1920s Hairstyles: How To Do It & Who To Copy

Everything you need to know about 1920's hairstyles, by the experts

Getting that authentic 1920’s hairstyle is tough, whether it’s for a fancy dress party or for a night of drinking, Charleston and looking like a Clara Bow-inspired starlet. But Mark Smith, Senior Stylist at John Frieda salons, has a few tips to help you nail the look to perfection…

Get the kit right
“You’ll need tongs – that’s essential. Either traditional loose handle barrel tongs or you could cheat and use the new three barreled tongs. Have a stash of long section clips to hand for holding the wave in place whilst each section of hair is cooling down. Or, if you want to get professional, you can get actual Marcel wave clips that are like a crocodile clips that pull the hair together in a clamp. Finally, get a decent bristle brush like a Mason & Pearson, a fine tooth comb and some oil based pomade for the finish.”

Nail the parting
“Always start with your parting – get it clean, and straight using your comb. We’re not looking to create volume here, and a straight, side parting keeps everything flat. Now take a 2-inch wide section from above the ear, nearest your face and work your way up to the parting placing the tongs upside down, so you are not adding volume and curl but bending the hair in a wave instead. Once you have completed one side, brush through into an S wave and secure with the clips by clipping into the bends and repeat on other side.”


Create a faux bob

“If your hair is short you only need to do this on the top sections. If it’s long hair you will need to create more waves at the back but then brush through and twist and tuck the ends under and secure with pins to create a faux bob.”  
 
What to do if you’ve got very fine hair?
“If your hair is fine and you’re worried about the lack of volume don’t be – it’s meant to be flat and stylised. If you’re self-conscious though, look into cool feathered hairbands or embellished slides which were typical of the era. They’ll add the volume you’re after.”


What should you do with already curly hair?

“If your hair is curly remove some of the volume and soften the curl either by using a water spray and manipulating the hair with a comb into place or use the tongs in sections and create more of a wave by dragging them along the curl until it softens. You want the curls to be uniform and flat rather than big and bouncy.”

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