Adventures in Hair Part 1

Lately I’ve been spending time with some very glamourous company: the lovely ladies from the Lindy Charm School for Girls, and the inspirational Ms Candice DeVille.

Now, I’ve always been a big fan of glamour – we can all benefit from that bit of oomph that a flattering dress or a nice shade of lipstick can give us, but my hair and make up was letting me down. I had this crazy idea that all my hair needed was a good cut, colour and the right product to make it look good – cut and colour was easy, a good stylist took care of that, but the product side just wasn’t working for me.

After years of trying, all I got was a cupboard full of expensive formulations and my hair, well, this is what my hair looked like (I’m almost ashamed to show you this photo that appeared on Candice’s blog in June:

Photo courtesy Super Kawaii Mama

It’s a bit like “one of these is not like the other” isn’t it? Candice and Miss Carly look fabulous and I, well, I’m letting the side down. I’m sure it was a source of frustration to my glamourous companions but I can tell you that photo is the last time I’ve gone out in public without styled hair because, oh yes, I’ve seen the light!

The following night we were all going out for my birthday and so Miss Chrissy of the Lindy Charm School treated me to hair and make up – the result was spectacular! I felt wonderful, got lots of compliments and it made turning 45 all so much easier.

…but the look was a bit too strong for every day and so each morning I would experiment, looking for something simpler, less structured and most importantly, took less time. Here’s a shot taken a couple of days after Miss Chrissy did her stuff – it’s softer but only took a few minutes to brush the curls and pin up. No longer the ugly duckling!

I found to my delight that the 1940s styles suit my face – and I really like that they don’t need a lot of work. Initially a bit more effort is needed, as I set my hair in hot rollers using setting lotion (which takes all the frizz out and gives me big sleek curls), then allow to cool, brush out the curls and pin up into place. I roll the curls around my finger to get a good shape – the curl dictates what I do with it. Once it’s in place, I might apply a little Brylcreen (yes, Brylcreem!) to smooth the loose ends and flyaways, and finally a good spray of old fashioned hair spray.

That’s it! My hair is set for the day and no more work is needed – and the following morning it only takes five minutes to get it back into style. The other thing that I love is that I used to wash my hair almost every day because after I had slept on it, it had lost it’s shape and needed re-doing. Now I can get a week out of my hair. Unbelievable: that extra time doing it at the start of the week certainly pays dividends.

So I was converted – and then went to the Lindy Charm school when they were last in town. Miss Chrissy asked me to be model, and she and Miss Kim styled me ala Andrews Sisters – the back was done with a few hot sticks and the front was just setting lotion, no styling tools at all except for a small wooden peg and Miss Chrissy’s finesse.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am at all this – I’m a great believer in the wisdom of our grandmothers, and I love that these techniques are simple and effective. What I really love about all this, is not only do I feel like I’m doing justice to my vintage wardrobe but I actually feel more like myself! Glamour has a bad reputation as something that is frivolous and perhaps a bit unnecessary or silly but it’s a powerful tool, surely anything that makes you feel better and more able to go out into the world is a very good thing!

Here are some more shots from the Lindy Charm school – it was wonderful to be surrounded by a group of ladies who were all there for the same purpose: learning how to make more of themselves and their look.

If you’re interested in learning how to transform into a glamourous vintage style goddess, there are still places available in the Lindy Charm’s workshop on Sunday September 12th and if you’re already a convert, Circa is now stocking the “Essential Setting Lotion”, made to the same 1946 recipe.

Coming up: Adventures in Hair Part 2, when Ms DeVille transforms me 1950s style!