Bonus Post – My New Hair Cut & More Raves About Goth Rosary

On Monday my friend and hair stylist Holly Hui was nice enough to come to my house to give me a hair cut. I’m still loyal to the middy, but in order to experiment a little more with classic styles I went quite a bit shorter than I’m used to. My long hair looks have a tendency to fall apart a bit when I’m trying any sort of specific shape, even with tons of hairspray.  I’m a tough case when it comes to hair because I like everything, which means I can never make up my mind and once I do the grass is always greener. In this case, it’s too short for me to like it as much as I did when it’s straight, though that’s just my taste and it still looks great, however it is so beautiful when it’s curled. With this length I can accomplish a classic page boy like Dita, but more often than not I’ll make it the big messy luxurious white girl fro that I love. And that’s so easy now, because nothing is weighing it down! These pictures are half so I can document how my hair reacts to different types of curls, and half for YOU to see the same, because I know a lot of vintage-lovers are always looking for more middy pictures, including me.

So the cut. This is not cut to the diagram. I honestly don’t think it’s necessary, even in the actual 40s I’m sure they just understood it and went from there based on the person’s face, head, and preferences. I would venture to say this is about 10 inches long overall (from what I understand it’s Rita Hayworth length, but it’s still longer than any official diagram). The cut is layered horizontally and fairly uniformly, cut blunt, so no feathering/texturing/what have you at all, and is U-shaped at the bottom so the layers frame the face. My hair is very straight and fine, and these pictures involve NO product whatsoever as per my normal routine.

I’ll save you the picture of it straight for now because I look sickly and miserable in it and it’s pretty much the worst picture ever. I’ll take a better one later.

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This is hot rollers, all rolled under. I did this right after the cut. I have to try everything when I get a hair cut because I’m so curious about what it will do. My head looks huge haha. This is lovely.

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Hot rollers loosening up. Still great.

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Before I re-washed, because it felt a bit greasy as though I didn’t do it right the first time. Know what I mean? Actually it still kind of feels like that. But this is awesome, I love this.

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Pillow rollers. Neat, but not totally my taste. I promise I’m not about to cry here lol I’m a weird picture taker. I’ll keep this style in mind for certain adventures in modeling.

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Pillow rollers after falling throughout the day. Totally cute! I tied a ribbon around it here, it’s very Snow White.

IMG_1218I tried a tutorial I found on Classic Retro Glam’s Youtube channel. Normally these tutorials drive me insane because I’ll love it, run to my dressing room to do it, and fail repeatedly. This one I got right away, and it’s beautiful. YES!!

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Another angle. None of these are great because I had to take them myself and I had no idea where the camera was pointing.IMG_1226

The big curly white girl fro of sorts. My hair always looks its best right before I go to bed. And it seems I’ve once again subjected you to pictures of me in my underwear. Sorry.

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Aaaand today, after being set in large dry pin curls overnight to preserve some of yesterday’s curl. The top just needs some fluffing. I have also put clothes back on.

Now how exactly can I get it to look this way on day one?? Tell me please!

Also today, besides my hair looking totally boss, I got another package from Goth Rosary. The owner has been having some medical issues so the site was down for months, but I’m happy to inform you that it’s back up. I don’t know what I would do without this perfume. It’s wonderful. I ordered Samhain (everyone’s favorite. I mean everyone) and Fairy Wings for my mom. She’s very allergic to perfume, but she can stick her nose right in the bottle and it doesn’t bother her, so that’s saying something. Fairy Wings reminds me of a mix of Fantasy and Midnight Fantasy. I can’t smell the cucumber personally, but lots of sweet berries. It’s really delightful, I’m going to order some for myself next time. This time I got myself Gothic Rose. It’s a true deep red rose scent, untainted by alcohol. Mike says it smells like soap though, I guess because a lot of soap is rose-scented. It’s thus a little more commercial than their other offerings, but I like it a lot. This one lasts a very long time too, I can still smell it on myself without even trying. Or maybe I just used too much lol. I also got a sample vial of Black Wings, which is beautiful and very masculine, so I’ll be including some for Mike on my next order. I recommend that if you’re not in the US you go in on your orders with a friend or two; shipping is a bit of a bitch.

Until Monday!

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Holly Hui Hair

I like my red hair. It’s the color that perfectly borders natural and wild, because it can go either way depending on the shade. It’s also just a sexy color. Photographers use me for my red hair too, so if I had a more standard or freakish color I have the feeling I wouldn’t get asked to do pictures half as much. The thing is, it’s been red since I was 19. And I have a tendency to get bored. Before it was red, it was blond, white, black, blue, and green. I changed it a lot. But one color I never actually got to do was purple. It was one of the first colors I intended on trying but I chickened out once my hair was bleached and never quite got around to it again.
Enter the “ombre” dye job. You’ll know this as the big Hollywood trend of girls with long brown roots gradually lightening into blond on the bottom half. Obviously those colors are not for me. But I like the idea of having two hair colors at once, especially ever since I saw Megan Massacre on NY Ink with her fire engine red and black ombre hair while I was just dying for a change of some sort. Suddenly after a bit of google image searching the solution became all too obvious. I wanted ombre hair, bright cherry red at the top, into deep purple at the bottom. Fuck yes.

The trigger

It also occurred to me that instead of seeing Becky and having to bring her a print-out that would require me to go out and buy color printer ink, I should see Drawn and Plastered’s resident hairstylist Holly Hui. I really must say, Drawn and Plastered is really lucky. We have the absolute most talented and awesome people out there working for us because they’re so awesome and support what we do. I’m so proud to say that Holly Hui is one of them. Obviously I couldn’t possibly go wrong here.

The inspiration

The location was definitely different than the fancy salon on Corydon I’ve been going to for the last five years. I wasn’t at all familiar to the area. So that turned my nerves up a little. But as soon as I saw Holly there I relaxed. I gave her my usual middy instructions and told her I wanted the longest part to be at the bra line, however gave her permission to take off more if she had to to get rid of split ends. This scared me as it was quite a bit shorter than I’ve had it for a long time. I also got bangs because I figured it’s been about 13 years, so if I’m going for different, let’s toss that in there too. I’d been toying with the idea for way too long not to. That was even scarier. But having trust will get you far. I held my breath and kept quiet.

Your first time seeing this unstyled is also mine. And how brave am I for posting a picture in absolutely no makeup and stupid pink pajamas?

When it was over I looked…normal. It’s the first time I used Matrix hair color, so it’s going to take some time for it to build up to the brightness and contrast I’d like. The bangs and the smooth straight style also looked unusually modern for me. So I looked great, but didn’t feel like myself. Of course we both knew all it would take was for me to play around a bit at home. The whole point of a middy is versatility afterall, and my bangs were cut long in keeping with this, just barely short enough for me to see. Holly also razored one side so I could wear them to the side without having a corner, and when I curl them up they’ll look very Bettie Page. The length should make them relatively easy to blend in and hide too.

Yep, there are bangs in there!

And later that very night. Who invented this sorcery!

Side note/tip: I quickly found just how easy blending bangs really is. Take the bangs along with a portion of hair from behind them, and backcomb the roots from behind to mix them together with a teasing brush or fine toothed comb. You want the teasing to be really tight, so you wonder how you’ll ever manage to comb it out again. When you let go you’ll have some odd pieces randomly sticking out. Just tuck them underneath with a pin and have the longer part of your hair fall over the ends of the bangs. Hairspray liberally. Ta-da! And I mean it was *quick* – it look less than a minute and you would never know they were ever there.

As soon as I got home I got to curling it in my regular style. This was challenging because a lot of the layers were quite a bit shorter, so it was difficult to get everything into the rollers. Nevertheless it somehow seemed to take quite a bit less time, since there were no more ratty ends, and a shorter length means less hair to roll up, and less maneuvering to reach the ends of it. Once the rollers were taken out, my hair was fuller and bouncier than ever. There was so much less weight that with some backcombing and hair spray it would virtually stick straight out with very little effort. Then with a little combing of the bangs to the side and a bit more spray, I was easily able to get myself into a style that felt really great for me. Very Joan Holloway.

After the first time styling it myself. I’m me again!

Now I don’t know if it’s because it was shorter, the layers were shorter, the products that were used, or the fact that I saw Holly, but out of the now three times that I’ve had this particular hair cut done this is the first time that it physically feels like I expected the middy to feel. Before it just felt like my hair, only the look was different. This time it feels so light and soft, like it could just float away. It feels luxurious and easy and the complete opposite of being buried in hair. It feels fantastic. And it actually made a big difference in my day, like I was wearing silk pajamas instead of jeans. I just had to mention that.

By the end of the night I was in love. I was no longer ambivalent about bangs, and the huge messy curls I had made me feel awesome. Of course anything that makes you feel like Christina Hendricks, Dita, and a spy can’t be anything but all sorts of awesome. Mike is super happy too.

Having trust in your stylist will get you far. If I didn’t have that,  I wouldn’t have done it. And I’m so glad I did. You can trust Holly Hui.

For more about asking your stylist for a middy see https://victoriablack4.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/vintage-hair-part-1-the-haircut/ and https://victoriablack4.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/i-got-a-middy-and-a-word-about-setting-lotion/

I Got a Middy! And a Word About Setting Lotion

Well, a modified middy. And I LOVE it. My hair was nearly to my waist, limp and shapeless, and I hadn’t had a hair cut in 6 months. It was taking me an hour to curl, and it felt like it took as long to comb. I felt buried. I was extremely close to hacking it off myself. So I made the appointment.
I had studied the middy a fair amount, and looked at a crap load of pictures. It’s a little hard to find pictures of it unstyled, but I landed on a good one, where the length of the layers were modified to be longer and less awkward so that the cut didn’t need to be curled to look right. I took this picture, a picture of the same girl with her hair styled, and a picture of Lauren Bacall, along with a mental list of instructions with me to Tonic.

Lauren Bacall, an awesome woman with awesome hair.

My stylist, Becky, didn’t know what a middy was, as far as I could tell. But she followed my instructions to the letter. Split ends gone, a U-shaped hemline, and lots of box layers with no texturing or feathering. My length rose to the bra line at the back up to just barely past my shoulders at the front. The result was a cut that looks very modern when left straight, elegant when softly curled, even surprisingly high class and professional, but that when set in curlers looks authentically forties or fifties. It’s a beautiful and very cool cut. Becky is awesome. I think I might even go shorter next time.

My hair as styled by Becky, and a horrible display of photographic skill.

In fact, the way she styled it, trying to imitate the picture of Lauren Bacall but using modern tools that didn’t quite do the job, was so sleek and elegant that I liked it even more than my own big fluffy “Hollywood” style of curling it.

My hair before, “Hollywood” style, before it has a chance to collapse under its own weight.

I wanted to recreate this, but punched up with a little more vintage. It didn’t take long to figure out how. My usual set was too curly, and just a curling iron wasn’t curly enough, and too time consuming. So I ended up doing 8-10 big curls instead of 15-20 little ones, radiating outward from the crown, with the thin side of the part smoothed out with the curling iron used like a flat iron. It took 10 minutes to curl instead of an hour, half an hour to dry instead of five hours, and barely a minute to smooth out. Perfect. As far as a perfectly vintage look, I finally got it down, and I love it enough to share. Tutorial to follow in the next article.

Perfect vintage hair, minutes before static and bad quality hair spray ruins it. I’m working on that too.

So if anybody in Winnipeg wants a stylist who will listen to them and give them a great do, go see Becky at Tonic!
Now, there is something that I failed to mention in my curling tutorial, and that’s about setting lotion. Setting lotion is a product that will make your hair fuller and keep the curl for longer. The most popular kind is Lottabody, and you dilute it in water. I’ve heard of different ratios, 1/5, 1/3, 1/2. You’ll have to figure out what works best for you based on your hair type. If it’s too thick it won’t spray out properly and your hair won’t curl. But the stuff does wonders. Alternatively you can use mousse or spray gel. Don’t use hair  spray until AFTER you’ve finished styling though, or it will be too stiff to work with.
So there’s my little update. I’m learning a lot more about styling lately too so when I can get my thoughts on that in order I’ll be posting another. See you soon!

Vintage Hair Part 1 – The Haircut

There’s nothing like vintage hair to complete the look of a cute and sexy vintage dress. I’ve always been really low-maintenance with my hair. It’s really fine and doesn’t like to cooperate. As far as vintage hair goes I actually really love the 1930s short bob with finger waves look, but I refuse to get a haircut that short, so I’m learning a lot lately about styles from the 40s and 50s. I’d like to pass on what I’m learning to you.
There are three basic elements to the 40s and 50s style; the haircut, curls, and rolls. These go from easiest to hardest respectively. In this article I’m going to focus on Step 1, the cut, which is the easiest since the stylist would be doing that for you.
Since there was a war going on, 1940s hair tended to be short, rarely past the shoulders. Women showed their support by keeping their hair off the collar as women working jobs in the service. THE haircut of the 1940s was the middy, and most modern haircuts are based from it. This is basically just a cut with layers, a requirement for showing off vintage and rockabilly curls, and a true 40s middy comes in 3 lengths, the longest of which is only 6 inches at its longest point. Rita Hayworth was an exception with a 10 inch version. This looks like rocker hair when worn straight, but it’s the very best cut for curling up into adorable vintage styles. The middy was invented for the versatility required for a number of 1940s hairstyles.
Here are a couple videos by Lisa Freemont Street about the middy and how to style it. She has the very best videos about vintage hair, and has taught me virtually everything I know about how to achieve it. You don’t need to have this exact haircut of course, anything with layers will do. But it’s always valuable to know where the roots (ahem) of a style come from. Enjoy the videos!