About Vintage Hairstyles

There was something very special and beautiful about women in the early -to mid- 20th century. The way they dressed was elegant and the way wore their hair was feminine. Hanging on my mother’s wall is one of my favorite photographs of my grandmother, in the 1940s, with cascades of curls all around her face and down her shoulders.

  • How were these complicated hairstyles (now we called them vintage hairstyles) created?
  • What is a girl to do in the 21st century when she has not been trained from birth on how to set and brush a pin curl?
The largest volume vintage hairstyle
The largest volume hairstyle (vintage hairstyle)

This blog will shed light on the process and serve as a resource for vintage hairstyles for many occasions, and will assist someone who wishes to create her own vintage hairstyle. Some styles in this site are done traditionally, starting with wet pin curls, drying, and then combing out. Other hairstyles are morden versions using today’s tools and techniques. I encourage you to study the entire blog. It is full of useful information that can be applied many different situations.

After mastering some of the techniques, look for other hairsyle images and try to figure out what combination of techniques were used to create a style.

  • What size pin curls were used? 
  • What is the starting length of the hair? 
  • How can i fake that style or get the same effect with a different hair length or texture? 

It may be an exact re-creation, or a modern version that gives the same feel. Watching movies adds dimensions to the hairstyles. The vintage hairstyle is clearer when seen from every angle as an actress moves accross the screen. Use your own DVD-player’s pause button to pause the movie at different intervals and use your point and point-and-shoot digital camera with the flash turned off to capture the angles for reference later.
There are many other resources for finding images for reference.

  • Check your local library, 
  • Your parents’ and grandparents’ homes, 
  • Web image searches, 
  • On-line auctions,
  • Antique stores for book about Hollywood photographers

photographs; movies; and other matherial.

1950s hair salon (making hairstyles in hairdresser)

Old yearbooks carry close-up, clear photos in portrait form. One of my favorite reference books is a 1948 University of Houston yearbook i picked up for $15. The internet is absolutely the greatest resource (like our blog). The website www.imdb.com (The internet movie database) has information and numerous photographs of all the famous film actresses of the past, many of whom are mentioned in this blog, and informations on their movies.

No matter what your goal is in reading this blog, i hope, above all else, that you will learn about everything about retro hairstyles. Identifying these styles and piecing together how to complete them was a labor of love for me.

With a little luck, i will have saved you the same trouble.