I'm not a particularly gifted hairstylist. I've put plenty of time and effort into getting better at the most common ways of doing hair - wet sets with pin curls and foam rollers, heat styling with hot rollers and curling irons - but I've never been able to get the kinds of styles that other ladies seem to be so good at. Perhaps with even more practice it would start to turn out a bit better, but I don't have that kind of patience. So what's a girl to do when she wants a nice looking set, but doesn't have the skill to do the complicated stuff herself or the money to pay someone else?
When I started riding my bike to work, I realized to my frustration that any effort I put into curling my hair in the morning was going to waste. On a humid day, my curls would immediately fall flat, and whatever was left would be whipped into a tangle by wind. One morning, I figured instead of just curling it and calling it a day, I'd pin the curls up and take them down when I got to work.
It didn't just preserve the style - it actually made it better. Instead of random curls doing whatever the hell they wanted, I had a nice, smooth, defined wave, very 50s, and it actually lasted all day instead of going limp by 3pm.
There are a couple of nice things about doing my hair this way. It's easier and more reliable than any kind of wet set, and I don't get the frizz that usually comes with doing my hair that way. It lasts longer than a curling iron by itself, and works better with my short hair than my hot rollers do.
I realized that I don't even necessarily have to curl my hair all the much - all I really need to do is get a little heat on my hair, and the pin curls (which are much easier to form on dry, curled hair than they are on wet, straight hair) do all the work. I've started using a large barrel curling iron, which I run over the length a couple of times to warm my hair and curl the end a little bit; I roll that up into a fairly tight pin curl, pin it, and then move on. I'll put a scarf on for the ride to work, give it a very quick brush when I get where I'm going, and I'm good to go.
If you're too pressed for time to do this in the mornings, you could easily do it at night before bed. It's no different than wearing a wet pin curl set to bed, except you'll sleep easier not worrying that your hair won't be dry by morning. It also gives you an excuse to run around in a turban on your way to work, which in my book can only be a good thing.
I feel like this works exceptionally well on shorter hair, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work just as well for long hair. I use a good-sized handful of curl enhancing mousse on my wet hair and give the final look a good shot of firm hold hairspray.
What do you think? Is this a tip you can use? How do you find you get your best results when aiming for a vintage hairstyle?