More Adventures in Bobbed Hair

As I have had my hair in a bob for over 6 months now, I thought it was time to do a sequel to my ‘What to Know When Getting Your Hair Bobbed’ post.

When I first had my hair cut into a bob, I was pretty much set against the idea of layers. But, on one visit to the hairdressers to have my usual trim (which is normally around every 3-6 weeks, although the last time I dragged it out for a whooping 11 weeks – so it was looking rather unkempt!) after chatting to my hairdresser, he advised some layers in the back. I decided to give it a go, and I’m glad I did. The layers just helped my hair to ‘sit’ much more smoothly, and to lay flat against my head, without any kicks or annoying kinks. So, at the moment my basic haircut is a cheek-length bob, with layering in the back. As regular readers will know, my hair type is naturally poker-straight, very fine, and I don’t seem to actually have that many hairs on my head. My preferred waving method is to do a wet pincurl set. I can curl my hair with heat, but the curls drop out after about an hour, and even sooner if I step outside!

For this blog post, I decided to show you my process from having my hair in a pincurl set, brushing out, styling, to the finished ‘look’.

Firstly, I begin by starting to remove the pincurls which have been in my hair for at least 4 hours, sometimes overnight depending on my schedule. As I mentioned, I do a wet pincurl set, so I wash my hair, spray with a setting lotion solution, then begin sectioning and creating the pincurls.

I then shake out the curls, to ensure I have removed all the hair grips, and to help separate the hair.

Next, I start the long brushing out process. It is this process that I think a lot of people find difficult, I know I did when I first starting setting my hair! This is because, half-way through you look like this:

OMG. Seriously.

 ALL THE FLUFFY FRIZZINESS! But, no need to panic, if you keep on brushing, it will then start to smooth out, looking more like this:

So, I keep brushing sections, sometimes wrapping curls around my fingers to shape them as I go. Once I have brushed and smoothed all sections, I then start to think about where I want the curls to fall, and if I want to create a wave across my forehead.

Notice how much smoother my hair is here? Brush brush brush! To help me shape my front waves, I use vintage wave clips. I have clipped the side-section out of the way with a standard black clip, which you can just make out in these pictures. Once I have shaped the front I will then remove the black clip, and arrange these curls.

Pincurl clips help to keep hair flat if needed, as demonstrated above. Once I am happy with the positioning, and have checked the sides and back in a mirror, I then cover my hair with hairspray.

After letting the hairspray dry, and enabling the hairspray to ‘set’ the waves clipped at the front, I then remove the wave clips.

After giving it a final check-over, I am then good to go!

The whole brushing out and styling process probably takes me about 20 minutes, sometimes longer if my hair is misbehaving!

Tips and Notes

  • I use a scarf to cover my pin curl set, both for daytime use and for sleeping in. I find using a pure silk scarf results in a smoother hair set, which is easier to brush out.
  • I have really short hairs at the nape of my neck, which are too short to pin curl. So I just leave them as they are!
  • If you think your set is a flop or failure, just keep brushing. Use your hands to shape the hair as you brush, to encourage it to sit where you want it to.
  • Set the hair with hairspray to make the style last longer.

So there you have it! My hairstyling tips and tricks. I hope this can be useful to some of you, if only for you to giggle at my frizzy hair picture!

I do have a Youtube video of me brushing out a pincurl set, from when I had longer hair. Even though my hair is longer, the basic brush out principles are the same, so if you fancy watching it, you can view here.

Until next time dears!


Learning How To Do Finger Waves

Of all the vintage hairstyles I have attempted and practised, finger waves are by far (in my opinion) the most difficult. Having said that, ALL vintage hairstyles seem difficult at first, I remember years ago struggling with victory rolls (backcombing and hairspray helps), and in recent years feeling frustrated by pincurl sets. But, as with all things, practise makes perfect.

I have been wanting to master finger waves for a good year now, but having recently had my hair bobbed, I felt like now was the time to really go for it, and practise over and over until I had got it right.. or at least satisfactory with the view to working on perfecting it in later attempts.

My vintage wave clips with modern day pincurl clips. The pincurl clips are helpful in holding down any sections of hair that want to spring-up whilst styling the finger waves.

In order to do a job properly, one must first equip oneself with the correct equipment and materials. I have found original vintage wave clips to be perfect in creating finger wave ridges, as that was indeed what they were created for. A word of caution though – do not be tempted into buying modern day reproductions. In my experience, I have found them to be poor quality, often with teeth not even meeting, the metal bends and twists, and frankly, they are a waste of money. However, the plastic ones can be useful if used in conjunction with vintage ones if you do not have enough.

An excellent book that I have recently acquired is – Daniela Turudich’s ‘Art Deco Hair’.

This book is absolutely marvellous! I highly, highly recommend it. Sadly, (but understandably)due to the copyright rules, I am unable to reproduce any of the content here and can only show you the front and back covers. The book covers not only hairstyles, but cutting diagrams of authentic haircuts from the 1920s-1930s, setting patterns for curling the hair, popular hairstyles of the period, how to finger wave the hair, and my personal favourite – ‘The Oddest Styles of the 1920s’ and ‘The Oddest Styles of the 1930s’! There is so much information in this book, accompanied by illustrations and original photographs from the period. It is an absolute must-buy for anyone interested in the Art Deco period.

In my quest to learn the art of the ‘perfect finger wave’; I of course also took to Youtube to watch oodles of tutorials. Whilst I liked Riikka and Jirina’s ‘Fabulous Finger Waves’ video, I actually found this one by LBCC Historical the most useful and informative:

This is because it shows you how to create the waves on yourself, not either getting someone to do them for you, or you doing them on someone else. So, now that I had the correct wave clips, reading material and had watched endless Youtube tutorials, I yet again set about practising my finger waves.

Things I Have Learnt & Tips

  • You are not going to master this overnight. Or indeed over many nights. It will take a while. But that’s ok, chalk-up each attempt as a lesson learned, and you will know what to do better next time.
  • It may take you a while to amass enough vintage wave clips in order to be able to do this style. It has taken me about a year to slowly scavenge enough wave clips, from vintage fairs, Etsy and Ebay.
  • The golden ingredient (for me) is without a doubt – hair gel. And lots of it. I start with my hair having been washed 2 days previously, so it has a bit of ‘grip’ to it. I then spray my mixture of 70% setting lotion, 30% water onto my hair and comb through. THEN – I apply lots and lots of hair gel and comb through. Yes, it makes your hair feel pretty horrid, but it really works. Now that my hair is slightly damp and covered in hair gel, it is the perfect base to start creating the waves with my comb.
  • I use a fine comb to create the waves, hold the ridge in place with my fingers (hence – ‘fingerwaves’), then use a wave clip to clamp the ridge into place.
  • Once I have created all of the waves, I then mooch about with about 12 wave clips in my hair for 30-60 minutes. This is to ensure my hair is completely dry, and that the gel has ‘set’.
  • I carefully remove the clips, smooth any odd bits down, spray with hairspray to finish.

I know some people like a less ‘helmet like’ look, so you can GENTLY brush the waves to make them softer. This to me is utter madness, as I know my hair type – and I know that as soon as I take a brush to it, any wave that was there will promptly disappear. So, for the finger waves  I am happy to settle for a more ‘solid’ look if it means it will last the day. And yes, dear readers, with the use of the hair gel, this style can last me TWO FULL DAYS!

In these pictures, I continued the finger waves around my head, across the back. But somehow, I wasn’t entirely pleased with it, hence the beret hat. For the back, there are a few different options:

  • Continue the finger waves around the head, matching up the position of the ridges. Difficult, but not impossible.
  • Or, having previously curled or set your hair, simply ‘merge’ the finger waves into the curls at the back of the head.
  • Whilst creating the finger waves, pincurl the ends of the hair at the same time to create neat little curls at the base of the neck
  • If all else fails – wear a hat!

Finger waves are such a well-loved hairstyle by movie starlets of times gone by, and modern day vintage lovers alike. Here I present to you just a small snippet of a blog post on the subject, there are lots of resources and informative articles online just  waiting for you to find!

Until next time dears!