Stylebook Secrets: Work-Ready Hair with a Retro Flair

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Do the retro ‘dos of our new stylebook leave you longing for some vintage vibrance in your own hair routine? Get the look yourself with this tutorial! Using ModEmployee Aire as her model, hairstylist Sandie showed us how to create two of the hairstyles seen in the stylebook. Whether you’re seeking a unique style for the office or off-work hours, this coiffure will do the trick.

While Sandie employed a wealth of professional tools for this technique, she was quick to point out that these looks can still be achieved by the amateur stylist — all you need are a few basic tools and a little patience!

1. Assemble your toolkit. What you’ll need: a brush, a comb, bobby pins, “light hold” hairspray, “strong hold” hairspray, elastic bands, anti-frizz creme, pomade, and small, medium, and large barrel curling irons

2. Prep unwashed hair with anti-frizz creme. Start at the ends and work it through your strands.

3. Combing the front section of your hair forward, decide on the placement of the front roll using a rat tail comb.

4. Using a large barrel curling iron, curl the front section.

5. To add extra oomph, tease the freshly curled section with a comb and pin your front roll in place. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you’ll revisit this section later.

6. Using a medium barrel curling iron, curl your remaining hair, being sure to spray each section with water-soluble hairspray before curling. Pro Tip: Don’t brush or comb your curls once they set. Instead allow each curl to cool, then gently run your fingers through your hair to break the curls up.

7. Starting at one side, sweep the side of your hair to the opposite shoulder.

8. Using bobby pins, pin the swept-over side down. Hint: Use bobby pins that match your hair color so they don’t show!

9. Use a mirror to check to see that your bobby pins are where you want them, and are firmly in place.

10. To further mask your bobby pins, take a section of hair from the front and sweep it over the pinned section. Blast with strong hold hairspray.

11. Next, unroll the front section of curled hair.

12. Using a brush — Sandie recommends boar bristle — smooth the front section.

13. Re-roll the front section, using your rat tail comb to determine placement.

14. Carefully pin the roll in place with bobby pins, blasting with strong hold hairspray to set.

15. Break up the curls on your shoulder to add volume. Sandie recommends lifting the curls and spraying with hairspray beneath to add extra hold.

16. For your finished look, smooth flyaways by rubbing a dab of pomade briskly between your hands and gently running it over the pinned down sections. Any stray strands can be pinned down with additional bobby pins.

1. For an upswept variation of the first look, gather the loose strands on your shoulder and, twisting away from you, create another roll.

2. Pin the roll into place with plenty of bobby bins and blast with strong hold hairspray. You’re done!
Be sure to let us know if you try these hairstyles out, and remember: practice makes perfect!

About Julie O.

A lover of all things vintage and vintage-inspired, Julie bought her first 1950s frock in the fifth grade. Since then, Julie has become a self-described connoisseur of vintage and thrift shopping, which she shares on her blog, Orchid Grey. When she’s not scouring the racks for the perfect vintage skirt, this native New Englander can be found deftly navigating the slopes of a ski mountain, taking road-trips to the beach, and exploring new places with a vintage camera in her hand.

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11 Responses to Stylebook Secrets: Work-Ready Hair with a Retro Flair

  1. Eliza 05/04/2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I love it! One question…..what is the dress in the photos? Really cute!

  2. deerdonna 05/04/2012 at 6:38 pm #

    really cute! now if only we all had her amazing hair!

  3. Valerie (all mussed up) 05/05/2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Ooh la la, too chic!

  4. LadyD 05/06/2012 at 2:08 am #

    any chance of some short hair do suggestions?

    • Jenn (ModCloth) 05/07/2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Great idea, LadyD! We’ll put this on our Editorial Calendar’s idea log and do some research. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Emma 05/07/2012 at 3:37 am #

    Love the hairstyle – the dress/top in the photo is soooooooo cute!! What is it?? :)

    • Aire (ModCloth) 05/07/2012 at 8:35 am #

      Thanks, Emma! It’s a thrift store find, probably from the 60′s. :)

  6. Suzanne 05/07/2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Ah! This makes me regret cutting my long hair sometimes. I love when it’s fully put up! Although, I never had lovely thick locks :) I second LadyD – pixie styling suggestions? Or better yet – pixie hair cut suggestions? I would love some retro hair cut ideas to take into my stylist :D

    • Jenn (ModCloth) 05/07/2012 at 3:20 pm #

      You got it, Suzanne! We’ll do some research and see if we can’t come up with something for all you short-haired ladies. :)

  7. LadyD 05/08/2012 at 3:09 am #

    All the vintage hairdos I do in my own hair (just below my ear in length) involve ‘setting’ the hair first. So would be interested in some ‘quick’ retro hair styles.

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