At the age of 34, I have had dyed jet black hair for about 16 years. I decided to take the plunge and go for something completely different, a new colour, complete with bangs which I haven’t had since I was like 12! Continue reading Red is the new black!
I recently collaborated with hairdresser Paul Wartnaby of La Reine Vintage and photographer Mike Atkinson of Twisty Focus. We spent a fabulous afternoon shooting images inspired by the iconic Hedy Lamarr. Continue reading Photo shoot with Paul Wartnaby of La Reine Vintage and Mike Atkinson of Twisty Focus
Paul Wartnaby is one of my favourite people. There’s not a day goes by that we do not have a conversation of some sort whether it is a giggle over Facebook, exchanging photos of hairstyles and outfits or he kindly gives me advice when I have hair related questions!
Paul is a vintage hairdresser at La Reine Vintage. He is popular and respected within the vintage scene with many people seeking his advice, tips and tricks! He has also been featured in Vintage Life Magazine.
We will be getting together later this year for a photoshoot so keep an eye out for a feature!
I decided to ask him a few questions which he kindly agreed to answer as well as sharing some photos of his fabulous work.
You can find Paul by visiting the La Reine Vintage Facebook page
How did you get into doing vintage hair?
I’ve always had a passion for bygone times, I loved 20s and 30’s music when I was five years old and had a wind up gramophone that I took everywhere!! I’ve also had a gift of being able to put the right combination of things for correct eras. When I was 12 years old my dad had a video camera and I used to make period dramas dressing up the girls in the street in authentic clothes from the attic and doing their hair in period styles. It sounds odd but it just seemed like a gift.
Where did you learn?
After leaving school I studied Media, Theatre and Hairdressing at college also making costume. It was a great time in my life and where my gift came in useful. And all through my college days I collected lots of period hairdressing books, magazines etc and when people know you are interested in a certain area they often let you have things that they have collected themselves.
Which is your favourite era?
I love the 1930’s and those fabulous finger wave styles which have become one of my trade marks but also have a soft spot for 60’s Bouffants as I won my first ever hairdressing competition at 16 by setting and dressing a beehive.
What is your favourite hairstyle to do?
I think I covered above lol.
Do you advise a wet set is better than heat?
I’d always rather use a wet set as you can mould the hair to whatever style you want and it is a lot more longer lasting, and many different techniques can be used on the one styling.
If you could style a celebrity from the golden era of Hollywood who would it be?
I think with my beehive passion it would have to be Dusty Springfield at her peak in the 1960’s. I’ve based many her style on her classic dressings.
Do you style vintage hair on men?
I’m not often asked to do mens hair very often, but have been known to blow wave some fabulous quiffs.
You gave me a fabulous tip of invisible hairnets…what other tips can you offer?
My tips for vintage would be, if you want to be authentic only use what was available at that period in time as it gives you more of the exact look and remember that nearly everyone would have had a perm, which makes a big difference to the setting and the staying power of the style.
What are your prices for vintage hair?
My prices start at around £25 for vintage setting.
Are you at any events this year where people can come to you for their hair styling?
I’m at a local to me vintage event in March I don’t normally do vintage fairs because the equipment I use is difficult to transport to venues. My salon is in the planning stages after a few set backs but people can message me on my page for photo shoots etc. I work closely with Mike at Twistyfocus who takes my fantastic photographs!
I have just got back from a fabulous vacation with my husband and whilst I was there I was able to keep up with the vintage hair, makeup and outfits by using a few simple tricks and tools which didn’t take up a lot of room in the suitcase!
Leopard print is something I am a fan of and has a real 1950s kinda vibe to it. For my “travel outfit” I wore a leopard print top with some cropped jeans and leopard print ballet pumps. I wore my hair in a simple 1950s quiff which only took five minutes to do which is great when you are up at 3am to get to the airport!
I took my Vivien of Holloway dress with me minus the petticoat as that would have really taken up room in the suitcase. I wore this dress with a pair of black peep toe ballet shoes. I put a side parting in my hair and twisted the sides and secured with bobby pins to create “quiffs” on each side of my parting.
For during the day, one look I easily achieved was faux Bettie Bangs where I used a donut ring that I had cut in half and rolled the front section of my hair around it, securing in place with standard size bobby pins and large bobby pins. I then tied my hair in a messy bun at the back and finished the look with my leopard print headscarf and my Marilyn Monroe style shades!
For the beach I wore a emerald green swimsuit which I bought online. I quiffed the front of my hair and tied it up at the back to keep the sea and sand out of my hair! I also bought a blue polka dot swimsuit from Amazon and it looks great when you team it with vintage hair and big shades. It has a great pinup look to it!
Scunci Foam Rollers are great to take in your suitcase as they as squishy and do not take up a lot of room. I also took my Lottabody Setting Lotion and one afternoon I put my hair in rollers and then secured with a headscarf.
After sleeping in the rollers, the next day I teased them with Murrays Pomade and finished the look with hairspray. Despite the heat and humidity this look lasted all day!
A simple black vest top and a patterned skirt teamed with ballet pumps and a wide belt is a classic vintage look that helps to keep you cool!
As you know, I am a firm believer of body confidence and body positivity and I was so happy to see that pretty much everyone of all shapes and sizes were rocking the body confidence on the beach. Nobody cared, stared or batted an eyelid at other people, they were all just happy to enjoy time with friends, family, soak up the sun, play in the waves and make memories!
My hair is very thick and heavy and I often have to have layers cut into it. To keep the thickness down, I have to straighten my hair which also manages to keep it looking smooth and tames the frizzyness and flyaways. I didn’t take my hair straighteners and only washed it once whilst I was away so by the end of the week, my hair was feeling a bit like “cotton wool”. But one easy way to combat this whilst managing to look classy was backcombing a front section into a big quiff, putting my hair in a messy bun and pinning into place, then finishing the look with a polka dot headscarf.
Red nails, red lips, big earrings and Marilyn Monroe shades are always a winner too and of course, these don’t take up any room in your case!
I bought a blue halterneck dress from a market stall in Portugal and I love it. The colours are gorgeous, the style and cut is flattering, it is great for the beach and keeps you cool whilst looking fabulous!
I had a fabulous time in Portugal, it is one of my favourite places and I was able to keep up with my vintage attire very easily by just using the tips and tricks above. I often mix and match my outfits (wearing them more than once) so that you don’t end up taking too many clothes!