How to make & use a faux hair rat

 

I lost my only black faux hair rat recently. I suspect that my daughter has gotten a hold of it and hidden it somewhere, she is something of a bowerbird when it comes to other peoples belongings and yeah I imagine that I will come across it one day when I tidy her toys in her room. Until then I decided that I would make a new one.

Faux hair rats are easy to make and they add bulk & support to your hair when you need it. I have written about them before but that hair rat was the wrong colour for my hair and I did have a creepy DIY version, made with my own hair collected (harvested perhaps..lol) from my own hairbrush. The ladies used to do that in the good ol’ days and it makes sense because it would match your hair colour.

Step 1.

Buy a hair bun sponge. I got mine from one of those cheap stores that sell everything (glassware, party goods, gift wrap, toys etc). They have them in chemists & priceline but they are sooooo much dearer, make sure you get a colour that is as close to your hair colour as possible.

Hair rat

Step 2.

You need scissors, needle and thread to match the colour of your sponge.

Hair rat Step 3.

Cut the hair bun sponge. One simple cut and now you have a sausage instead of a donut. You will need to cut it to the length you prefer. I paired my black hair rat next to my old brown hair rat to ensure the new one is the right length.

faux hair rat

 Step 4.

Thread that needle and stitch your rat so it doesn’t roll open. This time I didn’t have to do it but eventually I will need to as the thread that is currently holding it together isn’t secured properly. It will start opening up at the ends and it’s easy to fix. With previous hair rats I have made the original donut shaped sponge once cut was really thick, so I had to cut the thread holding it all together, unwinding the roll until it was the right thickness and then cutting the excess off and restitching. If you plan on using a hair rat regularly then it’s worth the effort but if you can get a smaller thickness hair bun sponge in the first place this will save you time unwinding/restitiching.

faux hair rat

Step 5.

Use your hair rat!

A little bit of pre-planning is helpful here but not totally necessary if you are doing Bettie Page faux bangs. I prefer to set it the night before because it’s easier & quicker for me to do my hair the following day. I rolled my damp hair in foam rollers and sectioned a triangle section of hair at the crown of my head. I use a bit of hair serum to help smooth it out & use my newly created hair rat to roll it and use bobby pins to secure it. It’s rough and not very tidy at all but the point of this is to get that curl to help me roll it properly in the morning. I wrapped my hair in a lovely vintage red nylon scarf and kept it safe from any tossing & turning I may do while sleeping.

Bettie Page bangs

 Now, I am no expert when it comes to rolling my hair in rollers. I have only been doing this for about 2 years and I know I am getting faster at doing it. Initially it took me almost 2 hours, sectioning and trying to roll and re-roll and re-re-roll. Now it’s 45 minutes at the most. I have thick long hair and rolling the back is the hardest. I will section the sides and roll those first. Then section the back into 3 parts. The middle part is the bit I do next. It sucks and I know from behind it probably looks a right mess. Then the other two parts are rolled. Practise, practise and practise. Watch tutorials on YouTube, there are heaps and they are easy to follow and understand.

Vintage hairstylesWhile my hair was still in the rollers I started on my Bettie Page faux bangs. I take out the pins that are holding the faux hair rat and use Brylcreem to smooth my hair and make it shiny. I use a tail comb to smooth it all out and then start the roll at the ends of the hair which has some mean curl action happening and it makes it so easy to wrap around the hair rat. Then you roll and roll and roll all the way up to the forehead and using bobby pins, you pin it in place at the base of the rat & your hair roots. It takes practise and can be a bit fiddly but persevere.

Bettie Page BangsRolling, rolling and pinning. Taa daa! All done and then it’s time to move onto the next section, taking out those curlers. I don’t put hair spray on until I am done doing all my hair. Try and be careful taking the rollers out around your newly rolled bang.

Vintage hairstylesNo pics of me taking the foam rollers out but I start with taking the rollers out at the base of my head and work my way up. I unwind the curls to keep them from going all frizzy. Once they are all done I have all these cute Shirley Temple ringlets. It’s hard to see them because of the colour of my hair but they are there.

Foam rollersNow I start running my fingers through the curls to separate them. It’s fun if you have an 80’s themed party to go to…you could get to this stage and stop because my hair is a big curly bouffant. This time however it was still a little damp, even a blast with the hair dryer didn’t help.

vintage hairstylesOnce you have run your fingers through those curls you need to start brushing and brushing and yup…more brushing. This bit takes ages and there are times when I seriously want to quit and shave it all off but instead I just keep brushing. I use a paddle brush and eventually it comes into this amazing curl. You might also want to put some serum or smoothing lotion onto your hands to help with any frizz while you are brushing.

Vintage hairstylesAaaand I’m done. Now it’s hard to see because of the colour of my hair but I have a mean curl happening right at the side of my hair the other side however…

Bettie Page Faux BangsMy hair was still damp-ish so the red curls worked a treat but the rest of my hair kinds went…meh. So when it doesn’t want to work…FLOWERS!! In the past if this has happened I have ended up doing victory rolls on either side of my head but a flower it was today.

Bettie Page Faux Bangs

 

Ooh and I love my Erstwilder Harvey the Hot Rod Cadillac brooch!! I was going to go to a car show so I wanted to show ‘my car’ off! It rained and by the time we arrived most of the cars had left. I think they will be having another car show in February so hopefully the weather will be kind to us then.

Cheers
Alex

My hairstyle today

I forgot to set my hair in curlers last night so I have a slight natural wave happening today.

I decided to go with my faux Bettie Page bangs.

The first thing I do is use a tail comb to make a triangle shape. I have no fringe and my hair is long & layered throughout so almost anyone an achieve this style.

pic1

Then I use a hair rat to roll my hair – not my real hair rat because it’s just not bulky enough to achieve what I want (oh and everyone thinks it’s gross. Ha). I also use good old Brylcreem that I purchase from the supermarket (look low down on the shelf, around the guys hair grooming section, Brylcreem is great for smoothing your hair and makes it so freakin shiny, but go easy because things can go greasy real quick!). Anyway, use the Brylcreem to smooth down any flyaways and start rolling your hair around the hair rat.

Once it’s all rolled up, you may need to fiddle with it a bit to get the hair all smooth and to the edges of the hair rat and then pin it down with bobby pins. I only use two and they are the long versions.

Long bobby pins, compared to normal length bobby pins.

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Here is the hair rat next to the bobby pins

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Bendy hair rat – this is made from those hair donuts that are used to make a hair bun. I picked this up real cheap from my local chemist and then cut it into two pieces and stitched them up. I will get around to making up another and taking step-by-step pics as my current hair rat is brown but my hair is coloured 2-3 shades off black so I am on the hunt for a black hair donut.

pic6

Once it’s all rolled & pinned into place you need to spray it with hair spray – a good holding spray is all you need. It will take a bit of practice getting it right and pinning in properly. Some days I can achieve this look in under 5 mins. Today it took me at least 30mins and I had to section off more hair to be able to spread it over the hair rat.

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Finally, you can either pin a gorgeous flower in your hair, which I have done on many occasions or you can do what I have done and add a scarf. I have heaps of bandanas that I bought on ebay, the red one is my favourite!.

pic3

Cheers Alexx