It seems crazy to me now but it’s been 7 years since I began dressing pinup. That term, of course, technically refers to the models whose mass produced pictures were pinned up as posters back in the last early to mid-century. These days though, for those of us within the vintage style community it’s just so much easier to say ‘Oh I dress pinup’ than ‘I love the fashion and beauty aesthetics of X decade(s) so I dress that way daily/part-time/for special occasions.’ Plus, there’s the fact that for many of us vintage-style lovers owning actual vintage is impractical, inaccessible, or too expensive, thus adding in the additional complicating factor that the word ‘vintage’ has a genuine descriptive meaning that may not technically apply to the modern reproduction clothing hanging in our wardrobes.
For a lot of us right now wearing our favourite sweats and only paying attention to our face and hair for long enough to keep them clean is as much as we can be bothered to do on a daily basis. For plenty of people, though, keeping to their usual daily routine as much as possible or making an effort to put themselves together is the way they best cope during all this weirdness. And then there are people like me, the middlegrounders, who love their sweats 80% of the time but feel sometimes, often suddenly, the urge to do one’s makeup and wear something nice Just Because.
But if you’re like me then you also maybe aren’t that great at making the effort to style your hair. That might be because your skill level means it takes a long time and a lot of grunts of frustration to even get vaguely close to what you were aiming for; maybe it’s because your natural hair means most styles don’t work like they do for those blessed with frizz-free straight locks, and styling always includes an extra pre-step of setting or straightening your hair; or maybe it’s because you just don’t enjoy it and it feels too much like work. All three of those apply to me, and that’s why normally when I’m feeling lazy I cheat with wigs and clip-in pieces as much as possible. I wanted to use my extra at home time to broaden my hair-styling horizons though, so I’ve come up with a handful of options that are quick and easy to do, even for those of us who suffer The Dreaded Three. Let’s do it! Continue reading
If there was one part of adopting the vintage style that I would say was the most difficult for me, it was the hair. Weirdly, that is also the part of the whole look that I tackled first, without even really intending to adopt the entire look altogether. I just wanted to have nice curls again, achieved in a heat-free way, after extreme heat styling had damaged my natural curls beyond repair.
I began with pincurls. Over time they became my favourite method of setting my hair even after I branched out into trying different types of rollers, whether bendy, Velcro, or foam, but in the beginning learning the technique and achieving a good brush out was a laborious, long-winded and often frustrating experience. I don’t regret it, because eventually I learned the pincurling technique well, but if a Pinup Godmother had come to me then, back at the beginning, and said ‘here, you can achieve a lovely vintage set with these handmade crocheted rollers which are, by the way, also comfortable to sleep in,’ I probably would have cried. Baby Pinup Amy didn’t know about Curlettes, but Present Day Pinup Amy does, and she’s a fan.
Once upon a time the only hairstyle I rocked as a pinup was my brushed out pincurl sets. It worked for me well enough and it was something I was so comfortable with that I didn’t want to dedicate any time or effort into experimenting with different hairstyles and accessories. That changed in 2016 when I experienced a brief brush with Alopecia (here’s the full post about my experience.)
I’ve never had a fringe, ever, in my whole life. Not even a sad blunt one in childhood imposed against my will. I had blonde, ringlet-curly hair as a young child that turned into brown curly-frizzy hair by the time I was around 8 years old, growing darker and somewhat more frizzy as I grew older. The idea of introducing a fringe into that equation and lumbering myself with something I had to wash, style and possibly straighten on a near daily basis seemed like a burden there was little point in entertaining, even as around me I watched almost every female peer I had get trendy sweeping bangs cut in. Continue reading
There’s a lot about vintage hairstyling that is difficult and takes time to master. There’s almost no style at all that I feel confident even saying I’ve mastered, and that largely comes down to how frizzy and hard to manage my hair is. I have a lot of it but it’s very fine, prone to flyaways and frizziness no matter the weather–although humidity, is, of course, my worst enemy, because it makes a bad situation so much worse.
Often I’ll brush out my pincurl set, add in all my sectioning clips and hairspray everything into place, feeling content I did my best with my limited skills and even more limited patience…And then I’ll move to somewhere with different lighting, or go to take a picture against a lightly coloured wall, and realise there’s a ton of frizz in my set that I hadn’t noticed while styling it against the dark background that’s reflected in my getting-ready mirror. At that point, with all the hairspray in place, I just have to let the style stand as it is, because trying to alter it would likely end up in an even bigger state. Continue reading
If you’ve read my past tutorial on using the Sculpture Pincurl Tool to wetset your hair then you’ll know it produces incredible waves as the curls are so tight, but for that reason on those of us with short or mid length hair our set can bounce up pretty high. It produces a beautiful set, but on me personally I like my hair to fall a little longer even when set, and for that reason a few months back I bought myself a couple sets of clip in hair extensions.
The easiest way to guide you through how to set your hair using clip in extensions is to show you, so I’ve filmed the process, including all the information on how to choose what hair pieces you want, and the brush out. Since the hot to video explaining and showing the process is so in depth and lengthy I’ve set the brush out process as a separate video, as I figured ladies who are confident with their vintage hair sets might not be as interested in viewing that part of the process. Continue reading
I showed you pincurling beginners how to start working on your pincurls only a few weeks ago, but I’m very excited to be able to show you another way to achieve perfect pincurls now without the weeks and months of practise. How? By using a pincurling tool, specifically the Sculpture Pin Curler Tool.
I am no pincurls expert. I want to state that right now. But I have been attempting to master pincurls for over a year now, as well as other wetset and hotset methods of retro styling one’s hair, so I’ve learned a few things. I’ll be including videos at the bottom of this post showing you how true pincurling experts roll their tresses, the same videos that I watched to figure out how to do it when I first started venturing into pinup style. Despite being no master at vintage hair, I’ve still been asked multiple times on my Instagram to do my own tutorial on pincurling, and finally I decided that perhaps I do have something to offer on this subject; not my expertise, but my lack of it. The thing about learning to pincurl your hair is that it’s tricky, it takes time and practise, and at the beginning it can leave you frustrated and make your arms ache. Even now, a year on, I don’t roll the neatest pincurls, but I want to show you that it’s still possible to get a pretty and passable ‘do out of a less than perfect wetset.
For true beginners please note that an overnight wetset is not the only option for achieving vintage waves. There are also foam rollers, which are easier to apply but can have varying results, and may also take a bit of practice. For ladies who have serious humidity and frizz problems with their hair they can hotset their hair. There’s several options for this, including hot rollers, hot sticks, and also heated pincurls, where you use heated curling tongs to create the curl that is created by hand in the winding process of wetset pincurls, then secured in the same way as wet pincurls as an elevated or flat pincurl. These pincurls created by heat ought to be fixed with a light layer of hairspray and can be left overnight to set firmly into hair the same as with pincurls, but if being done on the day of an event then they must at least be left to cool completely before being taken out and brushed through. Continue reading