How to Get Old Hollywood Hair Style


Old Hollywood glamour is a style that has been coveted for decades, and has seen a huge surge in popularity among young stars over the last couple of years. In particular, the neat, finger-wave hairstyle – made popular by big-screen glamazons of the 40s and 50s like Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake and Marilyn Monroe – is one that continues to pop up on red carpets today. It’s the ideal complement to a 40s-style dress and though it does take a bit of practice to get it perfect, it’s a style that you can quite easily create at home.

Here’s how you do it: Starting with second-day hair (that is, hair you washed yesterday) create a side part, the more dramatic the better. Spritz your hair lightly with hairspray, and using your medium-sized hot rollers, curl 1″ – 2″ sections over and under and pin in place (curling them over will create a flip – not the kind of retro you’re going for!) Continue on both sides of the part until all the hair in front of your crown is in rollers, then use the large rollers to curl the rest of your hair. Leave the rollers to cool; this usually takes around 30 minutes which gives you time to dress and do your makeup.

Once your rollers have cooled, gently unroll them one by one. Using a narrow-toothed comb, slowly and carefully comb out each curled strand; you should only need to do this once or twice as any more will loosen the curl too much. It’s best to enlist the help of a friend to comb out the sections at the back of your head. Spray liberally with hairspray, vow not to touch your hair for several hours, and you’re done!

Depending on the thickness of your hair, this style should last most of the night. Make sure that you’ve attempted old Hollywood hair at least once before you wear it out (that’s what girls’ nights in are for!) and if it’s a really big event that you’re going to, like your school formal, then it’s always best to get it done professionally. Print out the photo of the actress below whose old Hollywood hair most appeals to you, and a good hairstylist will be able to replicate it exactly.


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