New haircut for a ginger Marilyn-inspired look

Well, I did it! After talking about it on my blog last week, I got my hair cut over the weekend!

I was going for a much shorter ‘do, and showed my stylist a lot of photos (including some that I’d included in my last post). She’s familiar with vintage hairstyles so I knew she’d have her own ideas for what to do with my hair. What I ended up with is not exactly the quintessential middy cut, but similar. I think my bangs might be slightly longer (which she thought I’d want, in order to do that sweeping front wave), and I have a few more layers from the deep side of my part all around the back to the other side, but it ultimately has that overall kind of U-shape that a lot of vintage haircuts are based on.

This is what it looked like almost immediately after getting cut, a restaurant bathroom selfie. 😉

new haircut

And then here’s a few snapshots I took when we got home the night I got it cut. Pardon the random smears of lipstick, that’s what I get for wiping it off and not looking at myself before taking these right before bed!


I didn’t get a good photo of the back, but hopefully with the one below you can kind of see that those shorter layers go across the back, too… well okay, you can barely tell, but just trust me on that one.


What kind of surprised me is that I actually liked the way it looked when my stylist blow dried it! I’m so used to setting my hair and also used to it looking very “meh” or “not me” when not set, that it was a refreshing change of pace feeling like it still looked cute and somewhat retro. The day after I scrunched up a bit more volume with some hairspray (I love L’Oréal Ellnet although I usually use the stinky smelling UV filtered version unless I’m not planning on being in the sun), and felt it had a cute sort of Bouffant Lite look.

The idea that I could actually take a shower, blow dry my hair and be happy with it not set is really freeing, especially when traveling, I have to say, as that’s the time when I get the angriest about my hair (no surprise my big haircut came after a long vacation). Although I’m tempted to see about getting a bonnet dryer or one of those cheapy ones that goes on a hair dryer, for a quick way to dry a set with short hair. I’d never have bothered before as I couldn’t stand the idea of sitting under it so long! Now it would take 1/4 of the time I bet. Tempting! Anyone have one?

Anyway, when I get my color touched up I don’t wash my hair for at least 72 hours, so playing with setting it dry often leads to mixed results. But I thought for fun I’d try a foam/sponge roller set just for the heck of it, even though I had figured ahead of time I’d be more likely to do a wet pin curl set (like Brittany’s Marilyn-inspired pin curl set tutorial) or a hard set, which is using a curling iron to form pin curls that are then pinned in place and left to cool (like this tutorial). But I didn’t want to apply heat to my hair yet and didn’t want to wet it down completely, so I tried a setting pattern with foam rollers just to see what would happen when I woke up. All I did was spritz my hair with some water before and after putting the rollers in, no setting lotion or anything yet.

So you’re basically looking at the results of a dense foam roller set (more than double the amount I’d use for longer hair with a flatter crown), on dirty hair. This was just a quick brush out, and not much attention paid to where the curls were falling. Just a tad of backcoming in the front and some hairspray.

Ummmm the short story is OMG I LOVE IT.

Marilyn-inspired style

I just… I love it! It’s sooo different than what I’m used to on myself. Voluminous, tousled, carefree, and man… really lightweight in comparison to before! And still totally retro.


I didn’t take any photos of the setting pattern while I was doing it, plus I definitely need to refine one or two areas, but it was basically about 20 or so pink 1 1/8″ rollers, and another 10 or so 1″ rollers closer towards the nape of my neck where the hair wasn’t long enough for large rollers.

Obviously  I would have gotten more defined curls with either a fresh set or smaller rollers, but I kind of love how this looks, too.

back view

What I love about the results, the cut, the whole shebang is that it’s not polished. I’m trying to take a cue from Marilyn Monroe herself, and she often had anywhere from slightly-to-really tousled locks. For shorter hair, it can work so nicely! It’s a lot different than when my hair is long and set and gets windblown, then I just look… like a windblown mess. If you do vintage hair, you know how it goes! But I like that with this cut, I could make it more sleek if I wanted or let it go carefree, like today.


So for now, I have at least one type of set I’m already pumped about, which is fantastic. I think part of why I was able to get such good volume at the top of my head (other than the added shorter layers which I think helped a lot) is styling products already in my hair from when it was cut and blow dried, but I’ve accumulated a small arsenal of new products to try out and see what I think.

I really was ready for a change and I’m so glad I bit the bullet. Once I eventually settle into a routine with it (or a few routines—love that I have more options now!), I’ll probably do an update on styling products and setting techniques.

I can’t wait to keep playing with it!!!


outfit details

1950s blouse – a local antique mall
corduroy cigarette pants – made by me but not blogged (Butterick B5895)
belt – Vivien of Holloway
necklace – Luxulite
earrings – Desperate Beatnik
ring – Classic Hardware
Bakelite bangles: misc.
penny loafers – Bass

Filed: Vintage Dibs and Dabs, Vintage Wardrobe

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