I arrived at the salon with freshly-washed and straightened hair, (I was told I should blow-dry hair straight to hold onto the natural volume) and was greeted by my stylist Lindsay, who sprayed my locks quickly with Aveda Wash Pure Abundance Volumising Hair Spray – this helps add texture and body.
Lindsay advised that Marcel (named after 19th century French hairdresser Francois Marcel – also called finger wave) waves are best achieved on someone with shorter hair, as the flicks set together more fluidly and the wave won’t drop as much, so as my hair is well past my shoulders, we had to adapt the look for my long hair.
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To begin, my hair was separated into medium sections 2-3cm wide for curling. Apparently, the best way to get an authentic-looking hairstyle from the 1940s is to use a product similar to what may have been used back then, which meant the ghd was out!
Lindsay opted for a curling iron to achieve tight Shirley Temple curls that would later be brushed out and manipulated to create the desired wave effect. Starting at the top of my left-sided part, Lindsay worked her away around my face, ensuring the hair was wrapped around the iron tightly, right to the scalp and then pinned the curls in place while still hot.
After removing all the pins I was left with a tight head of curls that didn’t fall lower than my ears. The curls were then loosely brushed out my long fringe manipulated into a wave-like line down the right hand side of my face.
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A spray of Aveda Air Control Hair Spray made sure every element was properly set (but thankfully not ‘crispy’!). Mental note: next time I’m looking for a hairspray that keeps locks in place without making hair feel brittle, opt for Aveda.
My curls were then swept from my left shoulder, behind the nape of my neck to my right ear and freely pinned into place and set again. From here it’s really down to personal preference: I wanted to keep the curls fairly structured but with some movement, so Lindsay manoeuvred the swept curl to sit perfectly over my right shoulder and set into place again.
Many a bobby pin and much hairspray was needed for this style, but the best part is that once you master the ‘Marcel’ wave, you can choose to channel Marilyn, Dita or any of the pretty pin-ups past and present.
What vintage looks do you love?