How I Roll: 1940s Waves

How I Roll: 1940s Waves | Sophster-Toaster Blog

My hair is naturally not quite straight, not quite curly. I let it air dry 99% of the time after applying some moisturizing oil. If I don’t brush it out after drying, and let the curls do their thing, I sometimes get a nice bunch of neat and tidy loose curls, but more often than not, what I get is some lovely toddler curls underneath with a frizzy mess on top. So I usually end up brushing them out into waves with a boar hair paddle brush and applying more moisture oil to keep everything in check. I’ve been growing my hair out, recently, into a sort-of Veronica Lake inspired style. To keep it healthy, I’ve cut back to only two washes a week and I’ve been saving heat styling for special occasions. To get my hair from mind-of-its-own waves to movie-star glamour waves without the damaging heat, I’ve been letting my hair dry in pin curls after most washes. Here’s the rolling pattern I use:

How I Roll: 1940s Waves | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I usually use this same roll pattern with pin-curl clips on damp, lightly moussed hair. Today I’m using hot rollers on second day hair that was simply combed and air dried for the sake of speed (aka tutorial magic).

Step one: brush out hair and part far to the side.

Step two: section hair on side without part from behind your ear to the part. Divide into 2-3 horizontal sections, depending on length and thickness, and roll hair inwards.

Step three: repeat on other side, dividing into 1-2 sections.

Step four: section hair, vertically, into four equal parts, parting down the centre and dividing each half in half again. On side with part, roll hair in 2-3 sections. I like to roll the bottom sections from here-on-out outwards instead of inwards for a bit of a flip at the bottom of my waves.

Step five: roll the back section of this side in 2-3 sections as well.

Step six: repeat on other side, using 3-4 sections for the front section, as you will have more hair gathered on this side, and 2-3 for the back.

Step seven: let hair dry/cool. Remove clips/rollers and give hair a gentle tousle to loosen up some volume at the roots. Brush curls out softly with a boar hair brush, trying to only pass each area once. Set with hair spray, if you like.

How I Roll: 1940s Waves | Sophster-Toaster Blog

This roll pattern also sets a nice foundation for half up, half down throw-back styles like a Zooey Deschanel beehive.

All photos by me.

Dirty Hair: Four Days, Four Ways

Dirty Hair: Four Days, Four Ways | Sophster-Toaster Blog

About two years ago, I switched from washing my hair everyday to every-other-day. I made the change for a few reason but primarily with the hope that my hair would look better between washes when I’m travelling. The first few months were rough but, over time, my hair eventually adjusted to the new routine. Now I can go one or two days without braving the small, spidery cottage shower with its terrifyingly unpredictable water pressure and temperature changes.

During my most recent trip to the cottage, I decide to try something different. This time, I didn’t pack any shampoo, conditioner or dry shampoo for the four day trip. I did bring a small bottle of lightweight argan oil that I like to use as a detangler on wet hair, which I applied it once after my last wash at home and once after a swim in the lake.

Now don’t get me wrong, my hair still gets super greasy between washes. To pull off a three day stretch, I needed to plan a few easy hairstyles. Specifically ones that would hide how sleek and straight the top half of my hair would become while the bottom held on to my natural beachy waves. I packed hair elastics, a few bobby pins, a cute hair clip, two ribbons and a wire headband. With only these few supplies, I can do just about any of my go-to hairstyles.

Day One

Dirty Hair: Four Days, Four Ways | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I washed my hair in the morning with shampoo and condition and applied some argan oil before combing. I braided my hair into a pair of two braids for comfort in the car and containment on the boat.

Day Two

Dirty Hair: Four Days, Four Ways | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I took my braids out before bed and brushed my hair thoroughly with a boar hair brush. I then slept with it down like I always do. The next morning, I brushed it again and loosely braided a small section to give my roots some visual volume. I secured it with an elastic. and put it in a ponytail along with the rest of my hair. Once it was all tightly secured, I removed the elastic on the braided section and let it fall apart, blending into the rest of my hair.

Day Three

Dirty Hair: Four Days, Four Ways | Sophster-Toaster Blog

After a swim that probably made my hair dirtier, I applied some argan oil again and combed out the tangles. Then using only two hair elastics and two ribbons, I put my hair into milkmaid braids. (You can find my tutorial for No Pin Milkmaid Braids here)

Day Four

Dirty Hair: Four Days, Four Ways | Sophster-Toaster Blog

On day four I was heading home. I put my hair up into a messy bun and used a colourful wire headband to cover up my greasy hair and give my roots a bit of support so they didn’t sit as flatly.

That warm shower when I got home was amazing but I love doing this to my hair every now and then. It’s worth it for how soft and moisturized it feels for days afterwards. It’s like getting a fancy moisture treatment except all I did was not wash my hair for a few days and let it moisturize itself.

All photos by me.

No Pin Milkmaid Braids

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I love wearing my hair in milkmaid braids since growing it out. It’s one of the best ways to hide unwashed (and overgrown) hair. It’s great for camping and cottage trips where you can’t always wash or even wet your hair and don’t want to carry a lot of products. Before this fall, the only thing keeping it from being my perfect go-to hairstyle was all the tucking, pinning and pulling needed to pull off that charming trying-really-hard-to-look-like-I’m-not-trying look. Since then, I’ve found the secret to making milkmaid braids the quick and easy, lazy day style they deserve to be!

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I was inspired by a horror movie I watched around Halloween. I noticed that in the beautiful but not very exciting, The Witch, the 17th century New England women were wearing their hair in milkmaid braids, held together only by long pieces of ribbon. The next morning, I sauntered out of bed, as eagerly as one can, to see if this ribbon only method could really work. I found that I couldn’t do away with a couple of small hair elastics, to keep the ribbons from slipping off the ends of the braids, but was quite pleased when everything stayed in place without a single pin. They held tight for the rest of the day, captured by the light tension of ordinary ribbons I found laying around in my sewing stash.

Those women were on to something. With a bit of practice, these no pin milkmaid braids only take about 10 minutes to create and are comfortable worn all day. Here’s how I do it:

How-to:

  1. Start with brushed and moisturized hair. Split into two sections, down the middle, using a comb (or fingers for a messier look).

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

2. Starting high up, near the top of the ear, braid each section leaving as short a tail as you can at the end.

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster BlogNo Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster BlogNo Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

3. Cut two matching lengths of ribbon long enough to tie to the end of each braid, wrap around to the nape of the neck and tie in a bow. Tie each ribbon securely to the end of each braid, just above the elastic. I like to tie a basic knot, then wrap the ribbon around to the other side and tie another knot.

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

4. Next, pick each braid up and place it over the top of your head. Hold each ribbon and pull them tightly across to hold the braids in place.

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

5. Pull the ribbons around to the nape of your neck and tie in a bow. Tip you head back slightly to make sure the braids don’t slip off the back. It they do slide off, try placing them further forward, towards your hairline.

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

6. Tuck in the ends of the braids, the ends of the ribbons and any other loose pieces of hair and you’re done!

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I find this method works especially well for medium length hair that isn’t quite long enough for any meaningful braid overlap to be pinned together.

No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog No Pin Milkmaid Braids | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I like to use dark ribbon that blends into my hair colour but it might be fun to use brightly coloured ribbons and wrap them around the braids for a festive party look!

All photos by me.

A Plea for Real Beauty

This article has been a long time coming. Both of my parents have suggested it to me independently of each other, my mother being inspired by a conversation with a stranger about the colour of her hair and my father being inspired by, what else, a conversation about breast implants that he had had with an acquaintance. They both believe in real beauty and I guess they practice what they preach, seeing as how they raised me, a young woman who can boast about being 100% natural and complete (and peanut free) … except for that bit of ink in my back and that metal in my ear lobes and navel. Of course, this addendum raises a tough question for me; what exactly is real, natural beauty? Continue reading