Saturday, 24 May 2014

How to save a vintage hair set


There’s lots of hair setting techniques out there, but my favourite is still hot rollers. I find there’s nothing quite like the smooth, bouncy curl from a hot roller set, but even if you spray it with heavy-duty lacquer, it’s bound to look pretty bad after a night of dancing.

But never fear! You can still look good the next day with a handful of foam rollers, some hairpins and 10 minutes of concentration. 


This is the state of my hair at 1.30am after being at a party with a lot of dancing but no air conditioning. As you can see, it's looking pretty flat and the underside has almost completely lost the curl.



I use a Mason-Pearson hairbrush with a combination of boar and nylon bristles... It wasn't exactly cheap, but I'm glad I bought one, because it does work well for brushing out sets. 



Okay, now onto the exciting bit.



I start with the front section and roll it up in an ‘off-base curl’. As you can see, I’ve pulled it way off-centre, which will give it a bit of height tomorrow morning. It's also worth noting that my hair is completely dry, and I don’t use any setting lotion or hairspray until the end.



The plastic clips on foam rollers leave dents in my hair, so I’ve devised my own system to eradicate them. I take off the plastic clips and use these ‘ripple pins’ instead. I’ve only ever seen them for sale in the big packs of 999 for about $20, so I always resisted buying them... What a fool I was! They are so handy! Quick, buy some now!



As you can see, I’m using pretty big chunks of hair – much bigger than if I was to start from scratch. It doesn’t matter if your hair spills out the sides of the rollers. I just use a ripple pin front and back to keep the rollers in line.


Some people are really lucky, and they can sleep with rollers or pin curls with no problems. I am not one of those people. Instead, I have devised another genius plan that really helps. I’m a side sleeper, so I just make sure no rollers are positioned anywhere near the side of my head. It takes a bit of juggling, but I position any ‘side rollers’ either at the top or the back of my head. It looks funny, but it’s a small price to pay for a better night’s sleep.


For the hair closest to my neck, I use small foam rollers and a tiny bit of setting lotion before I roll them up. These bits really hate holding a curl and need all the help they can get.



A lot of people like the traditional nylon or silk scarf, but I find the turban far superior for this purpose. I use a slightly stretchy polyester turban, which really holds the rollers in place, and doesn’t come off in the middle of the night.



Here’s how it looks when I’ve taken off the turban and removed the rollers. I know I look a bit like Jeannie Bueller.



I brushed my hair with the trusty Mason-Pearson and gave it a light hair spray. That’s it!

You can repeat this process every night until you get tired of setting your hair, or it’s time to wash it. My record is five days!

I find this technique especially handy for festivals when you need good hair at all times, but don’t want to start from scratch every single day. It’s a bit annoying at the end of the night, when you have to focus instead of just falling into bed... But it’s totally worth it when you wake up and your hair is already done.

If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments below. Otherwise, it’s time to get out the turbans, ladies!