1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, Beauty, Breakage, Fly Aways, Frizz, Hair, Hair Care, Hairstyle, Old Fashioned, Pin Curls, Retro, Skin, Sleep Bonnet, Sleep Cap, Stay On Satin, Time, Traditional, Tried and True, Vintage, Waves, Women
I always did gravitate to classic clothing styles, hair styles, and makeup looks. I’ve tended to use tried and true, reasonably priced beauty products from well established brands. Over time, though, in my adult life, I’ve become more and more interested in things from the past, doing things the good old fashioned way. I think I’m just becoming more comfortable in my own skin and expressing that 1950s lady inside me which has been waiting to get out and play. Honestly, that interest and those tendencies have really grown and thrived more and more since I entered into a traditional relationship with David. I just find myself looking for old fashioned solutions for many things. Not the least of which is beauty. Which is why I’ve decided to start this little mini series. I’ve been using some beauty tricks and products women have used for decades, at the very least, and having success with them, so I thought I would share this here as a part of my Modest Style category. What’s Old Is New Again. This installment is about hair.
There are two main tricks I have when it comes to my hair. The first is a product I’ve been using at night. A sleep bonnet. That’s right, a satin sleep bonnet. I know, I know, very old fashioned, and not something you’d expect from someone such as myself, but I wanted to give it a try and I have been so pleased with the results. You see, my hair is long, curly, thick, and has tended to be a bit on the temperamental side. So when I saw a satin sleep cap in the hair care and styling products at Walmart, I went home and researched it online, asked some questions, read reviews, and read about what part satin plays in healthy hair. Satin sleep caps and pillow cases reduce the amount of friction between your hair and your pillow while you sleep. That part seems rather obvious. The sleep cap also holds in moisture, which helps to prevent drying, frizz, and breakage. However, I also learned that cotton pillow cases absorb oils from your hair. I had never stopped to consider it, but it’s certainly easy to understand. The first sleep cap I saw was shelved with all the other styling products, hair brushes, bobby pins, and barrettes, those sorts of things. However, they are also sold in the ethnic hair care section, which was directly across from the other hair products at Walmart. I looked at both kinds of sleep caps. One was called a Sensations Satin Slumber Cap and had a thin elastic around the very edge, the other was the Stay On Satin: Satin Edge Bonnet. I chose to try the latter. It was a bit less expensive, and I thought it would stay on better. The one I purchased was pink, which is my favorite color. That was just an added bonus. I have been wearing the sleep cap for a while. When I’m sleeping, or when I’m just lying down relaxing in private. I am very pleased with the results. My hair is shiny and healthy. When I went in for my regular trim, it had less split ends than it typically gets between trims. I have so much less frizz, and fly-aways. I just wake up with good hair. I take the sleep cap off and it looks more or less as good as it did when I put it on. Some benefits you won’t see on the package or in reviews are that it keeps your hair out of your face when you’re sleeping, or doing your makeup or skin care routine, and if you wear it when changing clothes, it will protect your style so that your top doesn’t muss your hair. Honestly, that was a very welcome bonus. The final, very important aspect, is that the satin bonnet protects my pin curls and allows me to sleep in them, which brings me to the other very important technique I’ve made a part of my hair styling, and in a sense, hair care routine.
Gone are the days of frying my hair with a curling iron! I still use a flat iron before having my hair trimmed, to ensure that my trim is even, no matter my curl pattern. The rest of the time, though, it’s pin curls all the way. Pin curling is a technique in which sections of hair are wrapped around the finger(s) and then pinned to the head, and left in for a period of time in order form a curl. Then, when it is time to style, the pins are taken out and the hair falls in curls. I use the elevated pin curl. With this technique, the curls stand out from the head rather than being pinned flat. Check out my post about A Vintage Vanity to see Jennifer’s elevated pin curl tutorial. My sets vary in curl pattern from one time to the next. I like a change, and I’m not too particular, because I tend to like a more natural look. I generally direct my curl toward my face on each side, and roll in the same direction all over. I do my wet set two different ways. I always make sure it is damp, and not wet, either by letting it dry naturally for a bit, and brushing to force out some of the excess water, or by blow drying part way, before pinning. Then I will pin the curls and either dry it the rest of the way on a low heat setting if it is during the day, or put on my sleep bonnet and leave them in overnight, taking them out after I’ve done my morning routine. I prefer to allow them to air dry. The longer I can leave my curl in the better. It makes for a more defined and more resilient curl. I also don’t like to use any more heat than I need to in order to prevent breakage. When I do use heat, I use a leave in conditioner. Sometimes, however, when I am in a hurry, or just don’t want to be seen walking around in a bonnet, I will quickly dry my hair completely, pin it in curls, spray it with a bit of hairspray, and then get the hair warm and allow the curls to cool and sit before taking them out and finishing them using hairspray again. This cuts down on the time and leaves you ready to be seen much sooner. The disadvantage of course, is that the curl is just not as strong or as resilient when brushed or combed as compared to a wet set. Now that I’ve explained how I do my pin curls, I’d like to talk a bit about why I like them so much.
I’ll begin with the obvious. If you haven’t figured it out, I love vintage and I love the traditional lifestyle. I like having that reflected in my appearance, and pin curls give me that classic look. Pin curling was a very popular technique from the 1920s to 1960s. This is really the time period from which I take so much inspiration.
Pin curls are also a perfect way for someone who already has a natural curl to make their curls more even and give them more definition. Sometimes naturally curly hair can have fuzzy curls, curls that tend to intertwine, or even more than one texture to deal with. When I have styled my hair using pin curls, they come out in smooth, shiny curls.
Perhaps most practically, pin curls–I have used this word a few times now–resilient. One of the other beauty tips I have taken heed of is not to wash my hair so often. I like my style to last. The sleep bonnet helps with this, as do the natural oils present in my hair. In addition to these factors, pin curls also just stand up very well to a good brushing or combing. If my curl does fall to a wave, all I have to do is pin my hair back up and then take it down again. The curls bounce right back. For lasting results, I’ll pin my hair back up and sleep in them again, then wake up the next day with curls as nice as the first set. If you’re short on time, I have been known to do very big curls, which give a nice loose curl or wave depending on your hair. I have done as few as 6 for some soft curl or even as few as 4 for flippy waves if I just do not feel like messing with it at all. In my experience, these have been pretty fool proof. Even if they’re not done precisely, they can still yield a nice style. I’ve never had a bad set. Overall, this styling method just meets all my needs, so why turn back now?
I hope this post will be interesting and helpful. If you have any questions or any tips to share, please feel free to leave a comment. In my next What’s Old is New Again post, I’ll be talking about skincare.