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Last Thursday I posted an image on my Facebook page of my Mother and I at Christmas when I was a child. I think I must have been about three years old and I had my signature heavy fringe hairstyle. In Australia we call those bits you cut at the front of your hair “Fringes” not “Bangs”, but for the sake of this global audience I’ve included both terms.
Anyway, throughout most of my childhood I sported this look, and I wasn’t until I was sixteen that I grew them out, preferring the Morticia Addams look. I cut them in once again at about nineteen when I desperately wanted a Pulp Fiction hair cut, (not a wise choice for someone with thick naturally curly hair), and then again when I was pregnant with baby number one. Those two most recent time I came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t for me, but I know realise that other factors were at play in my dislike of the look. (The lack of a straightening iron and a very puffy face). So I decided to play around again last week.
About twelve months ago, I popped out to the shops to make the purchase of a synthetic (and therefore inexpensive) set of faux bangs. For $14 I purchased my jet black fringe and headed home to see what I could do with it.
Out of the packet they are very long, generally with an inverted ‘U’ shape. Never wear them straight out of the packet. Instead the best way to get a feel for what you want is to try them on.
Try different positions for the base, making sure it is back far enough to secure properly into your own hair; I like to secure mine right at the top. Then have a bit of a play with it uncut, to determine the ideal length for your face. Now while I advise seeing a hairdresser to do the next bits, this is something that, as a hairstylist, I did myself.
Once I had tied my own hair securely out of the way so there was no chance of accidentally cutting any stray pieces, I securely clipped the fringe into the position I wanted the base to start. Then I cut in the ‘U’ shape I wanted. However, all these fringe (or bang) pieces are very flat, not giving the bounce I’d like. Being synthetic, they don’t advise heat styling, but I was prepared to risk my $14 to test this out for you.
Using my curling wand set to the low temperature of 115 degrees celcius, I curled the piece to get just enough lift and bounce. I allowed plenty of time for the heat to penetrate and handled it with care.
The overall results are fantastic! In fact I’ve been so happy with how these turned out, looking natural and bouncy, I’m very tempted to cut it into my real hair! Still, I like the versatility of having my hair in this long midi as it makes it better for creating tutorials for you.
But what do you think, like it?
And for those who asked on social media, heck yes faux bangs are a legit thing! Have fun with your hair!
You’ve made a mistake, you’re tired of looking the same or some other woe has befallen your hair colour. Never fear, there are ways to remove the colour and start again.
Before we begin it is important to understand that their are two main categories for hair colour removal and you need to know where you belong.
1. Hair that has been coloured in the past 24-48 hours.
2. Hair that has been coloured for weeks.
If you are in group one, your hair colour will be easier to remove as it hasn’t had as much time to ‘lock’ into the hair. If you’re in group two, you’ll need more patience and understand that there is no safe overnight solution.
If your hair has been coloured with red or purple pigments, these are the hardest to remove. But even if you’ve been colouring your hair with a supermarket brand black dye, I can show you just how to remove it and get your hair ready for it’s new colour. How do I know this? Not just hairdressing theory, but by putting myself and my own hair on the line in the name of science to test my methods.
The key to successful colour stripping is time and patience. If you want hair that feels and looks healthy, there are no short cuts.
Are you skilled enough to do this yourself?
If you can follow instructions accurately, like baking a cake, you’ll be able to do this yourself. If not, leave it to the professionals but know that the right results will really cost you.
Products you’ll need
Sulphate based shampoo, look for Sodium Laurel / Laureth sulphate on the ingredient listings. This is a harsh cleanser (also used for engine degreaser) that is found in the majority of cheap shampoo brands. I would not recommend using a daily shampoo with this ingredient, but for our purposes it is just right.
Peroxide at 20 vol. (No more than 20 -30 vol. if you don’t want to end up with nasty, broken straw hair)
Tools you’ll need
2 ceramic of plastic mixing bowls NOT METAL
A tint brush
Hair sectioning clips
Shower cap x2
It is important to understand that if you want the best results, you’ll need to do this gradually. You won’t be going from black to golden blonde overnight, you’re more likely to go bald if you try this!
Depending on how dark your hair is now, the lighter the colour you want to end up with, the longer this process will take. When I decided to strip the black dye from my hair, I allowed myself a full two weeks of stripping time before I even attempted to put another colour into it. But what to do when you’re in that nasty in between stage? That’s where things like my How to Tie a Headscarf video comes in handy. And if you’re doing this over the winter months, berets are a god send!
Before you begin.
It is important to do an allergy test. To do this, mix a small about of bleach and developer (peroxide) in equal parts, onto a cotton tip. Apply this in a thin film the the inside of your elbow, then leave for a few hours to determine if you have a reaction. Make sure to wash this off.
Also, remember you are about to bleach your hair and bleach is not discerning. So make sure you cover your work area, wear appropriate old clothes or towels to protect yourself.
There will be two different scenarios for those of you wanting to remove colour from your hair.
Type 1 – Your colour has been in for less than 48 hours and needs to be lightened.
Type 2 – You are removing permanent/ or semi permanent colour that you have been using for a while.
For Type 1 scenario, first wash your hair several times with a sulphate based shampoo. This is common in all the cheap supermarket brands, (it’s also used as an engine degreaser) and really is not the best option for day to day use. You’ll find it in the same concentration in anti dandruff shampoos as you will in other cheap brands. Here is what to look for on the ingredient listing:
Sodium Laurel (or Laureth) Sulphate
After you have washed your hair several times, (do not condition) towel dry your hair until it is damp before moving onto step two.
If you are a Type 2 scenario, you don’t need to wash your hair, just spray a bit of water to make it damp but not wet, then proceed to step two.
Prepare your mixtures. Add your shampoo into the first ceramic bowl; how much you use depends on how much hair you have. You may find you need up to a full cup of shampoo in this bowl as you’ll be using this as the basis for the bulk of your mixture.
To prepare your bleach mixture into the second ceramic bowl, first put your empty bowl onto your digital scales and zero out. Then add 30g (or 1 oz) of bleach powder and 30g (1 oz) of 20 vol. developer / peroxide lotion. Using your tint brush, mix these together to form a uniformed coloured paste. BEWARE this is gives off strong fumes and you’ll need to do this in a well ventilated area.
Add the bleach mixture into your shampoo mixture bowl, and mix them all together until they also form a uniform colour and smooth paste.
Start applying the mixture with the tint brush at the top section of your hair, sectioning as you go and work your way all the way to the bottom section. Once all of your hair is covered with the mixture, massage in in from roots to tips so not parts are missed.
Using your sectioning clips, clip your hair up and cover with your shower cap. The heat from your scalp will help speed up the developing time and the cap will stop any mess.
Step 6 SET YOUR TIMER for 20 minutes. You will be able to feel your scalp tingle as the mixture works, but it should not be painful or burning (if you have successfully performed your allergy test and have mixed according to the instructions). Your roots will ‘lift’ faster than the rest of the hair shaft, the ends take longer. This is because of the colour build up inside the hair shaft as you head towards the ends.
Check your hair to see if it has lifted to your desired level of lightness within that 20 minute time frame. If not, leave the mixture on for 10 more minutes, no longer!
Wash the mixture thoroughly from your hair, you also won’t need to use conditioner at this stage. Your hair will feel quite strange and grippy at this point. Towel dry until your hair is damp.
Using liberal amounts of your coconut oil, coat the whole head of hair from root to tips, massaging into your scalp. Once your whole hair is filled with the oil, replace a clean shower cap over your hair so you’re able to sleep with the oil in and not make a mess. Once again, the shower cap will help your head retain its natural heat and improve the benefits of the oil therapy.
The next morning simply shampoo the oil out of the hair and condition as normal. Repeat this coconut oil treatment for the next 72 hours in order to fortify the hair with protein before attempting to add new colour.
When I decided to remove the jet black from my hair and go blue instead, I repeated this process slowly over two weeks in order to get my hair light enough and ready to take the new colour. By taking things slowly, I was able to achieve the perfect new colour and still have strong, shiny and healthy hair. Yes, this did mean that I had really nasty yellow / orange hair for a while there, but with the help of scarves, berets and hats; I was able to bide my time.
The whole process of changing my hair from black to the perfect navy blue has actually taken me six weeks. By doing it myself, I was able to not only save a heap of money, but I was able to take the time I needed to achieve the perfect finish. My total cost came in around $20, instead of a process that would have taken several visits and $$$ at the salon.
If you have any stories to add or would like to ask any specific questions about colour removal, go for it in the comments!
Creating vintage hairstyles with naturally curly hair is easier than you think.
I’m always surprised when I have clients with naturally curly hair, that they have so little idea what to do with it. Then I remind myself; I used to have hair like this when I was younger and had just as much frustration. I would iron it, gel it, slick it and go to bed wearing a hat, all in the hopes of waking up with perfect locks. It wasn’t until I began to learn the secrets of vintage hair styling that I realised just how lucky I was to have naturally curly hair!
In today’s episode of Ask The Editor, we look at a viewers question in regard to vintage hairstyling for naturally curly hair.
Everyone has varying opinions on this topic, but in my experience with hundreds of clients over the years, I can comfortably say that yes, there are simple and fast ways to create vintage hairstyles with naturally curly hair.
If you have curly hair and can add some of your own feedback for us, please join the conversation!
Over the week I’ve also had a bunch of questions about the scarf I use when setting my hair, so I’ve also included some simple to follow instructions on the DIY headscarf you saw me wearing here- Middy Haircut and Setting tutorial.
Making your own scarves is very simple and rewarding. It’s a very quick and inexpensive way to change up an outfit and hide a multitude of hair sins.
If you have more tips for Mona D on how to wear her curly hair in a vintage style, make sure to add your comments to the video where everyone can see them.
There is so much talk on the vintage pages of the internet about “what is the perfect hair cut for vintage“? While there is no single answer, given we all have preferences for different eras, different hair types and different lifestyles; the most often recommended style is The Middy Cut. There are original cutting diagrams floating around of these, and so many of you will have already taken these to your hairdressers, often with disappointing results. You can read more in last week’s post about my new 1950’s Middy hair cut here.
In the wake of showing you those photos and telling my story, I’ve received a flood of messages from ladies wanting to get the same hair cut. I have sent my hairdressers details to a number of you in Melbourne, but it must come with a word of warning. This is NOT a wash and wear hair cut. You must be committed to styling it every day. This isn’t necessarily time consuming, but you need to have the skills to do it. In fact, it takes me about ten minutes each evening to roll this up, then about five or less in the morning to style it. And so, today’s tutorial is designed to help set you on the right path and show you how I style my Middy Cut with a simple pin curl set.
This set is all rolled in a downwards direction from the centre part and takes about 2-3 hours to set, or even better, can be done over night. The key to this style is knowing how to do a good comb out. You’ll see how with the same pin curl set I’ve achieved quite a variety of looks, from the soft and sexy, to the sleek and classic.
Please feel free to ask me comments on the video (so everyone can benefit from seeing the answers there) and make sure to share this tutorial as it is one of the keys to success in understanding why Middy Cuts and vintage styling isn’t just a one step solution.
Since 1997 I have been trying to get this hair cut. Like many of you I have all kinds of pictures, illustrations and even original cutting diagrams. So the questions is, after such a very long time, why have I never been able to get this cut to happen correctly?
Although I’ve had some fabulous hairdressers over the years, I now understand what the difference is. It is all in the training. The modern hairdressing schools teach a very different style of cutting than was taught in years past. There is a myth out there that hairdressers all know how to do the same thing, and nothing could be farther from the truth. They all have different skills and different specialties.
For instance, the hair styling that I provide in my Melbourne based Vintage Hair and Makeup company, is far more complex and time consuming than what most hairdressers have ever tackled. It it what I live and breath, as well as requiring a very different skill set than those skilled colourists for instance. But I don’t cut, I don’t colour.
Last week I was recommended to a career hairdresser (Maggie Timms) who has had over 40 years experience and was taught the Vidal Sasson way of precision cutting. She has an excellent understanding of the finished styling I want to achieve, and although this cut isn’t asked for by her day to day client, the core requirement of specialty precision cutting remains. In no time at all, (and without any diagrams needed), she snipped away and created my 6inch middy hair cut.
It is perfection.
Although my regular colourist is also an excellent cutter, the difference between the close approximation of a 1940s or 1950s style hair cut I usually sport and this new cut, has made an incomparable difference. How can I tell? This cut looks perfect set or unset, it brushes out into so many different styles with the one set, and it has cut my rolling time by more than half.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for the key to a successful Middy Cut, it isn’t in bringing pictures and diagrams, but in finding a long term hairdresser experienced in precision cutting.
What do you think?
What are the biggest problems you have when trying to explain your hair cut requests?
Here’s the perfect vintage hairstyle for Christmas – our summer holiday season!
Christmas in Australia is often during the hottest part of the year, so choosing the right hairstyle to keep you cool and chic is an integral part of putting your look together.
This is a cute 1940’s hairstyle that involves pin curling and a roll at the nape of the neck. I’d suggest this as an intermediate skill level, or one you want to try a few times before the big day. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to do, simply because the pin curls need to dry in the middle of it. So this isn’t a last minute before you leave hairstyle either.
You could choose to skip the pin curl setting and shave off a heap of time by using a curling iron for those sections if you want to.
You’ll see for my Christmas theme I’ve used tartan ribbon and a (ridiculously oversized) holly at the back, but of course you can substitute these for the ornaments of your choice. In fact I quite like the idea of adding bells, but it may drive you crazy…
If you do decide to give this one a whirl, let me know how you go and maybe even share pictures of your ‘do’ on Instagram with me!