Thursday, 24 January 2013

It's All About The Hair

The reddest lipstick, most flattering dress, or perfect brogues can all contribute towards creating a beautiful vintage look. However, the cherry on top is an authentic vintage hairstyle.

I am particularly inspired by the tumbling waves of Rita Hayworth, with her trademark sweeping fringe and gentle waves flattering her beautiful face!

As I have gradually encorporated vintage clothing into my everyday lifestyle, I have enjoyed styling my hair using an authentic 40's/50's method. Setting your hair is a more difficult technique to master, but the final result is much longer lasting and gives a great, glamourous look.

I begin with some cheap styling tools:
1. Superdrug Setting Lotion (around £1.60 for a bottle)
2. Bendy Rollers which can be found here. These are very cheap and also easily comfortable enough to sleep in. They come in three different sizes to create different size curls.
3. A Kent bristle brush. This is a more expensive option, but any natural bristle brush will give a great effect.
4. A medium sized square headscarf (available from any charity or vintage shops for a few pounds)
5. Kirkby grips

Before beginning to put the rollers in, I really think about how I want the style to end up afterwards. It really does take some thinking about, such as where to place the rollers, which direction to roll in and what angle to roll at. The setting lotion should be applied sparingly, but with particular attention to the ends to create a definite set curl. I apply it to each section before I roll it. I like to think of my hair as three separate parts.

Part 1: The Back

I want the style to be relaxed, with the hair will falling naturally from my crown, and the curls beginning in the nape of my neck. This means that I use the thinnest bendy rollers, to create the tightest curls. These are placed into the longest layers of the back of my hair. The medium sized rollers are then placed in the ends of my shorter layer of hair. I roll the hair clockwise up into the roots so that the curl flicks out rather than curls underneath. It is perhaps easier to understand from this picture!

The thinnest rollers are the pink ones

Part 2: The Fringe

In the picture of Rita Hayworth, you can see how her fringe sweeps up almost like a quiff, and then tumbles down. I love this style and think it is particularly glamourous to peep out from underneath! To understand how this is styled requires some experimenting. The hair needs to be rolled underneath, away from the forehead and is probably easier to understand from the picture below. You can see that the hair goes over the top and underneath the roller. The tightness of the curls forms the direction of the hair, but the weight of the hair and curl causes it to sweep into the fringe position. The section behind the fringe has to be curled tightly underneath towards the hairline to create a curl that falls straight down, for the main fringe section to rest on. Any misdemeanours can easily be corrected by some lovely curling tongs!

What a creepy photo!

Part 3: The Side Fringe and Behind the Ear

I use the medium (blue) and small (pink) rollers for this section to create defined but not too tight curls. I use the same principle as for the back where the underneath section of hair is rolled up onto the small rollers and the ends of my layers onto medium sized rollers. It is important that you roll these at an angle so that curl falls directly downwards.

This should all work, but unfortunately it does take quite a bit of practice! When all the rollers are in, add a headscarf to protect the set and then get some beauty sleep!


The time taken to prepare the hair the night before makes for a very easy morning that doesn't take very long to style. Gently remove the rollers, I choose to do it in the three sections at a time.

When the rollers are out, use the natural bristle brush to carefully brush and loosen the curls. The most important bit here is not to panic! I have had many a moment where I can only see frizz, but keep brushing through for a few mintues and it will soon settle. It is now down to you to style as you like.

My favourite style is to pin the Section 3 (side fringe and behind the ear), just behind the ear so that the curls peep out from underneath a sparkly earring! It is also nice to add a lovely slide or hair brooch for an extra bit of glamour on a special occasion.

Here are some pictures of my favourite end results...

I hope this post makes sense and please, just ask if you have any questions! I am really excitedly planning some video tutorials to try and do this weekend so keep your eyes peeled! I would also love to hear if there is anything you would particularly like to see me do, whether it be hair, make up or anything else!
Lots of love,
Hannah xxx


  1. Nice hair tutorial :) Havent used my bendy rollers since I cut my hair shorter... inspired to get them out again! :) xoxo

  2. Thank you! Oooh shorter hair is perfect for it! I think you should get them out again :) My hair is shoulder length when natural and I'm very tempted to go even shorter... xxx


I would love to know what you think! I will try to answer any questions as soon as possible. Hannah x