The vintage haircut is a commitment. I have read so many haircutting books from the 1920s, all the way up to the 1960s, that describe major layers and lots of hacking away length.
I’m not trying to dishonor the vintage haircut or short hair. I love vintage cuts and myself have short hair. But I also understand when one of my clients doesn’t want to commit to the chop.
Trick to Faux (Fake) the Haircut
That’s when I teach them about the wonders of the hairnet. In my latest YouTube Video, I use the hairnet as a tool to faux or fake the length of a hairstyle meant to mimic how a curly, vintage haircut might look.
For this post and in my YouTube video, I am specifically referencing invisible hairnets. Visible nets, like snoods, have been around for centuries, but the earliest mentions of invisible hairnets I could find were in the late Victorian Era.
There are mentions of Queen Alexandra wearing them to keep her pretty Victorian poodle hairstyle in place.
In the 1920s
The hairnet really took off in popularity in the 1920s. There were tons of hairnet companies, but most of them were buying hairnets in bulk and just putting their label on it. Most of these nets were being made by women in China… out of their own hair.
These hairnet brands included Lorraine, Bobette, Quaker Made, El Donna, Bonnie-B, Sitroux, Venida, Fashionette, Stayfast, Universal, Bon Marche… the list goes on and on.
In the 1940s
Hairnets fell mostly out of site from popular culture in the late 1920s through the 1930s, but by the late 1930s and 1940s, they were back in fashion.
With the growing popularity of long hair and the increase of women working for the war effort, there was more need for accessories for containing hair. Hairnets fit this bill perfectly.
What to Consider When Buying a Hairnet
Hairnets come in lots of forms and sizes and deciding which one to buy can be daunting. I know, because I have purchased hairnets in the past and known as soon as I opened it that it was the wrong one for what I needed.
Choosing hairnet size
How much hair you have and the size of the hairstyle you are creating will determine the size of the hairnet you need. But what do any of the sizes mean? Large? Regular? Bouffant? Bun?
Regular (18″-20″) is a great size for a pompadour or a medium size poodle. But what do those inches mean? Those inches refer to the length of the opening of the hair net when you stretch it to its max along a ruler.
For a bigger poodle or for the faux vintage haircut hairstyle done on Violet von Autumn (the model for the video), I would suggest a large hairnet, 22″-24″. Again, this length refers to the length of the hairnet opening when your stretch it to its max.
And then there is the Bouffant hairnet, which is great for someone with lots of hair or long hair. I can’t really describe this one in inches, because it just isn’t built to be measured that way. This one is designed to have lots of net for control and a smaller elastic opening to stay put.
The biggest advice I can give you is to only buy a hairnet online if the listing gives you a good idea of its true application. It should describe how much hair it will hold or have photos with dimensions or picture its use on a real human.
And please do not trust any listing for a hairnet that is using photos it obviously ripped off of someone’s Instagram feed. I promise you that that is not the hairnet you are going to get. Hairnets vary widely in size and shape.
Nope. Not all hairnet shapes are alike. There is the shape of the actual netting part and then there is the shape of the opening. For basic applications like covering a Betty Grable poof, the shape isn’t quite as important, but for a pageboy or any application where you are wearing the net in the back, an opening that is too big will lead to the hair falling out of the net.
I will put in a shameless plug right now for the hairnets available on VintageHairstyling.com. As a hairstylist who uses hairnets for many applications, I’ve tested a lot of hairnets. The Ella Fine Hairnets, Jac-o-net Bouffant Hairnets, and Chroma Net Custom Color Hairnets are the most useful shapes and sizes for vintage hair applications and this faux vintage haircut design.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and the video. Tell me about your favorite uses for hair nets!