Vintage Hairstyling at AlexSandra’s

Last Sunday’s installment of AlexSandra’s Charm School for the Modern Woman was vintage hairstyling with the amazing Kristen Behlings.

Kristen and AlexSandra went over key elements for creating a vintage hair-do at home.  First off, make sure you have the right tools!  You’re going to want a set of sponge curlers to set your hair for curls, as opposed to setting them in heat curlers.  Then get yourself a nice old fashioned soft bonnet hair dryer (see the center picture above).  I use the one that my mom had from college, but you can come across them at Goodwill or estate sales.  However, Sally Beauty sells contemporary ones, yet Kristen says theses newer renditions do not produce as much heat, and often take longer for hair to set.  Also available are bonnet attachments for a normal blow dryer.

Additionally, Kristen recommended several products as well, including Sally brand bobby pins and Tresemme’s “Fine Mist” hairspray.  A key thing when using hairspray, either spray without jewelry, or if you do have jewelry already on, cover it up with a hankie or tissue!  Especially if wearing rhinestones! With respects to mousse, Kristen emphasizes buying mousse that is for putting curl in hair – not for treating hair that is naturally curly!

You’re also going to want to make sure you have a scarf! Setting hair takes a really long time.  If you set your curlers, but then awhile later find that you have to go out, you can take out a few in the front, and style them, then pull on a scarf, ala Rosie the Riveter, around the rest. And when taking out curlers, pull up! Don’t unravel the way that you curled!

AlexSandra also highlighted wiglets.  Wiglets are small portions of hair that can be pinned onto your existing hair to add a fun, fabulous and super quick do. With respects to wiglets, AlexSandra recommends that you only purchase ones made of real human hair, not only do these look the best, they can be washed, treated and dyed, unlike synthetics.  My mother confessed to owning a wiglet during her college days and said she’d bring it for me!  Also noted were “half wigs”, which create easy volume for 1960s flips, as well as cascades, popular on Cloris Leachman during her Mary Tyler Moore Show days.  Kristen noted that you can score great hair pieces at Goodwill during Halloween by digging through their wig bins, just make sure to properly treat them.  Sally Beauty Supply offers up a wig wash, but Kristen can also do the work for you!

For those who like a 40s or a 60s look, rats will become your new best friend! Rats  or mesh chignons can be synthetic, such as the ones available here at Sally,  and aid in creating both victory rolls and other 40s dos or in creating that fabulous beehive that I had for the fashion show! Rats can also be made out of your own hair, done by collecting hair out of your hairbrush. Women did this a lot “back in the day” and you often come across hair receivers – a circular shaped box with a small hole in the top – at antique shops, used for storing hair. Last night I chose to try out a super quick 40s do using a rat.  I felt a little like Rebecca out of my childhood favorite show TaleSpin, but altogether, not bad.  This photo was taken later in the evening so it’s a little worse for wear…

I am so glad that I went to this, I learned SO much, and feel a little less intimidated by hair now.  I hope you found these tips useful too!  As I experiment and learn more, I hope to post my own hair adventures, and offer up more tips!  Onward!

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