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So many vintage inspired looks require curls as a base and alot of them involve pinning your hair up.  I think that’s part of the reason why they so appeal to me.  I have VERY temperamental hair.  It frizzes, it kinks, it goes through dry fazes….it basically just likes to be difficult and curling and then pinning almost forces your hair into submission!!  But when (magically) I have a good hair day it almost seems sad to mess around with it.

1950s inspired hair down do for straight hair how to

“So just leave it down and stop complaining”, I hear you cry!  Well I do, but sometimes when you’re wearing a cute 50s style dress or rockabilly polka dots…super straight modern hair just won’t do.  This style, inspired by ‘Dreamboats and Petticoats’ is perfect for people whose hair just won’t curl or for those days when you want a retro look, but still want to make the most of one of those elusive good hair days!

1950s inspired hair down do for straight hair how to

Before you go any further, let me just point out that my beautiful 10 year old was today’s photographer, so I’m sure you’ll forgive a little graininess 🙂

You will need:

Hair dryer,

Paddle Brush

Hair oil/serum

Curling tongs or good straighteners

hair grips/bobby pins

A head-band or scarf

sectioning clips or a bobble/hair elastic

Hair spray

Back combing spray (optional – I use this as my hair is quite fine at the front, so it gives it some extra oomph!)


  • After washing and conditioning your hair, smooth through a small amount of hair oil/serum.
  • Begin to dry with a hair dryer by gently brushing with a large paddle brush.  This should hold large sections of hair flat while you dry and reduce the need for straighteners.
  • Once completely dry, brush through and add more oil/serum if needed, a shine spray is also useful (mine gets very dry and fluffy so I basically smother it in oils and serums!!)
  • Take an upside down ‘U’ shaped section of hair from the front of your head.  This should start at your face and head about half way to your crown.

section the front

  • Hold the back part of your hair out of your way with sectioning clips or a bobble/hair elastic.
  • The front, ‘U’ shaped section needs to be curled forward loosely in small sections.  Don’t spend too much time creating ringlets, it just needs to be the ‘suggestion’ of a curl: it helps later on.


  • Allow the curls to cool and then gently brush the them together


  • Tease/backcomb your section of hair from back to front, leaving the very front.

ooh back combed hair teased

  • Smooth the top layer of this section of hair.
  • Release the back part of your hair and put your headband in place or tie on a scarf.

nearly there!

  • Take the whole front section together and pull it up, to the side and back away from your face.
  • Pull the hair over your headband/scarf and gently twist the end into a large curl.
  • Clip the hair in place with a bobby pin/hair clip
  • Spray with hairspray.
  • Brush through, use straightening irons to smooth any kinks.
  • You may like to flick the ends of your hair out/under, but you can always just leave it straight.

I hope you find this how to guide useful 🙂

Love Rachel




Be a social butterfly...