In my years as a pinup and vintage lover, I have had many different hairstyles - from my original short blonde b0b to my current long dark brown locks with Bettie Bangs.
Recently, I went in search for a vintage inspired haircut - little did I know it would turn into a quest that took me weeks of searching and talking to multiple hair dressers!
My hair was the longest it has ever been from memory and I am very lucky that my hair grows fast (a con when I have to trim my fringe every couple of weeks). My hair is very thick and heavy with a natural wave in the back but mostly straight. It always curled and straightened easily, however holding the curl was a constant frustration.
I love vintage curls and the authentic look created with overnight wet sets. However, I always chose to use heat to set my curls once my hair grew longer and just accepted the fact that I would only have curls for one day, until I brushed it at night to be almost straight again.
I also found that even overnight sets did not hold the curl for longer than a day due to the weight of my hair.
THAT'S IT! Time to get it cut. But it wasn't the length that was so important, it was the layers. And I was not after just any old layers, they had to be vintage layers. Meaning the layers had to be precise and cut in so that when I pulled a section out to curl, all the hair in that section would be the same length for a smooth even curl. And the layers had to be cut in a way that the curls will sit on top of each other and also be able to be moulded together.
May I present to you - the Middy Cut.
This hairstyle was created in the 40s specifically make it easier to achieve the desired hairstyles of the time and to make the brush out quick and efficient. There are many variations to the length of this haircut and I was after the longest version called the Long Middy.
However, finding someone to cut my hair was the challenge! I asked around the pinup crowd, my past hairdressers and my greater facebook community. After many rejections and hairdressers expressing their lack of confidence in such a style (which I deeply appreciate everyone's honesty). FINALLY! I got a referral to Tracey from Amanda Hair Design in Brightwater (See additional note below). I had to go in for a meeting, yes a meeting, to explain the haircut, why I wanted it, and to suss if I had found the one.
I learnt that Tracey was trained in the UK with an impressive resume under her. To my relief phrases such as 'curl set', 'pin curls', 'page boy' and 'brush out' were not foreign to her. She is also a long hair specialist and has been classically trained to cut hair using only the one pair of scissors.
The day came to get my hair cut (I didn't count down for a solid week, I swear!) and I was one very happy girl. I was so ready to say goodbye to these long heavy locks and hello to easy vintage curls.
Tracey was precise, professional, knowledgeable and lovely! I could not wait to get home to curl my hair! I left the salon with slightly damp hair and was so excited to see the curls already naturally form from the layers as it started to dry. She did 3 long layers, and the sections were a dream to curl.
I did a basic heat set. Seriously, it felt like the longest time for my curls to cool!
And with a few minutes of brushing and manipulating the curls, I had a beautiful 40s inspired wave.
The curls were still present a day later as well in the end layers.
But, ladies and gentlemen! The result of an overnight sponge set literally had me dancing!
And even with a very solid brush out that night, the curl were still formed the next day. I just slept with my hair out. The best way to preserve your curl set is to roll it back up every night. But I wanted to test out the longevity of these curls.
If you are wanting to get a vintage haircut, there are many YouTube videos created by pinup girls on how to communicate these hair cutting diagrams to your hairdresser (search middy haircut).
If you are on the Sunshine Coast, I highly recommend Tracey!
**Tracey will be opening up her own salon mid October in the heart of Noosa called TIME.Time, follow their Facebook page for updates**