Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Hair Style File--On Trend with Art Deco in 1920s Flapper Curls

When Paul Mitchell asked me to be a part of their Truth About Curls campaign last August, I had no idea the effect it would have on me.  Suddenly, no matter where I turned, curls were everywhere.  It seemed to be the look for Fall.  Whether it was movies, magazines, or television, stylists were enhancing hair's natural texture and encouraging those curls.  This was true for social media as well...waves of girls have posted pictures of themselves online for Paul Mitchell and shared their #curlconfessions, tales of their love/hate relationship with their hair.  As I joined in, I began to see just how glamorous curls could be.     

Like everything else to do with fashion, hair styles follow the trends.  Of course any loyal reader of GlamAmor knows how often those trends are inspired by classic cinema.  So rather than show my own hair as so many others did, I wanted us all to admire the origins of many of the looks we love today and learn how to do them ourselves.  When the curls campaign kicked off at the end of summer, I first highlighted the 1960s and the ongoing popularity of Brigitte Bardot's beachy waves.  Then came Fall's fixation with the 1940s, featuring curls that were either bobbed like Lauren Bacall or cascaded over the shoulders like Veronica Lake.  And because there is still such buzz over the 1920s (it's been on trend over a year) , I couldn't help but feature the flapper curls of icons Clara Bow and Joan Crawford.

The romance with the 1920s-1930s really started last Fall with the movie The Artist, which quickly manifested in design inspiration for fashion's Spring 2012 collections.  The trend has still been going strong through the year, fueled by the popularity of a couple shows on television, such as HBO's Boardwalk Empire and PBS' Downtown Abbey.  In fact, Ralph Lauren even opened his Fall 2012 show with Downton's theme song since the production influenced so much of the design of that collection.  Then there is Baz Luhrmann's eagerly anticipated version of the Jazz Age classic The Great Gatsby, which originally had a December release date and now won't be seen until next summer.  No one in fashion seems to mind keeping this trend around, especially when there are so many looks to enjoy from this era.  Here's one suggestion...embrace your curls!

Style icons Clara Bow (above) and Joan Crawford embraced their natural curls in the early 1920s

Today Thandie Newton and Charlize Theron both show modern updates of flapper curls
 with their gorgeous short to medium length curly hair

Want your own curls like Clara or Joan (or Thandie or Charlize)?  Whether you're lucky enough to be born with natural curls or have curl-challenged hair that is nearly stick straight (that's me), Paul Mitchell makes some great products to help.  A couple months ago they gave me their Truth About Curls line to try, including a shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and wave and curl enhancers.   Here's how to use them together to build frizz-free curls that you can tease to great heights or tame with accessories: 
  • Wash hair first with the Spring Loaded shampoo and follow with your favorite conditioner.
  • When your hair is still damp, rub in a dime-size amount of the Full Circle leave-in conditioner.  That really maintains the moisture in your hair, which helps prevent frizz.  
  • For the strongest curls, finish prepping with the Twirl Around.  Rub a dime-size amount of the cream between your palms, then work both products through your hair with a wide tooth comb to make them evenly distributed.  
  • Either air dry (for truly naturally curly hair) or use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer.  The diffuser allows the heat of the dryer to lock in the curl without the force of the air disturbing it.  That's key...not disturbing the curls.  
  • Once your hair is dry, finish the look with little light shine spray.  Then tack in a glamorous accessory like a diamond pin or silk scarf (optional, see inspiration below).
Work those curls and join in the fun with Paul Mitchell!  Check out their Truth About Curls Facebook page...that's where you can share photos of yourself with your own #curlconfessions (do it on Twitter and Instagram, too).  The photos and comments become a part of a collage live on their site.  Then on November 15th, they'll do one better...your photos will be projected on the outside of amazing locations in NYC and LA!  Even if you don't live in these cities, you'll be able to see it all streaming live via their FB page.  They're also giving away products each week to their favorite stories of the ones you share.  So go ahead, girls...celebrate those curls!

Clara liked to tame her own curls a bit with trademark scarves tied in her red (!) hair

Charlize (above) and Gwen Stefani tame their blonde flapper-esque curls with sexy hair accessories
as do the girls in the 1920s era hit Boardwalk Empire

Marion Cotillard (above, at the MET Gala) and Maggie Gyllenhaal
channel a little late 1920s Joan Crawford

Flapper hair on Joan Crawford in 1928's iconic Our Dancing Daughters


silverscreenings said...

The 20s Flapper Curls look is sooo cute! Thanks for pointing out the influences of those like Joan Crawford and Clara Bow. The more I read about them, the more I'm fascinated with their influence.

Kimberly Truhler said...

Thanks Silver Screenings! I feel the same way...the more I look into those earlier style icons, the more I want to know. And it never ceases to amaze me how influential classic cinema is, even when it's from the early 1920s. Love it and love those curls!

Kay said...

Super-duper cool! The Clara Bow pix are especially wonderful. Love her loose curls and wild look. Thanks for another lovely post about really digging these!
Kimberly, what would Paul Mitchell recommend for making the most of hair that has a TINY bit of natural wave? Would love to capitalize on that with a good shampoo, as many of them flatten or dull my silver locks. Thanks, Kay

Kimberly Truhler said...

Thank you Kay! I'm becoming more and more a fan of these early films and stars, Clara Bow being one and Louise Brooks being another. And of course it's yet another way that classic cinema continues to inspire us all.

Sounds like you have a somewhat similar hair to mine with just a hint of a wave (just enough to be annoying, I sometimes say, but not enough to actually be useful lol). What we need is the addition of the dryer, Kay. Whereas some gals can just air dry and they get Gisele waves, most of us cannot. We need the product and then heat through a diffuser to really lock in the wave and, if you're lucky, curl.

So use the PM enhancing shampoo and ideally a curl enhancing/protecting conditioner. Then choose your product. The PM Twirl Around will bring the greatest wave and/or curl to your hair. In comparison, the PM Ultimate Wave adds a lot of texture and body to the hair while also bringing out a light wave. I use that one a lot after surfing and if I airdry since it adds that texture.

So choose the one based on the look you want! Good luck! :)

Hailey Bowman said...

I've always been a fan of flapper curls, I think it looks very classy and glamorous. I once rocked it during a black tie party and everybody raved about it.

Kimberly Truhler said...

How great Hailey! I bet you were stunning. I envy people like you who are so comfortable trying new styles. I've had a lot of different lengths over the years, but I definitely have a signature style. Love that you went for it with the flapper curls. :)

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