Getting your vintage hair style right is a difficult thing to achieve. Pin curls and setting patterns have become out of fashion, and knowledge how to do them correctly is no longer passed on from generation to generation. Photo stylist Lauren Rennells was so frustrated by the lack of information on vintage hair styles that she researched and published her own book on the subject.

Vintage Hairstyling is now in its second edition and gives details on a range of styles from the Twenties to the Sixties. Here we have caught up with Lauren to talk about vintage hair styles and how to best achieve them. Tell us a little about yourself

Lauren Rennells (pictured right): I’m 32 and live in Denver, Colorado. My full time job title is photo stylist, so I do hair and makeup and shop and style clothes for photo shoots, mainly in advertising. My degree is actually in photography, but after I graduated from college, I realized I’d rather be a stylist. So I went back to school to get my license, but learned most from assisting and from trial and error, lots of errors.

 QoV: What gave you the idea to write a book on how to do vintage hairstyles?

Lauren Rennells: I have always loved old movies and glamorous starlets. So I set out to find directions on doing the styles the way they did back then. Most girls trying to find detailed information ten years ago know that there was so little to choose from. The old magazines and books were written for women who already understood all the concepts and had grown up doing their hair in pin curls.

My boyfriend at the time was sitting next to me on another one of my fruitless searches online. I was so frustrated that I blurted out, “When I get this figured out, I’m gonna write a book so no one else has to go through this.” Long story short, I did.

QoV: Do you wear vintage on a daily basis?

Lauren Rennells: I love vintage! I actually have a strange aversion to buying anything brand new other than jeans. Secondhand and vintage clothing stores are my first choice for shopping with no 20th century decade being off limits.

I prefer the silhouettes of the Forties and Fifties, but also have fun with the bright colors of the Sixties and Seventies. I really love mixing and matching decades. We have the luxury of all the decades’ styles already being done, so why not have fun with the best of the different time periods.

QoV: Do you have any vintage style icons?

Lauren Rennells: Joan Crawford is a big one for me. She was a star over the span of the four most elegant decades in Hollywood, the Twenties to the Fifties, and she always looked amazing and timely. She stayed up to date with the latest trends and wore everything well, including the hairstyles that changed significantly over that time period, from the bob of the Twenties to the long sculptures of the Forties and into the short curls of the Fifties.

 QoV: Do you think there has been an increasing interest in vintage hair and make-up in the past years?

Lauren Rennells: The popularity of the vintage look stays popular with some always, but we are definitely in a trend right now. The great thing about the trend right now though is that it isn’t just one decade that is popular. Some girls prefer the Thirties and others prefer the Sixties. It’s all over the place, which makes it so much more fun. Now the internet makes it much more accessible and provides more visual references.

QoV: What’s the easiest vintage hair style to achieve?

Lauren Rennells: My choice would be victory rolls. They don’t require as much precision to look good, but make sure you get a curl in your hair first to make it easier to bend. Trying to do it with straight hair will just be more frustrating.

QoV: My pin curls never work out, would you have any top tips?

Lauren Rennells: My top tips for good pin curls are to make sure your hair is thoroughly, but not sopping, wet and you have added a setting lotion like Redken Contour No 08. This makes forming much easier. Forming should be as uniform as possible for consistent curls.

Try using a cold curling iron to help you with the forming if you have trouble. Then make sure they are thoroughly dry before brushing out, even using a dryer to zap it with some heat. My experience shows that they are stronger with some heat drying than with air-drying alone.

6 Responses

  1. Katrina Brady

    I am so excited to have stumbled on to your website. I love vintage. In fact, I have chosen to have a themed wedding with just that. I will be married on 05/01/2010. May Day also! I am truly excited. My wedding dress is vintage and I intend on everything from top to bottom vintage. My colors are fuschia, black, silver, plum and cream. To top it off On eof the flowers I have chosen is black/plum dahlias. I will incorprate hot pink flowers and gardenias as well. Thank you for your support of such a beautiful nostalgic time.


  2. jacqueline gonzalez

    Oh! boy….I want to purchase this book. If anyone could please let me know where I can buy one copy. I would very much appreciate any info. Thanks, The Darling Housekeeper, jacqueline

  3. josie

    you can buy this book at….it is seriously cool!

  4. Miss Brandy Alexander

    I love Lauren’s book so much, I have two! I had bought the first edition, but when the second one came out with even more hairstyles, I had to get it.

    I have some other vintage hairstyling books, and I find Lauren’s the best.

    I’ve been doing vintage hair styles for years now, but there’s still a number of techniques in the book I didn’t know… My hair has actually improved after reading it!

  5. jennifer

    i love this book! i am actually using it FOR a hair competition i have to compete in. (:

    lol don’t you just hate typos?