Hair, people. I've been thinking about it and thinking about it! Since growing mine out from a Jean Seberg 'do circa 2008, to its current length, I have gained in inches but not at all in knowledge of what to DO with this mangy mop of mine. Many of the books I have on vintage grooming have whole chapters dedicated to the dressing and maintenance of hair, and yet what do I go and do every day? I pull it up in a ponytail, with or without hair rat, and pin it to the top of my daddurn head as if there were no other options available to me. I might...MIGHT...be tempted to section off my hair into two plaits and pin THOSE to the top of my head, festooned with a scarf, but I do not go in for curlers, round brushes, mousse, fixatives, and other things that might make my hair look less-like-a-rat's-nest. I am insecure in my knowledge of the techniques necessary to turn my head from the flyaway look you see at left below, to the gorgeous crop of Rita Hayworth curls I envision in my head. Behold, me, last night, in my kitchen, in the only two speeds I know:
Item one: My hair is too heavy to curl well at this length. Naturally curl-less and straight as an Indian's, it curls decently at a shoulder length, but past that, at least 40% of the hair forthright rebels into its natural torpor.
Item two: If I just leave it down, it lengthens my already long face and hangs in this strange, straight-but-with-way-too-much-static-electricity curtain of uncertainty. Finishing products just make it look limp or unwashed, so I forgo these and hope for the best. One minute, I look like Janis Joplin and it's all good-- the next, one clump of hair is sticking directly out in a weird half elf lock. Bed head is one thing; this is another.
So! What to my wondering eyes should appear in the wealth of materials I've been digging out from storage than the Van Dean Manual (1977), a cosmetology textbook for studying future beauticians. And what should it fall open to but a whole section on "STYLING LONG HAIR"?
Check it out-- eleven, count 'em, ELEVEN pages of things we can try and do to this mess. Look with me, those of you out there with some tonsorial skill, and let me know which one we should try to make happen. Can these be achieved with mere willpower and length, or will my lack of hair training leave me coming up woefully short after similarly setting the hair? You tell me!
Here are the top ten (plus a bonus two at the bottom) that I had some physical reaction to, whether it was lustful jealousy or awestruck horror, I'll let you decide (hint...most of them were the former emotion):
It's hilarious how impartial the text is in its description of each of these styles. The "swing flip", for example, has a stated objective next to the above illustration: "To create a style that will permit the hair to fall and swing about the head in a free manner." Doesn't that sound like something out of state law? I see curls like this all the time in seventies' makeup ads and prime time soaps, and yet how do you keep the curls bouncing along as you apply concealer and double-cross your in-laws out of an important merger deal? At left, I thought of nothing so much as seventies' country singers, and that is never, never a bad thing. Look at the little ringlets? Contrived yet attention getting? I'm in, I'm in.
The classic page boy has a sleek look to it, and requires a deceptively large amount of locks to pull off, as the body is built by the extra hair. I'm not sure if lighter colored hair would make this look less lacquered and perfect. I'm not even being petty-- black or dark, dark hair looks prettier in stiff shapes like this, a lot of the time my between-brown-and-blonde hair looks like it's been glued together if you're not careful with the hairspray. The coronet style on the right is freakin' insane, but think about it with a long, seventies' prom dress and a lot of chutzpah.
Two looks that I think would look better in person-- the modern goddess involves braiding, which, I told you, I'm already a lazy ace at. Maybe I could forgo the clusters of curls in the front and just do one of those Joan Crawford in the sixties' esque things at the back, pulled tightly away from the face? Definitely need to work on my backwards-in-a-mirror skills for this. At right, I'm sorry, but you know this would look really pretty and again, night time soap opera star like in real life. Something about the illustration of it makes it look too much like a train wreck of undulating waves. Don't lose faith, Mona Lisa Look! (PS: Last time I checked, Mona Lisa's hair did not...oh I'm not even getting into this. That is a ridiculous name).
I'm just going to go ahead and tell you, these three (the two below and the one below that), are my absolute favorites. These are looks that might be heavily aided by hair falls (wiglets, anyone?) or extra padding, but if I could look like any of the three of these pert nosed illustration models in my daily life, I would be at least 85% happier on average. They look like the heroines of weekly comic strips! Someone with a name like "Sondra Latchkey" or "Allie Calavert" who has high fashion adventures right above Heathcliff's Sunday slot.
The bonus two at the bottom I include only because I wanted to point out the "Junior Miss" picture looks exactly like my beloved Jane Birkin, and each style really could only probably be worn by JB or an early 70's Goldie Hawn. Am I right? Without that baby doll face and three layers of false eyelashes, just forget about it. But a girl can still dream!
Which look do you think is the most worth spending an hour decoding the professional textbook instructions for? What's the most elaborate hairstyle you've ever pulled of at home in your own amateurly professional way? What do you DO with hair my texture and length? Any advice would be so very appreciated!
All these tiny pages! Click on any one to see the full explanations of how to get these looks in your own home below. Sorry they're jumbled! Blogger is a mystery to me sometimes:
Have a great Wednesday, and I'll see you tomorrow!