50s Hairstyle How-To: Vintage Waves
Among the many hairstyles that are forever associated with the decade lasting between 1950 and 1960, perhaps the particular waves of the time are among the most notable elements that come to mind. It’s important to remember that women of the 50s had nowhere near the myriad of hair styling tools that we have today; not even handheld blow dryers. This meant that the hair had to typically be styled while wet or damp, or spritzed with water before even beginning to style it, and the most commonly known time to style hair was at night, just before going to bed. This was because the length of time necessary for the hair to “take” the intended shape was best found during the night, when no one would see a woman with her hair unstyled. While today, most women would not be all that bothered if someone were to see her hair in curlers, back in the 50s, it was supremely embarrassing, and to be avoided at all costs. This was one of the prominent ways in which scarves served a dire purpose.
A “Must-Be” Beauty, With Many Limitations
There were few salons and few products for women to use in getting the hairstyle they most wanted, and in the 50s, the precise level of beauty women attained was almost shamefully important, as back then, women were (inappropriately) saddled with the responsibility of hanging onto their boyfriends and husbands by making sure to always look gorgeous. So, with limitations in every sense of the word, women would work tirelessly on getting their hair to look like the styles of Hollywood leading women of the day. The most commonly known devices for styling hair were sponge curlers, home perms, bobby pins for pin curls, and the form of hair rolling passed from many previous generations–rags, for rag-tied curls. There were special plastic clips that had special teeth on either side to grip the hair, thereby forcing it into a wave, but these had to be used one after another, in succession, the full length of the hair to the ends.
Product Supply Deficit
In fortifying the curls, many women would use a styling gel called Dippity Do, which, depending on how heavily it was applied, would dry to a crisp-holding power that would last and last. Women who could not find or afford to buy Dippity Do would sometimes use sugar water, but this wound up mostly being more attractive to bees than men. Today’s women have the benefit of many styling products to help achieve a variety of holding strengths they desire.
Getting the Look You Desire
First, decide between all over waves and wavy ends, which are both 50s styles. Rags, sponge rollers (you can still buy,) and even curling wands can help you to achieve these. Just focus on the ends of your hair, not to exceed more than 3 to 4 inches of curl, starting at the ends. If you have bangs, you can curl them too; to frame the face, or leave them straight. For larger waves, simply use bigger rollers, much thicker rags or a large-barreled curling wand. The waves that run throughout the hair can best be created by first curling with an appropriately sized curling wand barrel, and then taking each freshly heat-curled section and pinning it still curled, with bobby pins, to the head. You don’t have to use the curling wand, but it’ll save a significant amount of time, if you do. These pin curls should involve sections of your hair from all over your head, in approximately one-inch square sections. With both methods, you can spray your hair while “set” with hairspray for a better hold. When you take out the rollers, rags or pins, the distinction of the 50s hairstyles is that you will need to use a bristle brush to thoroughly brush through your hair–no form of raking through your hair with your fingers here, Ladies. The 50s were defined by order, and this certainly encompassed hairstyles. You can stop here, or add a headband, scarf, bow or ponytail–for beautiful 50s waves.