hairs Jessica Rabbit-Inspired Hair Trend:

Jessica Rabbit-Inspired Hair Trend:

A step-by-step guide to red carpet-worthy hair

Few wedding hairstyles can compete with the glamour of old Hollywood waves, those sleek, retro curls popularised by 1940s film stars like Veronica Lake and Rita Hayworth and are regularly worn by modern celebrities like Blake Lively, Lana Del Rey, and Jessica Chastain, as well as numerous brides and the ultimate fictional sexpot, Jessica Rabbit! This is a style that can be loose and pretty or defined and striking, which makes it ideal for a vintage-themed wedding, engagement party, hen party, or other glitzy celebration. Today, we’re going to show you how to create retro waves, so you can live out your red carpet fantasies no matter what you’re doing!

The distinction between this look and a standard curly blow dry is that the waves run in a single continuous line, creating a groomed and outrageously sexy effect. Due to the precision of the curls, it’s actually quite difficult to create, but well worth learning how to do at home. If you’re considering retro waves for your wedding day, we recommend leaving it to the professionals – one of our recommended hairstylists should be able to create the look for you!

At home, you have two options for creating the look: the pin curl method or the styling tool method. The primary distinction between the two is that the former was used by millions of everyday women between the 1920s and 1950s to create everyday hairstyles, whereas the latter was invented by stylists for photo shoots and red carpet events. This means that the first method’s results are more robust and will persist for a longer period of time. If you choose the second option, you’ll need to exercise extreme caution to maintain the look – ideally, you’ll be travelling directly from your home or salon to the location of the bash, with no time spent outside!

Before we dive into our step-by-step guides, I should mention that there is a third option for achieving the look: ordering a custom wig from a talented stylist, such as Sarah Wood of Necia Hairstyling on Etsy (she also cuts and styles Dita Von Teese’s hair!). Her wigs are ideal for anyone who wants to dress up or experiment with a bold colour change, but they’re also so well-made that you could totally wear them to a special occasion!

The Pin Curl Technique
This old-school technique is my preferred method for creating vintage Hollywood waves, simply because they retain their shape longer and can last up to seven days! This method is slightly more time consuming and requires a few tries to master, but once mastered, it can be used to create an infinite number of retro styles. The end result will be extremely robust and surprisingly comfortable to wear.
What you will require: a parting comb with a pin tail, a spray bottle, prong clips, a wide paddle brush, hairspray, and a smoothing or finishing serum
Best for: thick, full hair, afro hair, and hair that can go several days without washing
Pros:  lasts longer and creates a more authentic, retro curl.
Cons: requires extensive brushing, which is harsh on the hair; however, console yourself with the fact that no heat is applied.
Time commitment: approximately one hour per day where you are not required to do anything, and another half hour

How to Perform the Pin Curl Technique
Step 1: Shampoo your hair.

Step 2: Brush your hair through with a comb to remove excess moisture. Fill a spray bottle halfway with water, take out your pins, and position yourself in front of a mirror.

Step 3: Make a side part in your hair. It should be an exact component.

Step 4: Begin the pin curls! You’ll work in rows approximately an inch wide that run the length of your parting. There are two types of pin curls: those that are pinned flat against the head, resembling a flapper’s hairstyle, and those that protrude from the head, resembling a 1950s housewife. I prefer to use a combination of the two, beginning with a few rows of stand-out curls at the crown of the head and progressing down the head with flat pin curls. Alternatively, you can leave your crown uncurled if you prefer your waves to begin around your cheekbone or jawline.

Beginning with the largest section of hair on the crown of your head, take a one-inch section of hair and dampen it with a spray of water if necessary. Smooth it out and curl it into an inch-diameter circle. Once you’re satisfied with your curl, pin it flat to your head or at the base if you’re doing stand-out curls. Completion of the row Continue with row two, but curl the hair in the opposite direction. If the first row is in the clockwise direction, the second row must be in the anti-clockwise direction, the third row in the clockwise direction, and so on. This is how the wave is generated, so it is critical. Switch to half-inch sections once you reach the hair around your cheek and jaw.

Step 5: After completing the pin curls, liberally spray with hairspray.

Step 6: Remain calm. How long it takes will vary according to your hair type – mine takes about eight hours. Sleeping with pin curls is inconvenient but not intolerable. Nonetheless, I prefer to pin early in the morning on the day of a major event and avoid it entirely. If you have to go out during the day, you can always cover it with a headscarf.

Step 7: Once the hair is completely dry, carefully remove the pin curls while maintaining your side parting. You will resemble an electrified poodle at this point. DO NOT FREAK OUT. You are rapidly transforming into Veronica Lake.

Step 8. Using the wide paddle brush, brush your hair. Brushing will take much longer than you anticipate, typically between 10 and 20 minutes. Continue brushing and you will notice the sleek waves forming. Shape the waves with your hands, but if one or two of them are truly off-kilter, it’s best to just go with it rather than fight them.

Step 9. Finish the look with a smoothing or finishing serum. If you have errands to run prior to your event, forego the serum and pin the waves in place for the time being. Additionally, a hairnet is a good idea.

The Styling Tool Procedure
If you’ve ever seen a bride or a celebrity sporting old Hollywood waves, it’s almost certain that a popular styling tool was used, unless the celeb is devoted to achieving an authentic vintage look, as Dita Von Teese is. This is a relatively simple method, but it becomes significantly easier if you can enlist the assistance of a friend. The disadvantage is that your waves will only look their best for a few hours, and only if they are well protected from the elements. This is not a hairstyle you should attempt if you intend to wait at a bus stop en route to your party!
What you’ll need: a hairdryer, a comb with a pin tail for parting the hair, a heat-protecting serum, prong clips, a half-inch to one-inch curling tong, or both, a wide-set comb, a finishing or smoothing serum, and hairspray.
Ideal for: hair that is fine or textured, or hair that requires frequent washing
Pros: quick to complete, results in a polished, red carpet-ready finish
Cons: waves tend to fall out or lose shape after a few hours and are not resistant to the elements; requires the use of heat on the hair.
Time commitment: an hour to an hour and a half

How to Use the Styling Tool
Step 1: Shampoo and towel-dry your hair. Step 2: Apply a heat protection serum.

Step 2: Section your hair, beginning with a clean line running from ear to ear. Clip the remainder in place. Wrap a half-inch section of hair around a straightening iron or tongs. Maintain it in place for the duration specified by the manufacturer, which is typically around five or ten seconds. Release. You should have a ringlet that is tightly wound. Brush the front of the hair downward with a wide-set comb and tease the back to restore the curl’s shape. Complete the section, then create a second section above it. Ensure that everything is curled in the same direction. When combing hair, less is more – it’s shockingly easy to brush out all of your waves completely.

Step 3: When you reach the crown of your hair, create a clean parting on one side. Continue creating, brushing, and teasing your waves with one-inch sections (and/or tongs).

Step 4: Once the entire head has been completed, apply a finishing or smoothing serum and set with hairspray. If you have other commitments prior to your event, pin the waves in place.