While girl-group glamour may never go out of style, the past year has brought a full-blown, pop-culture comeback of the swingin’ ’60s. From Dreamgirls and Hairspray to the rise of everyone’s favorite rehabber, Amy Winehouse, mile-high hair is in again. Back in the day, harmonizing soulstresses like the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, and the Marvelettes were among the first to epitomize the decade’s famous ’do and teach the world a thing or two about how to wield a can of Aqua Net. Defying gravity is easier than you think, and here we walk you through the tease ‘n’ spray, rock ‘n’ roll style. So turn up the tunes, bust out the hairspray, and get your very own retro-punk bouffant straight off Ronnie Spector. After all, as Ms. Winehouse herself has said, “It’s all in the hair!”
Before you get started
Unless you have extremely thick, long hair, you’ll want to invest in a hairpiece from a local wig or beauty-supply store to achieve height. Look for something easy to secure on your head—with a jaw clip or bobby pins—that’s as close to your hair color as possible.
Tools of the Trade
Fine-toothed comb, hairspray, bobby pins, hairpiece (optional), curling iron (optional).
1. Divide your hair into three sections: (1) a layer lining your face, running 1″ – 2″ deep from ear to ear, (2) a layer 1″ – 2″ deep underneath the bulk of your hair, also running from ear to ear, and (3) a middle section of remaining hair. Clip the ear-to-ear sections to the side so you can concentrate on the middle one.
2. If you have a hairpiece, secure it at the crown and go to step three. Otherwise, take small chunks of hair from the crown of your head one at a time and tease, tease, tease the roots with your fine-toothed comb, holding hair straight up and hairspraying the teased pieces as you go. Build your rat’s nest as high as you dare, leaving a bit of hair underneath for step three.
3. Still working in the middle section of hair, start taking chunks from the bottom-right side of your head, and wrap them around your hairpiece or your homemade rat’s nest to create a smooth outer appearance. Wrap the pieces upward with a twisting, beehive-like effect in mind, bobby-pinning the whole way around. When you have wrapped all the portions from the right side and reached the center of the back of your head, start grabbing from the left side, still circling upward and pinning along the way. Don’t aim for perfection—this is rock ‘n’ roll, not a beauty pageant!
4. Once the bulk of your ’hive is in place, you have some freedom with the front section you set aside at the beginning. If you have bangs, you can style them as usual. If you don’t, you can ’do like Winehouse and tuck a portion of hair from the left side behind your right ear, sweeping across your forehead for a bang-like effect. Whichever way, you will want to use the rest of this layer to give the front of your ’ffant a smoother appearance, either by continuing the twisted-beehive look or smoothing it straight back over your rat’s nest and securing with a bobby pin.
5. Finally, do what you want with the bottom layer—Winehouse lets hers loose, but you can also use a curling iron to give it a more coiffed, Ronette-worthy touch.
Photo by Garbrielle Revere
Hair by Vassilis Kokkinidis @ ArtwingNY
Makeup by Kristin Gallegos @ See Management
Model: Shelly @ Rocket Garage
This article originally appeared in the Oct/Nov 2007 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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