Guest Post: Pete's Mad Men Wet Set Series / Joan

Pete from Incurlers is back! You may remember his previous posts; Here and Here; on wet sets for vintage hairstyles. I recently asked him to give us some insight into Mad Men era hairstyles. In this three part series, Pete explores the hairstyles of Betty, Joan, and Peggy as they would have looked from the pages of 1960's Good Housekeeping magazines! 

 Take it away, Pete: 

 When Karen suggested I do a Mad Men hairstyle article, I thought it would be quite easy. Just look though some old magazines in my collection, pick out some hairdos similar to what the main characters wear and my work would be mostly done.  Not having having seen an episode of Mad Men in over a year, I set out to do just that and was quite pleased with what I found. That is, until I looked at some pictures from the show and while the hairdos I had selected were similar, they were not identical to what is actually used on the show. Even with a bit more research my original choices did not change, so these articles are about the hairstyles that Betty, Joan, and Peggy might have worn had they been reading Good Housekeeping (GH) or any similar magazine as many women would have done at the time.

Joan Harris 

Joan, as office manager, has a more formal look to her. This might have been her style.
 (Photos below from GH Nov.1963)

And the instructions from the article:

"Make a 3-inch part at right side. Draw right side sleekly back and secure at crown. Fold left and top hair over back of head to shape it into circlet shown, covering right side hairpins. Secure strategically with fine hairpins.  Draw forelock across left brow to ear. Spray lavishly to hold. " (GH Nov. 1963)

Like Betty’s hairdo, medium larger rollers are used to add volume and, if you hair is naturally wavy, straighten it bit as well. The instructions sound amazingly complicated, but in the end all they are saying is comb you hair into the style shown in the photograph and pin into place, hiding the pins as best as possible. 


I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the past. Since these photos and instructions are taken from vintage 1960s Good Housekeeping magazines, thousands or even millions of women in the 1960s would have actually duplicated and worn these exact hairdos. It doesn’t get more authentically vintage than that! 

The advice I always give is, it does take practice and experimentation to get good at any vintage technique or successfully create a vintage hairdo, so try these hairdos a number of times at home when the results really aren’t that important so you can simply wash them out if thing don’t work out as you had hoped. And above all, have fun trying some authentic vintage hairdos.


Thank you Pete!

Stay tuned for Peggy, next week!

 For more vintage hair style fun, read Pete's blog; Incurlers or follow him on Twitter @incurlers