Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hollywood Hair - Style 1 - Ava Gardner

So - this week I attempted hairstyle 1 – the Ava Gardner – a delightfully tousled and casual, yet glamorous looking number that just screams 50s starlet.

It was a VERY easy set as the only bit you need to be strict about is the standing curls on the top of the head.  These are rolled toward the part.  The rest is just curled any old how.

The brush out was easy, just a gentle brush out all over, then isolating the fringe section and styling as you please.  

So - here are a two frankly terrifying pictures of me with no make up and my hair in curlers.  apologies for the yellow light, it was dark when I took these, I'm really not jaundiced - honest.

you can see the top curls are standing and rolled toward the part.  the back is, frankly, a mess - but it did say to not use any particular pattern.  I used the same rough setting all week.


Monday: This I styled closest to the image in the setting pattern, bearing in mind my hair is somewhat longer than Ava's.

First I took out all the pins and brushed the back and sides out loosely.  Then, for the fringe, I left it do what it wanted - given this was the first attempt.  It wanted to wave so I went for a very defined wave effect, brushing the fringe out fairly heavily over my hand until it formed one big wave and placing it where I wanted, holding the wave down and then spraying madly.  I like this as it incorporates a finger wave effect but with some volume.

Tuesday: I tried a looser effect, so set it back dry and didn't spritz with water.  I then just brushed it out loosely and came out with this somewhat Marilynesque curly top.  Not perfect by any means but I think that's the point really, some 50s outfits do requite a much less set look.

sometimes you feel an ass taking pictures of yourself and then this happens
Wednesday: was my favourite though - same set only brushed under at the back over a round brush and the top pin curls made into curls around the face instead of a wave.  These were just shaped with my hands and sprayed into place.  I added serious height here with a little backcombing as I was feeling a bit flamboyant!

I was lazy the rest of the week and put my hair up.  I know, I'm bad but 3 days in a row is a good long slog for me!

I like this set - it is nice to know that one can get so many looks from one very simple and very quick to put in set.  I think the standing pin curls at the fringe could easily be replaced with rollers to be honest.  This is a set I'll definitely use again.

Let me know what you think.  Which looks do you prefer?

This week I am going to work on the next set in the book - the Hedy Lamarr.

This is a centre parted style - I haven't really done a centre part since I discovered vintage several years ago.  Centre parts always make me think of the 70s.  Not my favourite era, and so I am nervous of this one.


  1. They all look great. I like the first one particularly.

  2. I love the first one too. Well I like them all, but the first is my fave!
    How long is your hair normally? I really need to get mine cut as it's getting so long. Not sure I have to bottle to go much shorter again though :(
    T x

  3. What book is this? I love Ava Gardner's look. I can't wait to try this when I have more hair.

  4. Very clever! I love the way you made the curls roll under at the back on Wednesday's set.

  5. I´m crazy about Ava, I even slept in a hotel bed in Lisboa, where she has been sleeping in with Fred Astaire... so I have to redo the set, thank you for that! I hope it will turn out half as nice as yours... the frontwave and the pageboy- neck looks perfect! xxx

  6. stupid me... I meant Frank Sinatra of course!

  7. I really like this! You got slightly different looks each day which is nice for a change. I'm guilty of using the same setting pattern all the time (with my rollers). The back of it on Wednesday is amazing!

  8. How did I miss this? *slaps self in chops*

    Love this - especially as it really lasted and you got 3 different looks out of it. You have inspired me to get me god-damn hair cut and give it a whirl!

  9. Can you post a blog with the pages you have?