require pins. These Velcro rollers will stay in the hair and give a “set”, but will not give tight curls.
The tools and products I use to create my hairstyle have influenced it greatly and had a strong effect on the styling result.
My lady Schick console hairdryer that I used as a teenager and kept it, to return to it again in later life!
The Babyliss hood hairdryer I went onto when the lady Schick stopped working.
Here is my Orlando hood dryer that I was able to purchase from my hairdresser, a couple of years ago. This hairdryer has made an enormous difference to the finished style today. It has adjustable heat and also a cold setting. It is good to always finish with 15 minutes of cold before taking out the rollers. This really sets the style. Hair must be completely dry as the style will not hold unless it is.
Combs and brushes also are very important to the finished style.
Over my life I have always bought combs and brushes from my hairdresser to enable me to manage the styling at home. You can understand dear Reader, that I have a collection that can certainly tell my hair story! The ones I use now are all essential and each one plays a part in the hairstyle at the different stages from shampoo to finally dressed and finished.
Dear Reader, let us get on with how I do my hair now. So clear the dressing table and have a look at products.
I move away my make up brushes and the tray is ready for the rollers and pins! I also wear old glasses that I can still see through, that cope with styling products and hairspray!
This is the shampoo I use; it is from my hairdresser and is a protein shampoo. It suits my hair very well. The conditioner is a treatment by L’Oreal and I leave it on a minimum of 10 minutes and sometimes longer.
Here are the setting products I use. I put 3 drops of the Redken smooth down into a blob off L’Oreal spiral splendour and apply all over. Then I use a generous amount of mouse all over, making sure the front has an even application. It is all combed through.
The top comb is used to part the hair and comb it using the wide teeth. The Middle one is also of use at this stage. I use the pin tail comb to section the hair for each roller.
I have a large hairdressing mirror with a handle at each end that I use for checking the back and sides. My front curl is over to the left, so I have a parting on the right. I then part the hair from ear to ear over the top of my head. The right side is combed forward from the over the top parting to form the first section. It is clipped and the rest of the hair in that side is combed back and clipped back out of the way. The hair for the front section is combed forward and a low parting set on the left. The front section is clipped and the rest of the hair is combed back out of the way and clipped in place. The left section is combed forward and clipped and the rest is combed back and clipped back as was the right side.
Now for the rollers!
On each side I put a pink curled under, and two yellows. I always start on the left as I am left handed! When the two sides are done the front section remains clipped so I can reach the top more easily. I do not put the front into rollers until the top crown area is all in rollers.
Here is a photograph of the left side of the head of rollers. The direction of the curl on the rollers is important. I curl the whole crown under. The white and pink are curled under. The yellow and blue are curled over. This is so I can have curls turning up at the back blending into the crown.
After the sides I put in the guide rollers that go down the centre of the back. The pattern is easy for me to remember and has been born from a lot of trial and error, dear Reader! From the top of the head going back – 2 large purple, I white I pink all under. Then 3 yellow curled over.
As you work down the back of the head, it is possible to measure withthe yellow rollers how many will fit into your nape – usually 4 or 5 rollers depending on the space and the size of the rollers. I do the same to each side.
Here is the right side. You can see I can fit 2 rollers side by side in the space between the guide rollers and the sides. This is all part of putting the rollers in largely by feel and checking the back and sides every 2 or 3 rollers to make sure they are even.
Here I am checking the back! The yellow and small blue are all curled over. The smallest rollers go at the bottom for the tightest curls and where the hair is shortest.
Once the crown is all in rollers I do the front section and finish with 3 rows of yellow and 2 of blue in the nape.
The front rollers are at right angles to the hairline and are curled under. I use 3 large purple and 1 medium white. The white roller is next to the parting.
With the parting and sectioning and working round the head it takes 20-30 minutes to put the rollers in. My hair is cut and coloured about every 10-12 weeks, so it takes a bit longer when I am coming up to a hair appointment!
Well, there we are dear Reader, a whole head full of rollers! Now I go and sit under the dryer for 1 hour of hot air and 15 minutes of cold. I now write blog posts during this time and it passes very quickly!
I will spray the rollers with hairspray once or twice during the drying time, which helps the “set”.
Then take out the rollers, leaving the front section rollers in.
I then begin dressing the hair to the finished style. Starting at the back I run my fingers through the curled hair, upwards, using the L’Oreal Techni Art 4 sprayed on my hands.
I will then backcomb the crown and finish the dressing, checking the back with my mirror. Only then do I take out the front rollers, back comb the section and bring the finished style together. I do this to prevent the front from flopping as it waits to be dressed.
These are the combs I use for backcombing. The different width of the teeth produce different volume and staying power.
These are the most recent acquisitions. They are made in Japan. The top one is used for the top and front section backcombing and are fantastic.
The grey lifting comb is invaluable as I used it in the finishing of the style and also in the brushing up every day. The pink brush is for brushing out rollers. I use it rather sparingly in the initial dressing , but use it daily in the brushing up to tidy and recreate the style each day.
The details of the pink brush.
I can sort out the curls and make sure there are no gaps and dips.
These combs are used for the final tweaking and checking, dear Reader, before the style is finished, ready for the hairspray.
You may be wondering what this blusher brush is here for!
I spray the finished style with hairspray because this affects how the hair will behave when I sleep on it and also how the style stays in for the week ahead.
I am reading “Your Beauty Mark” by Dita Von Teese; you remember it from my post Tales from the Dressing table. I have picked up one of the tips for styling hair from this interesting book. Dita uses a large brush sprayed with hairspray to sort out fine flyaway hairs around the hairline. I have started to do this since Christmas (when I gave this book to myself as a present!). I used the blusher brush, sprayed with hairspray to tidy up the hairline and to set the kiss curls in my hairstyle when the hair is first dressed.
It works! It works well and I have been rewarded with a style with great staying power. I do my hair weekly and on a daily basis it takes less than 10 minutes to brush up in the mornings.
For special occasions I usually do it the day before, leaving the hair slightly wetter and sitting under the dryer about 15-20 minutes longer to achieve a really firm set that will stand sleeping on it and still brush up well for the event and following days when really great vintage hair will be required.
In May 2009 the day my father died in hospital we were called at about 8.00am to come immediately. My hair was wet and I was showering as the call came in. I had to jump into my clothes and get there as fast as possible. My hair just dried naturally as the life changing day unfolded. It was awful. This experience has really highlighted for me how strong and able to cope with anything I feel when my hair is well styled.
Since then I have really enjoyed trying to make everyday a great vintage hair day! Thank you for dropping by today. Do make my day by leaving a comment. I encourage you to have a go at vintage hairstyling and try rollers!
Thank you to Glenn for taking the photographs in this post.