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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, September 12, 2009

~Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells~ A Review

Last week, I recieved my copy of Lauren Rennells' book-'Vintage Hairstyling~Retro Hairstyling with Step by Step Techniques'. The book professes to be 'the perfect guide for showing us how to create so many of those vintage hairstyles'. However, if ever the word 'perfect' could be an understatement, this is the time.

When I first received the book, my first impression was that the quality was better than I expected. The book is a good sturdy paperback, similar in weight and size to those glossy hairstyling books at the salon. As I thumbed through it, I found myself smiling, sitting down in my recliner, and not budging from that spot for a good long while. It's downright addictive.

The magic of this guide is the way it is constructed. I have always had a weakness for illustrated step by step and how-to features in magazines. This book surpasses them all, since it not only takes us through the processes but makes the journey a nostalgic walk through time. There are lovely photos of vintage styling products spliced in with modern ones, and those gorgous glossy photos of the hairstyles will make anyone pick up a bobby pin. The quality photographs make something as simple as a banana comb (remember those?) look like a novel discovery!

Logically, the book starts with a few pages concerning the tools and tricks of the trade. It explains the difference between a hot roller set and a pin curl set, a bobby pin and a hair pin, a pomade and a setting lotion. Though I've been practicing with vintage hairstyles for some time now, I was astonished at how much I'd learned by the time the pincurl demonstration got started. Where vintage styling manuals take it for granted that its readers are professionals, this book uses the most basic of language-so that even the novice will understand. 'Victory Roll-virgins' are welcome here!

After the basics of setting and styling are discussed, the book moves into even more inspiring territory as it takes you through a series of gorgeously conceived 'Final Styles' ranging in appearance from the 1920's to the 1960's. Once the reader becomes familiar with the aforementioned basics, even these glamorous hairdo's will seem relatively easy and achievable. I especially appreciated the styles created specifically for ladies who love to wear hats, as well as those designed for ladies (like me) who enjoy wearing the u-shaped Bettie Page style bang. Though the style is oftentimes considered 'restrictive', this book offers versatility for ladies who enjoy the look.

The icing-on-the-cake is in the final section, a nice little bonus for 'vintage dolls'. This segment features tips on authentic looking hair accessories, makeup application, and ways to protect that vintage 'do.

Over the last year, I have developed quite a little collection of Vintage Hairstyling books-most of which are reprints of actual manuals from the era. I would gladly toss them all aside for this one. Lauren's knowledge and appreciation for the past lends an air of authenticity that makes any of these other guides obselete by comparison.

My rating: 10/10
You NEED this book! ;-)
Order it at www.vintagehairstyling.com (Lauren's website) or mybabyjo.com.


Anonymous said...

I just found your site the other day and actually watched your review on YouTube yesterday....fantastic book, WOW! I agree it's a good investment to make if you like to do the styles right!
Thanks so much for all of the grand info...I'll be keeping in touch!!

LandGirlontheHomeFront said...

this is a really useful review. THANKS! I was planning to buy and now I really really need to get my hands on it!

~Jolene'sMemoryKeeping said...

so where can we order it?

A Vintage Revival said...

Lisa you have completely inspired me to get this book. So much easier to have other gals that are as in love with the past as I am. It makes every thing feel more special. You know? I know this book will inspire me even more to get more creative with my hair than I already do! You help a lot with that creativity <3

Lya de Putti said...

Thanks for mentioning this - as a DJ with the Shellac Sisters I am definitely in need of this book! Thanks a million - Foxtrot Fanny x

Amy Benjamin said...

I bought this book a couple of months ago. I've only flicked through it but haven't tried any looks yet. I will definitley take pics wen I do!

casey said...

Thanks for your review of this book! I've been eying it for a bit, and wondering if I should add it to my long list of "must buy soon" books. ;) lol! Now I know I need it!

Amanda "Fireball" Awesome said...

I bought this book a few weeks ago, I was able to get it on pre-order. I love it. I've already tried some of the styles in the book with great ease. If you notice in the book, alot of the final styles start as dry sets and then move towards wet sets. I personally prefer to do a wet set since it is less damaging to the hair, so I am going to try to tailor some of the hot roller styles to sponge rollers and see how that works. (I have velcro rollers, but I wouldn't want to sleep in them)

georgiexoxo said...

This looks so amazing! Thank you so much for telling us about it :)

Fancylooks said...

I have ordered it, I just had to. I liked the fact that it shows a photo of the girl before the hairdo, so you can see what kind of hair style we part from.

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

I've been thinking of getting that book. I don't know why I still haven't!

jewlover2 said...

Errr, possibly because you should be writing your OWN book! LOL

Miss Jess said...

I totally agree, it's a 10 for 10! I just received this book from my husband for my birthday, and it's incredibly well written. I recommend it to anyone interested in authentic vintage hairstyles.

Ginney said...

Thanks for recommending this book! I purchased mine today but --- you mentioned in one of your videos that you collect old vintage hairstyle books/pamphlets. I was wondering which ones you would recommend. There are a few and some are a little pricey so I needed some advice.

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