Friday, September 24, 2010
Long Retro Hairstyles and 'Bangs' Revisited...
Some time ago, Bramcost Publications was kind enough to send me a few of their reproduced vintage styling books, for review. Some of them were more helpful than others and this one was my absolute favorite. Though it doesn't contain some of the handy cutting diagrams and pin curl diagrams of 'Creative Hairshaping', the writing is exceptionally easy to follow and the styles are phenomenal. The book was written by a renowned stylist named Miss Ingerid, and contains a variety of gorgeous hairstyles for longer hair, all achieved by following the same basic setting pattern. The styles are meant to be performed on someone else, since the book was evidently written for professional stylists. Still, I was anxious to try a few of these elegant coiffures out on my own head.
The first step was to make sure I had the right equipment. All of the styles call for side combs instead of bobby pins, but I noticed that my Goody side combs were not quite strong enough for holding up a lot of thick long hair. I noticed that the combs used in the book had a brand name, Grip Tuth. Therefore I decided to shop around on ebay and see if I could find some of these vintage marvels. Lo and behold, it turns out that the combs are still being made and marketed by a company called Good Hair Days. The company distributes the combs among a variety of different stores, including this one, from which I ordered my own sets of the combs, in several varying sizes.
Once I had these amazing combs in hand (these babies don't slip!), I was able to try out the styles of the book, starting with 'The Grecian', seen here:
The first thing I realized, as I attempted to recreate the pin curl setting of the book, was that it was next to impossible to form all of these pin curls on my own head! I paid closer attention to the direction and placement of the curls than of getting the set as perfect as it was shown in the book's photographs. Seriously, I almost gave up a couple of times. But half an hour (and some very tired arms) later, I had a complete pin curl set, even if it bore only a faint resemblance to the one in the book.
Thankfully, the curls took relatively well, though upon brushing out, I realized that due to my inability to create the curls as uniformly as they were pictured in the diagram, successfully capturing those pristine waves of the original style would be quite impossible. I do feel, however, that with some practice, the look can still have the same aesthetic sensibility, even when performed on oneself! Below are a couple of photos of my first attempt at 'The Grecian'.
I also have a video tutorial featuring this attempt, available here.
THE POLITICS OF 'BANGS':
Speaking of videos, I realized fairly recently that one of my videos was developing a bit of negativity on Youtube. The video in question was the one in which I demonstrated how I cut my own Bettie Page style 'rounded' bangs, or fringe. In the comments, a large number of people seemed to have issues with the fact that it did not look like Bettie bangs by the end of the video. There were a lot of rude comments about the video's general draggy style and my tendency to repeat myself. In turn, there seemed to be a large number of arguments developing in the comments in which my loyal viewers attempted to defend me, (for which I'm truly grateful) and were rudely rebuffed. Since the video had a good amount of views, I was tempted to just shut down the comments. But since I also saw that it really could use an edit, particularly when it came to showcasing the finished fringe after styling, I decided to pull the video and rework it a bit. Since I like to keep my bangs long (I'm currently growing them out), I tend to cut them level w/ my eyebrows which, especially in straight hair, tends to destroy the u-shaped look of the bangs when unstyled. I was tired of telling people to look at other videos in order to see the bangs after styling, and therefore in this newly edited video, I have included a few photos of the finished bangs.