Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Guest Post: Pete's Mad Men Wet Set Series / Peggy

Pete from Incurlers is back! You may remember his previous posts; Here and Here;  on wet sets for vintage hairstyles. I recently asked him to give us some insight into Mad Men era hairstyles. In this three part series, Pete explores the hairstyles of Betty, Joan, and Peggy as they would have looked from the pages of 1960's Good Housekeeping magazines!

Take it away, Pete: 

When Karen suggested I do a Mad Men hairstyle article, I thought it would be quite easy. Just look though some old magazines in my collection, pick out some hairdos similar to what the main characters wear and my work would be mostly done.  Not having having seen an episode of Mad Men in over a year, I set out to do just that and was quite pleased with what I found. That is, until I looked at some pictures from the show and while the hairdos I had selected were similar, they were not identical to what is actually used on the show. Even with a bit more research my original choices did not change, so these articles are about the hairstyles that Betty, Joan, and Peggy might have worn had they been reading Good Housekeeping (GH) or any similar magazine as many women would have done at the time.

Peggy Olson

In spite of her ambition, Peggy always seems slightly less elegant than either Betty or Joan.  Somehow this hairstyle seems to really fit her character and, of all three hairdos, this is the one that is most stereotypical of the 60s. 
(Photos below from GH Nov. 1964)

And the instructions from almost 50 years ago:

"Tease top and sides, then brush to back crown. Fluff bangs forward, blending side ends upward toward crown. Now place hand behind crown and push teased hair forward for rounded height. Discretely tucked hairpins at lower crown will secure ends. Comb back down, flip ends up over hand. Twirl side tips out. "  (GH Nov. 1964) 

The trickiest thing here is teasing, which in spite of what the instructions say, probably applies more toward the back, and is not completely necessary if you don’t want as much volume.  Instead of trying to explain teasing, the best thing is to watch it being done. A quick Google search brought up this YouTube video  which is a pretty good demonstration.  More than either of the other two hairdos in this series, this hairdo requires careful combing of you hair into the desired shape and strong hairspray to keep it that way (which is also so authentically 1960s). This page has an interesting discussion of hairspray (and lacquer!)  that is very appropriate for this style. 


I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the past. Since these photos and instructions are taken from vintage 1960s Good Housekeeping magazines, thousands or even millions of women in the 1960s would have actually duplicated and worn these exact hairdos. It doesn’t get more authentically vintage than that! 

The advice I always give is, it does take practice and experimentation to get good at any vintage technique or successfully create a vintage hairdo, so try these hairdos a number of times at home when the results really aren’t that important so you can simply wash them out if thing don’t work out as you had hoped. And above all, have fun trying some authentic vintage hairdos.


Thank you Pete for this lovely series! 

In case you missed it, check out Betty and Joan! 

 For more vintage hair style fun, read Pete's blog; Incurlers and follow him on Twitter @incurlers

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