Okay, I have a confession to make. I am useless at doing my hair, utterly useless. Always have been. I could watch every hair tutorial on YouTube and still not have a clue of what to do. My main problem is being completely incapable of curling my hair effectively and it drives me mad.
I was born with a nest of very tight curls on top of my head which irritated the hell out of my mum. She never knew what to do with my hair so grew it long in the hope that the weight of it would pull the curls loose. Well, yes it worked, but it left me with hair that is neither straight, nor curly or even wavy, it just has random annoying kinks in it. Thanks Mum!
My hair is also exceptionally thick. I have so much of it I could probably provide enough hair for about four different wigs. And its long, really long, down to my nipples(!). I grew it long because I had no idea what to do with it and I straighten it every day to just get rid of the kinks. The only thing that is vintage about it is my short rockabilly fringe. I stick it up in a high ponytail or scoop it up on top of my head with a scarf wrapped around it if I want something with a tiny bit of retro influence.
So, in sheer desperation, I have booked myself in for a session at a Betty Noir Beauty Workshop and I am really hoping they can teach me at least how to get a decent curl to stay in my hair. However, I have seen a few hairstyles on Pinterest and YouTube that I really wish I could achieve and so, for a slightly different Wednesday Wish List, this week I have decided to put together a selection of vintage hairstyles that I dream about accomplishing.
The Wanda Woodward
Traci Lords plays the rockabilly Wanda Woodward in the weird and wonderful film Cry-Baby (also starring Johnny Depp with a quiff!) and I absolutely love her hair in this. It big and full of bouncy curls but even better it’s long and features a short fringe similar to mine. The crown is backcombed (something else I seem to be completely incapable of doing) to give height towards the back and the sides are scraped up and fixed with a hair comb either side. It should be fairly easy to achieve with my current length.
The Gibson Roll
The Gibson Roll is the gorgeous hairstyle worn by Samantha Stewart in Foyle’s War. It’s an absolute classic of the 1940s and is so elegant. You style it using something called a hair rat, which is a bit like a hair doughnut that’s been cut through to lay it out straight. I’d love to be able to put my hair up like this on hot days to keep me cooler and I have no doubt it would be the perfect up-do to go with my 1940s style Lindy Bop dress.
The Jean Truscott
I loved the 1960s medical drama Breathless and was sad to hear it got cancelled after just one series. My favourite character was Jean Truscott because she had quite a past, as well as an adulterating husband, which she desperately tried to keep under wraps by pretending to be the perfect housewife.
Her hair always looked amazing with a subtle beehive and perfect sleek styling. There were two hairstyles she wore during the show that I loved, the classic French pleat (very reminiscent of Joan from Mad Men) and the same style but with a low side ponytail. Tyra Banks had a similar hairstyle on America’s Next Top Model last week but with a cute ribbon separating her fringe from the beehive. It was so fabulously 60s!
The Double-Sided Victory Rolls
Another great rockabilly style that could possibly work on my hair is the double-sided victory rolls. Created with a touch of wartime glamour, this sexy style is both edgy and feminine. The top section is separated in two and pinned back in a large victory roll either side of the crown. The remaining bottom section is left loose in soft curls or pinned to the side in a ponytail. The short Betty fringe then adds a bit of rockabilly fierceness.
The Veronica Lake
An incredibly successful actress during the 1940s, Veronica Lake was most famous for her long sensuous waves. Styled to fall over one eye for added mystery, it was known as the peek-a-boo. This is the sort of style I’d like to create for an everyday look, just soft waves to frame the face and gentle curls around the bottom of the rest of the hair. If the girls at Betty Noir can show me how to achieve this then I will be the happiest gal in all the world!
What’s your favourite vintage hairstyle?