Dear Miss Victory Violet,
I love your blog!! Was just wondering how you would go about doing hair styles with really long hair? Mine comes down to past my bra strap and is averagely wavy. I am contemplating cutting my hair so I can do pin up hairstyles but would rather not. And what do you suggest as a “normal everyday” style. Thanks 🙂
City: New Plymouth
Country: New Zealand
I’ve been asked this question quite a few times recently! During the 1940s and 1950s, women had shorter hair and so replicating the hairstyles of the time is harder with longer hair as it’s just not going to behave the same. If you want to stick with longer locks, then I would definitely recommend a couple of things first and foremost, then we can talk about styles-
- Find a easy setting method that works for you that can give you some curls. Don’t get too hung up on getting full, voluminous curls as that will be difficult to achieve with long hair. Try using hot rollers or a flat iron and preserve your curls overnight by pinning them into big pincurls.
- If you can get away with washing your hair only every 3-5 days, then that will make life easier! Make use of dry shampoo and do a updo on hairwashing day. Remember that if you over-wash your hair (like every day), your scalp will over-produce oil to make up for it. The natural oils are what helps to keep hair healthy so when they are being washed away daily, the scalp goes into overdrive! Start by adding on a extra day at a time- it could take weeks or even months but eventually your hair will stop producing so much oil.
- Try to make a hairstyle last a few days- for instance if you do a big suicide roll in the front, you should be able to make it last for days. You may just need to re-pin and re-spray but it will be much easier!
- Long hair can be notorious for getting a curl to bounce up. Your best bet is doing a wet-set with small sponge rollers or pincurls so it starts out as tight as possible.
- Your haircut is really important with long hair. Ask for ‘face framing’ so that you can still get the ‘pinup front swoop’ and try getting some long layers to help create movement. If the last few inches of your hair are fine, spindly and split but you are just hanging on to it to preserve length, let go and get them chopped off. Having freshly cut blunt ends will look a million times better than fine damaged ones.
Now for styles! Here’s some suggestions and photos of styles I’ve created for clients…
Hair curled, pulled to one side if so desired. Add a hair flower or jewelled comb for extra omph!
Lana and Shayna’s hair I set with a flat iron and then brushed it out with a wide-tooth comb (tutorial here). Laura’s set was one that she did herself using sponge rollers and then I brushed it out and styled it.
High ponytail with a suicide rolls or bumper bangs at the front
All these styles don’t contain any extensions- it’s all their own hair. Backcomb the first few inches of the ponytail and then smooth over the top to help give it volume or use half a dough-nut underneath like I did on the last style on Andrea.
These are a great option for a half up/half down look and it means you only have to make the full curling effort through the back area. They also should last a few days, just needing a re-pin and re-hairspray each morning.
If you can’t be bothered curling the bottom half, try a vintage snood.
Try a half up/half down beehive or a full beehive with a headscarf which is great for tucking in all the excess length.
For the half up/half down version, backcomb the top half of your hair, smoothing out the top and then twisting and pinning into place. For the full beehive, watch my tutorial here, it will just need some extra tucking of the ends.
This next one is a little trickier to do on yourself… the faux bob!
Start by curling it as much as possible then pin the top section out of the way. Back comb the bottom section and pin it up then place the top section over the top. This is a lot easier with layers, and once again, quite hard on yourself but if you consider yourself well versed in hairstyling, give it a go… this one is probably not for beginners.
Watch this video for another idea of how to achieve something similar.
Or perhaps you just bite the bullet and get the full chop! I did this overhaul on a client a few weeks ago, cutting her long locks right up to collarbone and she looks FABULOUS!
Any new hair style is going to take some practice and it will always take a little longer the first time you try it out. Set aside more time to get ready or try out new styles on weekends when you can spend more time perfecting and playing around with it.
Be patient, keep practicing and don’t be afraid of good cut! Shorter hair or even just healthier ends will definitely make vintage hairstyling a lot easier!