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~Recreating Hair styles of the 1940s~

Discussion in 'Beauty' started by RhodoraM21, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. RhodoraM21

    RhodoraM21 New in Town

    Hi girls! I haven't been saying much due to work and all that comes with it.Since you ladies know alot of vintage hair do's i was wondering if you could help.Now my question is---

    When setting your hair for a hair do what's the best thing to use-

    Hot curlers
    Pin curls
    Curling Iron
    Rag curls

    Since my hair is kinda short due to that i had to be my friends model for a Hair stylist event.My hair was cut in layers all over!!!! Worst thing of all they made me look like some broad from the Beverly Hills 900210!!!!!{ :cry: }. they have grown since but i have a harder time doing my hair.Any of you ladies have any advice? Any help would be swell.
  2. I can relate to the short hair issues--a few years back I had the worst hair cut (I asked for Marilyn Monroe's short 1950s 'do, and it was not for me ;) ). Took forever to grow out, but while dealing with it I found that the best hot curlers to use were a brand called 'Hot Sticks'. They look like rubber perm rods and heat up nicely, and so create a faux pin curl effect. I believe they still sell them in stores, although under a different name.

    In terms of cold sets, I strongly recommend them over hot sets (although hot sets are great for touch ups and days when you don?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t have time for a wet set.) I can get 2-3 days out of a wet set, and my hair will remain curled until it becomes wet again. I have tried sponge rollers, rag curlers, and pin curls, and you will get a slightly different look with each method. Pin curls would be the authentic 1930s-40s setting technique; however, they do take some dexterity and practice to master. Rag curlers work well, especially for a cold (completely wet) set, and were also used in the 1940s. But, they take a bit of practice as well (this is probably my current favorite setting method, though.) Sponge rollers work well when it comes to getting a consistent set--when I use this method I know exactly how the hair will curl (with pin curls/rag curls, you will get some random curls if the hair is not carefully rolled.) The only trouble is that they are a tad uncomfortable to sleep on, as opposed to the other aforementioned sets.

    For a wet set you definitely need some type of setting lotion--there is a nice hair thread which discusses everyone's favorites (do a search of the archives, as there are a few threads devoted to ladies hairstyles.) And make sure that your hair is completely dry before you remove the curlers; otherwise, you will be left with a wavy, wild mess!

    This website helped me the most when I first learned how to set and style my hair:

    Hope this helps!
  3. I forgot to mention that shorter hair is also very authentic when it comes to 1940s styles, and is much easier to work with when learning vintage sets. So don't fret!
  4. RhodoraM21

    RhodoraM21 New in Town

    Minutes ago i was reading the post on "Suits".WOW!! you posted some wonderful pictures, and your suits ahhh just to die for a must for a girl who wants to look classy.I notice that now in days is so simple to style your hair, one look that i just hate and it kills me is "Just got out of bed,don't hand me a brush OK" God thats just uhhh.I love the way how women would look so classy and glamours, its sad to know that in the years we are living there is non of that.Pin curls hmmm, you have to learn to master the method of doing the set of pincurls.I use to do that when my hair was medium and no layers and the result was so nice.

    But now that my hair is well so to say "modern" that's of course if i don't set it up in curlers or etc, it takes more time to do and if it wont come out the way i think it looks good i just wont go out.So many times i just wear a nice head scarf.I have a bunch of stuff to do old period hair styles but my hair is hard to manage,and i always say if your dressed vintage your hair and make up are just essential to finish the look.You always have pretty hair i notice in your "photo shoot" tread your hair look really nice.Like a year ago i got a perm wave it was nice it gave me the hair look like jean harlow with a hint softer wavers but is hard to maintain since you have to use certain products so the perm wont just wash off.The worst thing of all my hair takes forever to grow { :cry: } i guess everybody has different type of hair problems.
  5. Angelicious

    Angelicious One of the Regulars

    :( Drat.

    Yup... We've had a few on here bemoaning their fine hair which won't take curls; I have the opposite problem, with a bit of natural curl, which is nice, but TOO MUCH HAIR! I got my hair done for the school ball way back when, and the stylist did what she normally did, and still had half a head of hair to go!

    On the plus side, I can do reverse rolls (or at least a lot like them?) without rats. On the minus side, I can't do a full head of pincurls without help, and it takes about an hour just to pin them in (I think my hair might be getting too long now anyway). Snoods and hairnets are My Friends. :p

    If anyone has any clues for people at either extreme (fine/thick hair), that would be great...
  6. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

    For best results with my long, very fine hair, I use a cold wet set with a bit of styling aid (setting lotion/spray) and pin curls. I love pin curls. . . I've gotten to the point where I can do my whole head in 20-30 minutes. For a more controlled set of the curl I use foam rollers.
  7. carpecaligo

    carpecaligo One of the Regulars

    I have the opposite problem as well, I have a head full of thick, ringlet style curls. (think Shirley Temple, only longer and dark)
    Trying to achieve 40's waves results in disaster - somewhere between 80's big-hair and a fro after a thunderstorm.
  8. Like jitterbugdoll, I use hotsticks periodically and love 'em as they are quick and easy. I notice the curl lasts longer if I roll my hair right after I wash and dry it (as opposed to the next the morning).
  9. I have had very thick naturally curly hair most of my life. About 6 yrs ago I had it straightened. Since it grew out my hair has had less curl than it did when I was younger. Since having my son my hair has thinned some. My hair actully does better with vintage styles than modern. I haven't done anything really complicated yet. I use the larger pink foam rollers and hair gel and I get a look similar to Deanna's in my avitar picture. I want to get some better setting lotion as soon as payday rolls around. ;)
  10. Dahlia

    Dahlia Familiar Face

  11. If you have thick enough hair, you can avoid rats altogether (although they are nice for the back roll, which takes a bit more dexterity than front rolls.)

    Anyway, this is one way that I wear my hair (Betty had glorious 1940s hair and is a great inspiration ;) ) I create one small roll on the left side of my head, and then form two rolls on the right--but I blend them together to form one ?¢‚ǨÀúcontinuous?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ roll. Make sure you backcomb for extra height.

    The back is basically tucked under into one large roll. To use a rat, you simply roll the hair around it as if it were a giant curler. Insert bobby pins underneath the hair and into the rat, and make sure you blend the outer portion of the hair over the edges of the rat. A visible rat is a bit of a hair faux pas ;) You can purchase foam rats at Sally's, but I've only seen them in gray and they are hard to hide due to the thick ends (they are a uniform tube in shape, and you have to shave off the edges at an angle to make them blend into your own hair.) The authentic method of making your own rats is to stuff your own hair into an old stocking?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùthese are much easier to use.

    Hope this helps!
  12. Dahlia

    Dahlia Familiar Face

    Thank you for your response, jitterbugdoll!

    How exactly would you create a roll without using a rat (using your hair alone)? I think my hair would be thick enough, but I have never tried it before (not even the backcombing) so I'm not quite sure where to begin.

    Thanks again, I think I could create a manual with all the tips you've given me so far. ;)
  13. Glad to be of help, Dahlia! 1940s hairstyles are a passion of mine ;)

    Well, front rolls are easy to make without rats. You simply take a section of the hair (roughly in a triangle shape), back comb it slightly, and then roll it around your fingers so that it forms a cone-shaped roll--open at the front, and tight at the back. To create one roll out of two rolls, I grasp the section closest to the part and roll it backwards, so that it is fairly perpendicular to the part. Both ends will be open, although the end away from the part should be slightly tighter. It doesn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t matter if that side looks a little messy--it's going to blend into another roll. Grab the leftover section of hair, and make a roll to match the other side--but smooth it out so that it looks like a continuation of the roll next to it. Pin the front and back of all three rolls?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùbut slide one long pin between the double rolls to keep them neat and tight.

    For a back roll sans a rat, you pretty much have to 'stuff' the hair under itself. I start at one side and work my way around, pinning as I go. Back rolls do tend to look better when formed around a rat--but they are not required.

    Ms. Grable had very thick, full hair, so she likely got away without rats. Of course, she also had a personal hairdresser?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ :)
  14. Dahlia

    Dahlia Familiar Face

    ... could you be my personal hairdresser? hehe ;)

    Thanks again, I'll be practicing (with your notes close by!) I'll let you know how it goes. :)
  15. swinggal

    swinggal One Too Many

    I have thin hair too. I find that if I curl my hair first, I don't need rats to do my front rolls. The curl helps the roll take shape very easily and little backcombing is needed then. I use rats when I dont have time to pin-curl or use hot-rollers. I make rats out my own hair and press them into a flat pancake by rubbing my hands together. Then, I just roll them into a sausage.

    Front rolls aren't hard, they just take practice. The more you try them - the nimbler your fingers will become. The same goes for pin curls.

    As Jitterbugdoll said, Nocture is a great site to use. I have added loads of hair links to my clubs' website if you want to take a look. Easier when they are all in one place:

    Just scroll down til you see the Vintage Hairstyles info.
  16. Shorty

    Shorty New in Town

    I've been wondering how do you (and the moviestars from the 40's) add the lovely shine to your hair? Do you use pomade or something like that?
  17. I like to use a shine spray--you can pick one up at Target or the drugstore for under $5.

    However, I do find that setting lotion leaves my hair with a very nice sheen on its own.
  18. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

    Hi there! So last night (for a luau in Hawaii) I did rolls in my hair for the first time. Two large rolls on either side of the front with a roll along the nape of my neck connecting them. You can see it - I changed my avatar.
    Now...can I just say wow - I want to thank everyone for their tips. I was stressing about how it might look, but I just pulled up this thread, read through it again and went to work. And it was very easy.
    So. . .thanks!
  19. CWetherby

    CWetherby One of the Regulars

    Can anyone recommend a good setting lotion?


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