"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Experiments in regency hair aka. my hair won't stay curly

My hair well its determined to be poker straight....it hates to curl and will shake off ringlets at the first opportunity. I on the other hand want curls. I have resorted to a perm previously...but its never the right kind of curl and I want different setting patterns for different hairdos.

So I think I've got the hang of the 1940's/50's hairdos. I know victory rolls are not possible in my hair but pin curls are great for creating the look I want.

Now comes regency...I will be covering most of my hair with cap/turban/bonnet at the promenade so only the fringe needs doing but for the dance workshop I will have to do a regency do...
My inspiration for the hairstyle comes from the one 'Harriet Smith' in the BBC version.

First off I needed to change to a centre-ish parting. Secondly, my hair isn't long enough to do a bun. I can only do the tiniest ponytail, so in comes the hair piece.
Now for the curls in the fringe....well ringlets really. I have never ever made ringlets successfully in my hair. I can use pincurls and get waves, sponge rollers and get tight curls that fall into waves. So a new experiment was needed. I thought I'd try using rags in my hair. So here are the results.

All of these methods were left in overnight and wrapped in headscarf to keep in tact.

Method: Pin curls
Equipment: bobby pins, mousse, hairspray
Sleep Yes/No: yes
Resulting curl: More of a wave than a curl and what did curl became a wave very soon
How long did it last?: half a day at most

Method: Sponge rollers
Equipment: mousse, hairspray, sponge rollers
Sleep Yes/No: no, woke up intermittently because of rollers digging into scalp.
Resulting curl: tight curl, easy to roll up. But curls horizontal rather than vertical.
How long did it last?: About a day (if plenty of hairspray liberally applied) but will fall to waves if not pinned in place.

Method: Rags
Equipment: Strips of fabric (2.5cm x 28cm), mousse, hairspray
Sleep Yes/No: Yes
Resulting curl: Vertical curl...nearest to ringlets I've ever got. Some are a little scruffy. Must remember to curl under not over.
How long did it last?: About a day although the springyness goes after about half a day.

Late addition - on dry hair
Using youtube tutorial

Method: Papillotes
Equipment: triangles of paper, hair strighterners, hairspray
Sleep Yes/No: Yes (but you don't have to sleep in them)
Resulting curl: You get 'kiss curls' which to can then fork out to turn into ringlets.
How long did it last?: it lasts several days....I washed them out as they had great staying power and look authentic.

So how do you get your curls to stay and how do you do ringlets?


  1. Hmm, I'd use pin curls on a wet set, with setting lotion, not mousse. My hair usually needs about 18hours to dry. For a regency look I'd refrain from brushing out. Also the size of the pincurls matters, I have just below shoulder-length hair and I do 20-25 curls on the back of my head, 6 on the side below the parting, 10-12 on the other side. I know some people do a total of maybe 10, but that's when I get a wave effect instead of curls. But that's my hair.
    Good luck, hope you'll find a way that works for your hair!

    1. I'm finding I need to do smaller sections to get a longer lasting effect.
      Just discovered the 'papillote' method (paper and heat application). Which at the moment is working ....I even slept on the curl and it hasn't dropped.

  2. rags is the best way to get good ringlets, I've found. My mother is an expert rag roller and used to do my hair a lot when I nagged her - for various plays etc. I am lucky as I have hair that is happy to be curled, though. And I bought big matching hair piece with wavy curls as a combo volumiser/cheat when I need it!

    1. My hair just hits my shoulder so not quite long enough to do a proper bun so I've got a hair piece for that. But I need at least a wave in my hair for it to hold the pins to hold the bun in place.