Being a non-snooty mid-century enthusiast, one of the things I love most about the time period in question are the hairstyles and clothing.
I’ve tried to include some of the amazing, feminine, and fancy hairstyles into my own life because frankly, I spent SO MANY years not dressing how I wanted to dress or feeling like I was a phony or not pretty enough or thin enough to dress or look the way I wanted to but I have a secret to share, dear readers. A very important secret it took me too long to realize.
That secret is:
Don’t give any f*ucks.
Now that I’ve reached this all-important stage of enlightenment, I try to experiment with my flaming red hair from time to time. My hair is an interesting beast. It is STICK STRAIGHT. Like if I let it air dry or spend time blowing it dry, it lays completely flat. Always has, always will. No flat iron required! My hair actually resists curls. Use a hot-ass tool to curl it, 15 minutes later that curl is flater than a Denny’s flapjack. Useless.
So I started experimenting with different vintage techniques to improve my curl ability and to train my hair that I rule it, it doesn’t rule me. (she’s listening, isn’t she? I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry, hair. *scuttles back into the darkness*)
Since I’m still suffering from jetlag from my Japan trip I decided at 3 AM why not do a new wetset to practice for the holiday party I’ll be attending Thursday?
I also had just received my new Lotta Body products in the mail from Amazon and wanted to try them out.
Here’s what I looked like at 3 AM with a head full of rollers and at around noon-ish the next day as I started to unfurl them:
I tried to look scared in that last pic like my hair was going to eat me, instead I think I look bored.
Anyway, this is the total finished brushed out product!
Pretty fancy for just sitting around at home in my pj’s and “Kylo Ren’s a Punk Bitch” tank top, no?
Some folks have asked for instructions so I’m more than happy to oblige but note: YOU GOTTA TRY STUFF OUT, FAIL, AND TRY AGAIN TO FIND THE RIGHT PATTERN, PRODUCT AND STYLE FOR YOU! I don’t know how bitches in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s did this shit without the internet. Also, don’t expect it all to go perfect every time or for this to be a “quick” way to style your hair. It’s not. BUT if you get a great wetset that holds, you can style and restyle the hair for the next 3-4 (or if you’re lucky 5!) days and people will think you’re a hairdressing genius.
And don’t make that face at me. It’s not like I don’t shower. I just don’t wash my hair EVERY DAY. If I did, that lovely shade of red I have would be an awful, slightly ruddy pink with blondish spots so no thanks! Doing hair like this has taught me some things such as:
1. Dry Shampoo is super great, 2. Dry Conditioner is too!, and 3. there’s so many cute styles that can be done on slightly dirty hair just because it has grip that freshly clean hair just doesn’t have.
Onward to the instructions!
Tools you’ll need! AKA What I used to make the above happen:
I had just washed and conditioned my hair earlier in the evening. I air-dried my hair until it was pretty dry but still slightly moist to the touch. You don’t want to wetset your hair when it’s sopping wet because it will take exactly 9000 years for your hair to dry so you’re better off waiting until it’s JUST ABOUT dry and then attack it with styling products and wrap it all up!
I decided to use this particular setting pattern from this video:
Her hair is a little bit of a different length than mine but doing the top rollers in the same fashion as she did allowed me to get that bang bump (which is a pretty bangin’ bump) to happen. It’ll give ya volume! It’s also important to note she uses small sections of hair. This is vital to the process. Too much hair in a roller means you’ll get a lazy curl that’s more like a wave. Waves are great if that’s what you’re after but I’m lookin’ for curls!
It took me exactly 5 matches of Overwatch (spectating) to completely cover my head in rollers. For the first few times you do this, you’ll have to look in a mirror. Once you start to get the hang of how your hair works and how to properly section it, you’ll be able to do it way faster and only glancing in a mirror. Promise. It just takes practice! And your arms might get tired at first but that’s cool. Who doesn’t love a lady with bouncy curls and solid biceps?
I then slept on the curls (it helps to wrap your head in a scarf so the curlers stay close to your head while you sleep) and get your hours of rest in.
Now, if you do this the night before at say… 10 PM, when you have to wake up by 8 AM, you should be good to go. You really need to leave in your rollers for at least 6-8 hours just to be sure your hair is totally dry and set. But what if you set them later? What if you have to do something early in the morning before you can take out the rollers?!
This is when my secret trick to life comes in handy. GIVE ZERO F*CKS.
I’ve gone grocery shopping, gotten my nails done, gotten on early morning flights, drove to Vegas all day all while my hair is in curlers and wrapped in a scarf. In all honesty, there’s nothing better than arriving at your destination, going to quiet place, unrolling your majestic mane and looking like a million bucks when all you did was roll your hair and put on a scarf.
Back to my instructions!
When I knew my hair had been in it’s spongy prison long enough, I unrolled the rollers. Now don’t panic when you do this. Your hair is gonna look like a Shirley Temple massacre. That’s GOOD. You want that. Know how you get it to look shaped? YOU SHAPE IT WITH YOUR HAND AND BRUSH.
Keep brushing and shaping your curls – this is when you use that boar bristle brush! Use the teasing comb to give your hair height in the places it needs height. Rub a bit of pomade on your hands and run your hands through your curls (just a tiny bit of pomade on your hands, you’re not trying to engulf the curls just lightly add texture) This step will help shape them, tame flyaways, and make sure everything stays bouncy and on point.
If you need video proof of this step, the helpful video I’ve linked to also includes a part 2 brushout so you can see exactly how she styles her hair from rollers to final teases.
Also, there’s a great bonus to doing a wetset. If you’ve ever wanted to do victory rolls but feel like your hair doesn’t have the kind of fluff or texture to do it, a wetset will help with this!
Here’s two pretty crummy victory rolls I did on this fresh wetset hair that only used 2 bobby pins on each roll:
Goddamn magic, right?!
I definitely don’t plan on stopping my #HairAdventures and you’re always welcome to follow along on my instagram since that’s typically where I post the styles I’m trying out.
I shall now end this post showcasing some of my past #HairAdventures and remember, if I can make this happen, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN TOO.