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

Friday’s outfit of the night

A night out with the girls in the middle of winter. I want to wear colour, I want to wear my pettiskirt & I want to wear heels.

I had the choice of two dresses to wear tonight. My brand new old 1950’s handmade vintage joy, which I had managed to fix the hem on earlier in the day or a repro blue floral dress from Retrospec’d that I bought at the Love Vintage Show in Melbourne earlier in the year.

My brand new ‘old’ 1950’s dress Alex_ADress4

My new ‘reproduction’ dress from Retrospec’d

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Black and White dress or Blue, pink & white dress. Colour won in the end, plus I had already checked out the menu for The Firehouse online and figured my newly acquired vintage dress deserved more than a trip to a restaurant where I would be eating a burger.

So…repro dress it was.

I also took my Alpaca out for the night. The Alpaca was one of those purchases that you just never forget or regret. A day trip with the family to Caldermeade Farm meant a slight detour to Tyabb. Tyabb have a few – ok…don’t go to Tyabb. It’s all MINE!!!! Ohh, alright, I’ll share. Tyabb has some antique stores and maybe they might have a vintage shop or something that might have something in it. Ha ha.

My Alpaca swing coat!!!

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I picked my something up. The Alpaca. Thank goodness it was freezing and I didn’t have a proper coat with me or else I wouldn’t have been cold and looking for something to keep me warm. I found The Alpaca on a rack at The Vintage Shed and I put her on and BAM she was mine. I asked my Husband to guess the price. He guessed $300. I said “nup, it’s $70”. We bought it!!

Sewn in tag on the inside left hand side

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Sewn in tag on the right hand side – Russeks Fashions New York – Paris – London

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The Alpaca if you haven’t already guessed is made from Alpaca’s fur does need a little repair work on the lining but nothing that 30mins of my time, a needle & some thread can’t fix – must get onto that.

Me wearing my gorgeous Alpaca!

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This coat is amazing, very heavy for a coat (weighs 2.2kgs) and was made in England I’m guessing in the early 1960’s and once on it’s like wearing your own personal furnace. I cannot believe how warm I am once it’s on & all done up. I love this coat and when I wore it out & our waitress offered to hang it in the cloakroom, I refused. It’s vintage, it’s new to me and I am not letting this baby out of my sight. Then our waitress asked if she could touch it. Ha ha…yes I let her touch it.

My repro dress combined with a pink cropped cardi

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I really need to start looking at heels. I don’t have enough of them and it makes it boring wearing the same shoes with my variety of dresses. I tend to stick to buying black, black and then black just for something different so now…coloured heels.

 

The Alpaca (Black swing coat) – The Vintage Shed Tyabb

Pink Cardigan – Target

Vivian Blue Belle dress – Retrospec’d

Black heels – Whittner

 

Cheers

Alex