A vintage hair funk

Hello everyone! Is it feeling like Spring near you? We went through a crazy hot spell in March that felt like early summer, and now it’s finally starting to feel like April. It’s been quite a shock to wear lots of wool after being in short sleeves a month ago! Thanks for all the great and helpful comments about decorating in our den! I now know for sure we’re going to go with 1950s Southwestern as our inspiration. I’m thinking up lots of fun ideas for the room which I’ll talk about in future posts.

This weekend I had the pleasure of getting to meet my fellow vintage blogger Bex of Subversive Femme and her partner, here traveling around the U.S. (including Viva Las Vegas) all the way from Australia! We carried on like we’d know each other for eons, and now I’m so sad Bex lives oceans away. 🙁

Anyway, ladies, I’m in a hair funk. Do you ever go through that? I feel like we all do at some point or another. I just can’t figure out what I want to do with my hair, and it doesn’t help that it seems to not want to cooperate nor look very good no matter what I do.

That fact that my curls always look windswept is annoying me more than usual lately, I apparently no longer could tie a scarf if my life depended on it, and any hair against the side of my head on the heavy side of my part is bugging me. To top it off my bangs have essentially grown completely out and are now so long that it makes doing a front roll (you know, like I often do) almost impossible because there’s too much hair. My hair is fine, slippery and prone to frizz and tangles, so everything has to be Just So for it to perform correctly (and even then it’s usually fairly fleeting). So now I put it in a front roll and it starts falling out the side within half an hour. Or I pull it back and secure with a barrette and only feel “meh” about the result. Or I fiddle with a gorgeous silky scarf, then 5 minutes later curse like a sailor and throw it on the floor when I can’t get it to work.

I need to get my bangs trimmed (I guess they no longer qualify as bangs, more like the shortest layer of my hair). But I’m unsure what I want to do with the rest of my hair. Let it grow a little longer, or chop off a bit? It’s been a lot of braids for this indecisive gal lately!

I’ve been inspired all over by different vintage hairdos, so let’s look at some eye candy, shall we? These are some images I’ve been filing on my Pinterest board for vintage hair.

Some days, I want a short style, but then I remember I would be locked into not being lazy, as I would hate the way it looked when I didn’t set it. So that’s just not a good plan, much as I like the idea of it. I guess I like my lazy days better! Though isn’t this lady chic? She actually reminds me of my maternal grandmother.

{Source: Jezebel.com, The Way We Were: Life Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1950s}

Aren’t these bespectacled gals and their short ‘dos grand? And of course, who doesn’t want each pair of eyeglasses shown?! I’m partial to the baby blue ones, something I’ve always wanted! Oh right, we’re supposed to be talking about hair. I really like the style shown in the very middle. I just don’t think I can see myself pulling that off (and being able to successfully style it with my finicky hair).

{Source: TeenAngster, Glamor Glasses}

I do love this 1940s knitter’s hair, with the softer short waves and fun little whipped topping on her head. She looks a bit like Ingrid Bergman. Wonder what she’s knitting?

{Source link not working, pulled from my Pinterest}

But back to a length of hair that doesn’t make me hyperventilate at the thought of how awful it would look unstyled, with no braids or updos to hide behind…

I love the style on the factory worker on the right in the below photo. (And of course, I want every single Bakelite telephone pictured!) I’m sensing a trend of liking that shorter, voluminous wavy bit at the top, though not sure how I’d successfully do that. It’s not something I’ve really seen in any vintage hair tutorials. I definitely feel like my face either needs some height at the top or on my forehead, which is why I often like to do a small front roll (and why I used to have Bettie Page bangs/fringe).

{Source: My Pretty Baby Cried She Was A Bird, Western Electric Color Telephones (1954)}

Speaking of which, I do admit there are days when I wish I had bangs again. Look how fabulous Kondalicious looks with her loosely curled long locks and bangs. I dare not do this again though… do you know how long it took to grow out my bangs?! (I had them for years, but it was pre-blog.) Plus my hair never looked this good loose with bangs! No amount of daydreaming will change that.

{Source: Vintage Musings of a Modern Pinup}

So alas, I’ll return to my little funk, and hopefully something will snap me out of it soon! What chases the style blues away for you? Do share!

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Golly, 26 Comments!

  • Oh, I hear you!! I’m in the process of growing out a bob I inflicted upon myself last Spring… like you said, it was very cute when I bothered to set it, but looked rather unfortunate when I left it straight 🙁 It’s such a dilemma, isn’t it! I adored having short, authentic ‘dos, but I need my lazy day milkmaid braids, haha. And I’m also growing out the bangs I’ve had for the past four years… eep!

    Good luck settling on a style; I’m sure it’ll look adorable no matter what 🙂


  • Argh, I can’t believe you like my hair becuase I really dont like it at the moment…I think I’m in a funk too!


  • I have been in a terrible hair funk as well. I have even done a few rash things lately to try and jolt me out of it. First I cut about 3 inches off so it was chin length, in hopes that this would make me more creative with it. I started growing out my bangs, but decided that looked horrible, so I cut them again.

    Then one of my coworkers asked me if I had a cowlick that make my bangs “do that” — by which she means swoop to the side. Taking this to mean my bangs looked f-ed up, I parted my hair down the middle and cut my bangs to go straight across. So now I had a Clara Bow bob. This lasted for all of one day after I came home and sow how awful it looked by he end of the day.

    Now it’s back to a middle/side part and sort of side parted bangs. Lots people people at work have complimented me on it, which I am taking to mean that my hair now looks very contemporary. Uhg. This is all compounded by the fact that I don’t have time to curl my hair these days, so I am stuck with the “lazy hair” friendly styles. I totally feel your pain here, but now I’ve got a lot less hair and options due to my impulsive choices. I am actually considering getting a permanent so that I can do the short waved hair without having to embark on a huge undertaking each morning. But I’m scared. Perms have such a bad reputation, that I think is well-earned. I suppose at this point I have very little to lose. Well, just my hair.


  • I completely understand. Thanks for posting these short hair photos. I sort of collect them. I don’t have much hair and I’m sort of always in a hair funk because my hair is kind of unhealthy right now so I don’t know what to say.


  • Hahaha, I clicked on that first photo and Miss Typical Secretary looks like she lost a fight with a lawnmower!

    I feel your pain about the hair thing. I have coarse, thick hair. It resists curling and hair accessories literally pop out of it. I can’t have bangs thanks to cowlicks. It can’t be short or it will stick straight out. Most of the time I just give up and put it in a ponytail.

    If you find a solution, let the rest of us know!


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  • I was in a funk too. I got a middy plus last april and loved it to pieces. It has grown out over the year, gotten thick and wild. My pin curl sets weren’t working anymore and my bangs were below chin length…not really bangs anymore. I went last night for a nice thinning out and proper cut. It’s about an inch shorter than the femme fatale and feel amazing! My bangs got a little trim and I feel like I’ve lost 10 pounds on my head. When I’m in a funk, a thinning out and trim always makes me feel better. I love any variation on the middy because its so easy to work with and looks like a modern cut when unstyled. Good luck!!


  • I have a razor comb at home, I find a bob better/neater without a lot of styling BUT it gets tatty in and instant. I am constantly trimming, worried my hand will slip and my do will be wonky for weeks! Haha!


  • Ah, the hair funk. I just cut my bangs and I’m really not as excited about the actual bangs as I was when I imagined them in my brain. I always have the look good styled or look good lazy dilemma when I want to get my hair cut. I too like the fluff on top. Maybe I can work on that when my bangs start growing out. lol.


  • I always go through this every few months. And I usually drastically change my hair haha. It just went from being long and black to short and light red/blond. I always like to day dream about a style for a month or so then just make myself do it, I always feel better, and it’s just hair, it will grow back. I’m excited to see what you do!



  • Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I’m now following you on Pinterest.
    I have short hair, and am occasionally called upon to have ’50s hair. I have friends who make ’50s style B-movies (shameless plug: http://www.sainteuphoria.com), and I never know how to do my hair! In the last one, I ended up wearing a kerchief so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.
    But this post has given me some new and great ideas, and with the next premiere coming up in May, it was timely, too!


  • Ive been going through a hair funk too. I used to find motivation to do some vintage inspired hair but lately I just don’t know what to do with my hair. I’ve been wrestling with the idea of cutting my hair in either the middy plus or the femme fatale. I want to cut it to do something different but then I don’t because I don’t want to regret it.
    Once I get into the habit of doing something, it gets easier to do it.


  • So totally hear you on the funk factor. I’m sort of wondering whether my level of frustration has to do with the weather, actually–I’m usually occupying myself with summer clothes transfer right now, but we got a crazy cold snap and I can’t, so I’m back on my hairdo.

    I was in a serious funk a couple months ago and ended up chopping everything into a Louise Brooks bob, stacked back, short straight bangs and all…it’s delightfully low-maintenance, but since my summer look has tended in the past toward a more fifties-sundress kind of thing I’m…not sure why I gave myself completely incongruous hair? I’ve been feeling the sixties thing lately so I guess I could pull a Twiggy by growing my bangs out, but gaaaasdlfkjasdlfkjasdihgbdsgh.

    The wispy top-puff you’re talking about really seems more like it’d be achieved using backcomb-and-fluff techniques than roll-and-set ones (or rather, some of the latter added to the (vintage-hair-ubiquitous) former…it’s sort of a more circumscribed form of Sixties hair bubble, rather than being a specific curl, but just on top of your head? I’m not describing myself very well here but I think you could totally do it, it’d just take some Hair Technique Scientific Method to sort it out.


  • I’m in a funk too. Is hair funk seasonal? 🙂 I badly need a haircut and lately I have more and more fallen back on my old go-to hairdo- a bun in the back. I feel dreary. :/


  • I love the short hairstyles you’ve pictured here. With summer around the corner I like the idea of chopping my hair off. At least short hair wouldn’t take as long to curl and style.


  • Girl, you should get a midi cut if you haven’t already. I think it’d be the perfect combination. You wouldn’t be cutting off too much hair, looks like a period hairstyle even with minimal effort, and it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle of growing it out if you become not to fond of it later down the road.


  • I go through real hair funks and especially now having super short hair makes it even harder to find new things to do with it! Gorgeous short styles here, your hair always looks gorgeous anyway! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk/


  • I’m definitely in a hair funk, too! I want it to be long and mermaid-like and maybe channeling such ’60s style icons as Francoise Hardy et al with their long straight hair and bangs…but I also want to be able to do 40s and 50s still! And I also want a bob with a short blunt fringe. I think I just need to buy a lot of wigs 😉 Hope you figure out what to do with yours soon!
    -Andi x


  • Aww, you suit your hair style in each picture I have seen of you so I don’t know what to suggest! 🙂 I am getting my hair cut over the next week! From almost bum length to a bob! Terrified! 🙂 I hope you work it out pretty lady, have a brilliant weekend! 🙂 Zoë x


  • Hey Tash, I recon you should go short, or the shortest kind of midi your stylist can do! It would look adorable on you, and really go with your style, and you would work out how to manage it with you hair, as we all have to really (mine’s limp and floppy!)….x


  • hello, long time lurker, first time commentator chiming in = )

    is it me, or does the blonde model in the “glamor glasses” ad look a bit like milla jovovich? any way, the hairstyle in the top photo in b/w, would look very good on you, i think = )
    have been having fun reading through your blog! am going to try out the tutorial restyling trousers in to shorts!

    take care,


  • I loved meeting you too! I wish Sydney and Chicago were closer together, but you and Mel will always have a place to stay with us if you ever decide to come over here for a holiday ;)…


  • Vintage hair funks can be the worst. It makes me feel very meh. But, cutting my locks was the best thing EVER. It takes less time to set, and it lasts longer. And, most days, I have straight hair *gasp!!!* Ladies back in the day mostly had their hair set once a week – so I am following suit at the moment 🙂


  • We! Need! Glamour glasses! 🙂 Re: hair: I’ve grown mine from Jean Seberg short three years ago to just about elbow length, and I can’t bring myself to cut it! But then I see these cute short hair do’s and did’s and I do get the feeling. I’m so glad I’m not the only one in at a loss for “what next” in the hairstyle department.


  • I just found your blog, and I LOVE it! 🙂 I soooooo sympathise about the hair funk – the relentless drizzly weather here in London (after a hot snap in March!) is doing no favours for my hair. My curls don’t hold at all – by the end of the day my hair looks like a frazzled birds nest! To top this off, I need a root touch-up! The only thing I have found that works best at the moment, is to sweep the hair on both sides of my head into victory rolls – it is just long enough to do that now, and seems be be pretty weather resistant.


  • […] even if it was totally outside of my normal look. I struggled with this nearly two years ago when I first contemplated a short cut, but I was worried how it would look when I didn’t feel like setting it. Because when my hair […]


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