Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vintage Long Hair Styles S.O.S.(Van Dean Manual, 1977)

Good morning!

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!                                                               

20 comments:

  1. I think my favorite is the Page Boy Flip. I am pretty sure that I could never pull off any of these. I am SO bad with hair. Same thing for me - I've grown it out but am now in the "now what??" stage. Ponytail it is! I can't even do a bun. I'm worthless in the styling department. The Casual Elegance style makes me giggle a little.

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    1. Me, too! But cooking used to be a mystery to me, and now I can cook-- so maybe I can learn how to do my hair inspite of my present high level of ineptitude! Some sweet day, you'll see me in the Greenfield Kroger with a picture perfect Swing Flip! If I can dream.

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  2. I'm torn between "The Sophisticate" and "High Fashion." There something about humongous hair that makes me happy! I would love to see the "Casual Elegance" in action - all those tendrils blowing in the breeze...

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    1. I'm starting to think maybe a wig would be a better investment of my time and energies...just get a wig cap, pop 'em on, and we're good to go. Reading a Tammy Wynette bio right now and one of the most quotable parts so far is "Tammy! We need to get you some *hair*!" with reference to her straggly early career locks. If Tammy can, maybe I can!

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  3. I'm seriously jealous of this book. I usually just let my hair air dry with some leave in coniditoner and mousse, but I feel the need to try something new too.

    My faves are the Coronet & the High Fashion.

    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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    1. They're all my favorite, haha! It's a really neat book. Need to investigate some fixative products if I'm really going to try one or two of these sky-high styles. Maybe the text will be able to suggest some industrial grade hairsprays...

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    1. Thanks! The label is from the late sixties' I think and it's called "Young Sophisticates" (in a teal colored cursive script). Could you die? Love it.

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  5. The coronet and modern goddess are my favourites, but they are all great!

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    1. Thanks! I really like the modern goddess, too.

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  6. I'm always crazy about a page boy hair style. Have you ever tried wet sets with your hair with a really good setting lotion? Pin curling it perhaps? I always love trying new things with my hair. It takes sooo much practice, I remember when I first started doing hair styles, it was a bit frustrating, and you just have to learn what works for your own hair. Good luck in your hair adventures!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I think I might need to take some length off before I try the sets you mentioned; I've done pin curling before when my hair was shorter but right now it will NOT hold a curl and it's driving me crazy! I'll have to holler at you when I really apply myself to the task for troubleshooting tips, haha. :)

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  7. seeing the coranette look totally makes me want to grow mine out again! I cut mine off a year ago so I could donate it to the Great Lengths program. Toward the end of me having long hair...it started getting ridiculous and I looked like I was in a religious cult..of sorts. You are rocking it much better than I! I still miss it sometimes, because of the versatility...I mean those twin ponytails could be mine! sigh.

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    1. That's really cool you donated your hair to charity...I'm too chicken to cut mine yet! Totally get the cult comparison, some days in the hairstyling dept, it's like "Is this more fun and fancy free, or do I look like a sad, sad Holly Hobby?". Twin ponytails, man. ADORABLE. I wonder if they're attainable!

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  8. I have the same hair problems except that mine is sometimes sort of wavy. But man, I can't believe how much your hair grew in such a short time! Do you have a picture of you with the Seberg do?

    I love High Fashion and the Modern Goddess so, so much. I'm totally going to try those out.

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    1. Re: picture: still need to scan the one on my grad school ID, which was taken right after all my hair was lopped off; it's funny because I'm still using it and people look at my long hair, and then look at the picture, and then look at me again... and I'm like, Yes, still me. Yes, still in school. Tell me how you do with the styles!

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    2. I can only imagine! But seriously, your hair grows so fast! Also, I always think your hair looks fab and I felt like it was different each time. That's one benefit to long locks - they never do the same thing twice even when you try to make them.

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  9. Ugh, hair! I am so not a hair person and I WISH I was. Maybe wiglets really are the answer. My hair is also on the longer side and is both fine and unmanageable, and also the sort of dirty-dishwater blond color that looks greasy if you don't wash it every morning so the whole wet set thing doesn't work for me. I am always terribly impressed by people who concoct hairstyles that work.

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    1. Right? I want to gain the knowledge of these well-coiffed people! Either that book or the wiglet I'm buying myself for xmas better put me in the right direction! :)

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  10. These are amazing!! Thank you for posting the scans w/ instructions; I'd love to try some of these out once my hair grows out! Or maybe I'll just make like Tammy and invest in some wigs...
    RE: curls in long hair, have you tried rag curls? When I had longhair that was the only method that worked.

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