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Vintage-curl hair advice

(12 Posts)
whethergirl Fri 21-Sep-12 14:30:13

To get a nice vintage 40's curl, does anyone know the difference between:

a) using velcro rollers
b) doing pincurls
c) using heated tongs?

I've seen all methods used on line and am currently using velcro rollers, but wonder if I should just buy heated tongs?

Jackstini Fri 21-Sep-12 14:34:37

I like sock bun curls - you can youtube the method to see if you like the result. They seem to last longer and curls are more defined.

LtheWife Fri 21-Sep-12 15:13:27

I did a vintage hair course a few years ago and was told pincurling is the only way of getting a true 40's Rita Hayworth style. It's all down to the direction of the curl apparently. You should start by parting the hair and working around the parting from one side of the hairline round to the other and back again. Each row of pincurls should curl in the opposite direct to the last (so if row 1 is curled clockwise, row 2 should be anticlockwise and so on) and each row should be staggered like a brick wall rather than stacked on top of each other. Each curl should use a section of hair around 1" square. I'll see if I can find a diagram as it can be difficult to visualise! When you take the pincurls out you do tend to look like medusa, but after firmly brushing them through and adding a bit of serum (or even better Vitapointe) you do end up with those gorgeous glossy wavy curls.

It's the curls being formed in opposing directions that creates the pronounced wave and working from one side of the face, round the part to the other side and back again creates the wave that swoops towards the face on one side whilst sweeping away from the face on the other. It's nigh on impossible to do all that with rollers or tongs but you can get a close approximation of the look albeit a bit more curly rather than pronounced waves.

Veronica Lake style hair is achieved in a similar way but staring the pincurls further down the hair shaft.

notMarlene Fri 21-Sep-12 15:25:05

What LtheWife said, with the addition of strong hold setting lotion.

notMarlene Fri 21-Sep-12 15:26:28

L, could you explain how to do a marcel wave?

LtheWife Fri 21-Sep-12 16:07:41

Oh god yes, setting lotion is a must!

Marcel waves are tricky, it's the same principle of working around the parting, but instead of creating pin curls you hold a comb parallel to the parting at a 90 degree angle from the scalp and force the hair into a wave clipping it in place as you go. Hold the previous row firmly in place with the flat of the fingers of one hand whilst creating the next row with the comb. You need to break the wave down in to C shapes and clip the curves of the C in place. So row 1 will be forward facing C's, row 2 would be backwards facing C's that join the row above to create an S, and the clips would be facing <--- that way in the top bend of the S and ---> that way in the bottom bend. You should aim to create each row of C's in only three parts, one side, the back then then other side before working back in the opposite direction. They key is to make sure the S's are flat to the scalp going backwards and forwards, not away from and towards the scalp as it's a very flat hairstyle. Once completely dry, comb through carefully following the shape of the waves and supporting the waves above with your non dominant hand.

It takes a lot of practice to do it on someone else let along yourself and much much easier to do on a wig where you can use a length of twill tape and stick pins in the wig form to hold the hair in place rather than clips that don't end to hold the hair firmly enough!

notMarlene Fri 21-Sep-12 16:23:40


Right, I'll not be trying that any time soon then. But, thank you very much! Shall save this to Threads I'm Watching for when my setting skills are more polished.

LtheWife Fri 21-Sep-12 16:24:55

This is a pretty good video showing how to form marcel waves.

If you don't want the fluffy curls at the bottom you just continue the waves all the way down the scalp. If your hair is longer, once dry you'd create a small bun at the nape of the neck with the remaining length for an authentic period look.

notMarlene Fri 21-Sep-12 16:42:16

Oh wow, you know I might just have to have a crack. Looks fiendishly difficult though.

whethergirl Fri 21-Sep-12 19:57:48

ooh thank you for the suggestions!

Jackstini, had a look on youtube re sock bun method - I must say it's an ingenious approach! However, I don't think it'll work for me, as a) my hair is naturally wavy/curly and a bit frizzy so I need something that will smooth out my hair as well as curl it into different curls and b) it doesn't quite give the vintage curl I'm looking for.

LtheWife so glad you're here! Was your vintage hairstyling course geared at hairdressers or for styling your own hair? Funny enough I watched a youtube clip of someone doing pincurls the other night, and just as you said, she was doing each row in a different direction. I imagine doing the back myself would be a bit tricky though.

And re setting lotion, all the youtube clips I've watched, as well as when I've had my hair made up in a vintage 40s style at the hairdressers (using curling tongs, obviously for speed purposes) have all used hairspray. Would you say setting lotion is better? Any brand favorites?

LtheWife Sat 22-Sep-12 14:15:27

The vintage hairstyling course was actually a module on a makeup and hair course for film and tv etc. I believe there are some retro hairdressers out there who do how to style your own hair classes. The techniques are still the same though.

Doing your own hair is tricky but I liken it to learning a martial art or how to dance. You start out completely uncoordinated and with practice muscle memory starts to kick in and it suddenly clicks and becomes easier. Ideally you need three good size mirrors to start with, one in front of you and two behind angled so you can see both sides and the back of your head. Expect for your arms to get tied up in knots and lose all sense of what's left and right to start with but it will get easier.

A tail comb for styling and a good old fashioned denman classic brush in a decent size for brushing the curls out afterwards and doing things like victory rolls are absolute musts. Setting lotion wise I'd say buy cheap and cheerful as it's more likely to be closest to the old fashioned stuff which previous generations have sworn by for years. Hairspray will do the job if your hair holds a curl well and you only want the style to last for an evening. Setting lotion is the stuff the blue rinse brigade would have used for their weekly set and blowdry to keep the style for a whole week.

whethergirl Sun 23-Sep-12 22:42:00

Thank you so much LtheWife. Yes, I think I'm just going to have go through a few hairdo fails until I get it right. Great analogy - it's true, over time I'm sure my hands won't be so 'awkward' around my hair!

Brilliant advice, thanks again thanks

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