Thursday night found me tucked away inside AlexSandra’s Vintage Emporium with several other gals to learn about vintage hairstyling from the ever stunning Kristen Behlings. Kristen modeled several examples of 40s hair styles on herself, explaining the tips and tricks to get various twists and curls in hair.
Kristen sleeps with her hair in soft sponge rollers each night to always keep it ready for styling. She also only washes her hair every five or so days. This was common practice in the 30s, 40s and 50s, which is why you get such quotes like Bette Davis in The Cabin in the Cotton with “I’d like to kiss you, but I just washed my hair”, or women using “I’m washing my hair tomorrow” as an excuse to get out of doing things. I have yet to do this myself…I’m still a wash every day kind of gal.
After providing key tricks, Kristen then came to the aid of us ladies to help us understand how to manipulate our own hair.
I came to the class to try to overcome my fear of backcombing my hair, which I had some success in accomplishing. I created a relatively successful 40s bumper bang look (akin to Sean Young’s Rachel in the film Blade Runner) using backcombing as well as hair collected from my hairbrush that I brought with me. I know, collecting my own hair…it sounds strange, but ladies, if you want a nice big 40s do, you’ll want to begin saving your hair when you rip it out of your hairbrush. I then took out the ‘do I created, thus learning the proper technique in brushing out the backcombing I had done. The trick: begin brushing from the bottom, and work your way up!
I also learned about a little thing called “Spin Pins” from Goody. These are like hairpins, but they are twisted like a corkscrew, and they literally screw into your hair to create an up-do. They are great for creating French Twists, and the 40s back roll. I purchased them today at Target for $6.29. I will tell you right now, they are cheaper on Amazon! I’m really looking forward to using them instead of the boatload of bobby pins I currently am using to create such a look.
While there are books and videos abound on vintage hairstyling, nothing can replace a one-on-one interaction with someone who knows their stuff. So I highly recommend attending a vintage hairstyling class if one is offered in your area. Portlanders, “like” AlexSandra’s Facebook page to stay up to date on future hair classes.