Sunday, February 9, 2014

Easy Retro Hairstyle for Short Hair

Hi all! If you follow me on Instagram (username: Gertie18) then you have seen lots of pictures of my hair. When my hair looks nice, I'm struck with an irresistible urge to document it. I'm a little embarrassed by this habit, because I know it's slightly narcissistic. But does that stop me? Nope!

Anyway, I've been playing around with hairstyles a lot lately and have stumbled upon an easy one that I really like. When I wear my hair this way, people always tell me I look like a pin-up girl or a Hollywood starlet from the 40s. I'll take it!

I've had some requests on Instagram for a tutorial on this style, so I took process pictures as I was doing my hair today. I had to use mobile technology (read: selfies!) to make this happen, as it is really difficult to do your hair and take pictures at the same time.

So here we go! First, I should tell you that my hair is thick and slightly wavy. It holds curl well. My cut is a side-parted, chin-length bob with textured layers at the end. My bangs are a couple inches long and I wear them swept to the side. Your results will vary with your hair cut and type.

1. Start the night before. These pics were taken taken when my hair was just washed. I applied some cheap hair gel throughout and blow-dried. (This looks works even better with unwashed hair, however!) Section off your bangs and roll them around your fingers into a loose pin curl. Pin in place to one side. Make sure the curl is not smushed flat, and is allowed to stand up slightly.

2. The next morning, use a 1" curling iron to curl small-ish sections of your hair. (Keep the pin curl in place for the time being.) Hold the iron horizontally and roll the pieces under, not flipped up. They don't have to be super curly, just smooth and curled-under.

3. Make two side victory rolls. Grab the section of hair above your ear and wrap it around something tubular, in a direction away from your face and up.

I'm using this cool pin curl tool (not with the comb ends, I'm just using the smooth middle part to wrap my hair around).

Sculpture Pin Curl Tool

You don't need a special tool, just something round (about 1/2"  to 3/4" wide) that you can wrap your hair around.

4. Remove the tool and grab onto the roll. Pin a bobby pin up the center of the roll so that it's hidden.

Make a second victory roll on the other side of your head.

5. Remove the bobby pin from your bangs. Brush your bangs and arrange the curl into a loop. Hairspray well.

6. Curl the lower sections of your hair if you missed any parts.

7. Spray your entire head with hairspray and you're done!

You can vary the curl in front by changing the direction of the curl. In the picture below, I curled my bangs more toward the back of my head than to the side.


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  2. Very cute! The purple hair color looks great with your brown eyes. :)

  3. I have long forgotten the use of a bobby pin! Thanks for the reminder. My hair is very short but will get to the fun length you have, so I'll be looking forward to trying this!

  4. wow I love it you make it look easy,
    bestest Daisy j x

  5. Soooo, I need to know what lipstick you're wearing in the purple-hair pictures. Pretty please.

  6. Gertie, I love your hair! Don't feel bad for documenting it a lot... not many can pull off a mixture of purple and pin up ;)

  7. Gorgeous. I never thought about sleeping with a pin curl. Might try that tonight x

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  9. *Sigh*, I wish I had hair so I could try that....

  10. I like that style, I could try it with my hair which is similar to yours. I do make bobby pin curls sometimes (I call them kirbygrips.)
    In the 40s to 50s they also used crocodile clips to fix "waves" but they gave a very unnatural effect.

  11. Lovely style- but I am completely distracted by your Heather Ross Briar Rose Strawberry top (I have about 2 yards of that in jersey in the cupboard and was looking for a scoop neck top pattern...) purleease tell, what pattern did you use?

    1. It's the Portrait Blouse pattern from my book! Since it's a knit, I was able to make it without the side zipper. I made the neckline more of a U-shape. I'll be blogging the top tomorrow, so stay tuned!

  12. So cute! And I have to say, I'm diggin the purple on you more than the pink. Kind of brings out the peachiness in your skin. Pretty! And had to say too, I have that strawberry fabric. Need to pull it out and make a little strawberry tee. Yes! Strawberrys forever! Yay!

  13. I do believe I prefer the purple hair to the pink! It seems to flatter your complexion more.

  14. May I just say I love the purple. I really makes your eyes glow, smolder, pop, fantastic!

  15. Gertie, as a loyal reader, I love this tutorial........and would love to see more! Also love the dress you're wearing in many of the photos. With strawberries on it? I have an obsession with food fabric. My latest has been a dress covered in kale leaf fabric. Is there a picture of this one on your blog? Would love to see the rest of it :)

  16. You have absolutely beautiful eyes. The purple really shows them off.

  17. Awww...that is so pretty. Great hairstyle for short hair indeed! Its easy and sophisticated look. Love it!

  18. These are really so cute and nice hairstyles i have ever visited .Nice and great sharing .

  19. I've been reading your blog for a good long while and find it a bit funny I finally comment on a post about hair! Anyway, I just want to chime in a say that I don't believe it's narcissistic at all. When did it become a sign of vanity to feel good about ourselves and share that little buzz we get from it? I just love it when we inspire each other like this and think we need much more of it in our society. So, thanks, I think you rock it!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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