Vintage Wedding Hairstyle Advice: Fine hair best practices

I recently did a practice with a bride that is getting married this summer, and I thought she would be a good example to share. She has a very common issue she has to work around, actually 2 issues.

1. She has very fine hair.  

2. It is baby soft too. Her hair will not hold a curling iron curl for more than 5 minutes. I did a test curl on her hair and it was flat within minutes with just a little comb through. 

Lot’s of women who have hair like this struggle with doing vintage hairstyles. Since most of the basis for vintage hair involves curls and body, fine hair like this can be frustrating.

Luckily, her hair does do okay with a wet set. She knew from experience that if she set her hair in rollers the night before, she could hang onto the curl a lot longer. Using the Rockin’ Rollers and some setting lotion, I rolled her hair in a specific pattern. It is a very similar pattern to the Lillian hairstyle in Create Vintage-Inspired Wedding Hairstyles.

Vintage Wedding Hairstyle set pattern using Rockin' Rollers

She sat under my fancy ion hooded hairdryer for 20 minutes. That wasn’t quite enough time. She should have been under there for 30 minutes. With the hair at a certain wet level with these rollers, you need to give even fine hair a little more time to dry.

It also helps to use end wraps to spread the hair ends a little which creates a domino effect of spreading the entire hair section a little more as you curl it into the roller, thereby shortening drying time.

Hopefully you can tell in the image above that there is a method to the madness. Her hair is parted above the left eyebrow. The 2 rollers below the part on the left of the head are rolled at a diagonal wrapping toward the face. There are 2 rollers to the right of the part above the forehead and they are rolled toward the right of the head on-base. Everything else is rolled toward the floor. The rollers are placed in parallel lines so that the waves will line up with each other.

For the actual style, I wrapped the hair at the nape of the neck up and pinned it to give it the faux bob look.


Beginning at the lower level of the hairstyle, I then took sections parallel to the floor and combed them into loose waves and worked my way up this way to the top, taking care not to overwork them. With waves being styled at the bottom first, they add something for the upper waves to rest on and therefore hold the upper waves a little higher for more volume.

Wedding Veil Tip: Her veil you ask? It’s actually made up of 2 parts. The headband was supposed to be a sash for a wedding dress. We wrapped it like a headband style vintage wedding veil and then used a basic comb veil placed at the lower back of the hairstyle so that it looked like it was all one piece.

Image courtesy of Cakeknife Photography.

For a wedding day, the more volume at the beginning of the process the better, because as the day wears on the hair loses its umph and then the pictures look bad because the hair looks flat and lifeless. Always consider how it is going to look in a picture at first and over time. Those pictures are going to live with the bride for the rest of her life!

Below is her look on the wedding day. We used the Rockin’ Rollers on the day and she looks beautiful.

Image courtesy of Cakeknife Photography.

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  1. She has the same hair type I have. Heat means nothing to my hair but a wet set will hold and I can get away with steam rollers but they don’t last as long.

    I love her wedding look and after quite some time of not having anything done with my hair I was wondering what the best cut would be for someone with a lot of very fine, hard to curl hair? I like it long enough to make a quick up -do but not much longer and I only get to really do my hair a couple of times a month. Would I need a medium bob? Medium length with some layers, the shortest possible bob? I’m sorry to have to ask but where I live when you say vintage style you get a poorly done bouffant. The end, take it or leave it. I shouldn’t have to teach every hairstylist I meet how to effectively backcomb and who/what Betty (Page) bangs are.

    Please save me. If my hair grows any longer it will pass hippie and move to religious fanatic. I just need some guidance. I mostly dress 60’s but I have been known to touch on the 50’s and 30’s.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Meredith. I have fine hair too. I have grown mine to about 2 inches past my collar bone and I find that it gives me lots of options for up-dos and just simple down curls. It is only a little layered. The shortest layer on top goes to the middle of my neck. In beauty school, my teacher called it a 45 degree layer.

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Welcome to the Bobby Pin Blog! I am Lauren Rennells and as a hairstylist, makeup artist, writer, and generally artistic over-achiever, the Bobby Pin Blog is my outlet for thoughts and research about vintage hair and makeup trends and how to recreate them today. Thank you for stopping by!

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