I bought a copy of Vintage Hairstyling: Retro Styles With Modern Techniques from Pin-Up Parade recently (excellently speedy service, by the way). I hate hairstyling. I've never been able to do it. The only time my hair has ever looked stylish was back in the late 90s/early 00s when I had a 1920s bob, and I could just wash it, leave to dry naturally and it did its own thing, falling naturally into just the right shape. As a lot of bloggers point out, though, hair is critical to a vintage look, so I've decided I'd better get to grips with my mop.

The book is great. Because the instructions are so clear and so well illustrated it even makes a complete hair incompetent like me feel I can do some of the styles. I'm not going to try too many of the really curly ones; I don't know if it's caused by having a chunk of Asian ancestry in the mix but my hair is always determined to be straight, and curls fall out of it incredibly fast. I might, at a push, be able to manage some of the wavy styles, but otherwise it's going to be snoods, scarves and pinning all the way.


The book has instructions for the bun of my dreams. I always say I'm not into the 1960s, but that's not completely true, and one thing I've always liked about the 1960s are the really intricate updos. Think Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair or (my favourite) Alexandra Bastedo in TV programme The Champions. I had a go at it this weekend, albeit without the additional hairpieces the book says you need. I do need them – or another 8 inches of hair – but it can be done. What's more, I think if I get the hang of it I could manage it quickly enough to do it for work.

If you're already good at hairstyling you'll be able to follow the instructions for the 'dos in the book with ease. Complete novices should be able to manage a fair few of the others.

Now I need to crochet a snood!


  1. Thanks for the review of this book - and for reminding me to bloody well buy it!!!!!! On the case :)
    When you master the bun - let us have a butchers!

  2. ...On second thoughts - at that price - I think I shall have to leave it! Such a shame :(

  3. Oh, that looks interesting. Does it have styles for longer hair as well? (Not that I actually have any idea how long your hair is at present, but one of the problems I often have with that kind of book is that they assume everyone has shorter thicker hair than mine)

  4. LandGirl1980 - one for the birthday list?

    ankaretwells, I think most of the styles are for medium-ish hair, from shoulderlength to somewhere between elbow and shoulder. My current length is about that, and good for most of the styles in the book. (And I think everyone *does* have shorter, thicker hair than you!) I can imagine you looking awesome with an Edwardian 'do.

  5. Nay problem. You are my Gold Standard for doing stuff with hair!


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