Saturday, September 12, 2009

~Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells~ A Review

Last week, I recieved my copy of Lauren Rennells' book-'Vintage Hairstyling~Retro Hairstyling with Step by Step Techniques'. The book professes to be 'the perfect guide for showing us how to create so many of those vintage hairstyles'. However, if ever the word 'perfect' could be an understatement, this is the time.

When I first received the book, my first impression was that the quality was better than I expected. The book is a good sturdy paperback, similar in weight and size to those glossy hairstyling books at the salon. As I thumbed through it, I found myself smiling, sitting down in my recliner, and not budging from that spot for a good long while. It's downright addictive.

The magic of this guide is the way it is constructed. I have always had a weakness for illustrated step by step and how-to features in magazines. This book surpasses them all, since it not only takes us through the processes but makes the journey a nostalgic walk through time. There are lovely photos of vintage styling products spliced in with modern ones, and those gorgous glossy photos of the hairstyles will make anyone pick up a bobby pin. The quality photographs make something as simple as a banana comb (remember those?) look like a novel discovery!

Logically, the book starts with a few pages concerning the tools and tricks of the trade. It explains the difference between a hot roller set and a pin curl set, a bobby pin and a hair pin, a pomade and a setting lotion. Though I've been practicing with vintage hairstyles for some time now, I was astonished at how much I'd learned by the time the pincurl demonstration got started. Where vintage styling manuals take it for granted that its readers are professionals, this book uses the most basic of language-so that even the novice will understand. 'Victory Roll-virgins' are welcome here!

After the basics of setting and styling are discussed, the book moves into even more inspiring territory as it takes you through a series of gorgeously conceived 'Final Styles' ranging in appearance from the 1920's to the 1960's. Once the reader becomes familiar with the aforementioned basics, even these glamorous hairdo's will seem relatively easy and achievable. I especially appreciated the styles created specifically for ladies who love to wear hats, as well as those designed for ladies (like me) who enjoy wearing the u-shaped Bettie Page style bang. Though the style is oftentimes considered 'restrictive', this book offers versatility for ladies who enjoy the look.

The icing-on-the-cake is in the final section, a nice little bonus for 'vintage dolls'. This segment features tips on authentic looking hair accessories, makeup application, and ways to protect that vintage 'do.

Over the last year, I have developed quite a little collection of Vintage Hairstyling books-most of which are reprints of actual manuals from the era. I would gladly toss them all aside for this one. Lauren's knowledge and appreciation for the past lends an air of authenticity that makes any of these other guides obselete by comparison.

My rating: 10/10
You NEED this book! ;-)
Order it at (Lauren's website) or