Easy 50s hair: part 1 – Bettie Page inspired

This is the first of two posts about getting 50s hair the quick and easy way… which goes against everything you know about those pain-staking curl sets, right? Right. With hair my length (sort of bust length), forget about it. Seriously, put the curling tong down before you burn yourself.

So what do you do? Most of the time, I don’t have very ‘vintage’ hair and to be quite honest with you, I’m not sure I’d suit it. I certainly don’t want to get a midi cut in and then find out it looks dreadful on me. Sometimes, though, it would be nice to have the flexibility. I don’t want to cut my long hair off just yet, but I also want to try more era-appropriate hairstyles. So that’s where my crafty and mega fast solution comes in…

Wig it up! Ever since I featured my 20s outfit on this blog back the New Years Eve before last, I’ve been pondering exploring wigs on this blog a little more. I feel like there’s a stigma around people with perfectly lovely and healthy hair wearing them for the everyday, but it’s a shame because they are perfect for times like this. The trick is finding the good ones, that actually look like you hoped they would. Because here’s, generally speaking, what most cheap-mid range – and therefore artificial – wigs can’t do:

  1. Be put up into an updo (trust me on that, I’ve tried)
  2. Be restyled from how they’ve been set (if they are on the cheaper end of the scale like mine are – some artificial wigs can take a certain low amount of heat styling, but they are usually pricier)
But find one that you like and that doesn’t look obviously ‘wiggy’ and you’re laughing – a quick and easy ‘do that can totally transform your look and is almost as easy as putting a hat on. For days you can’t be bothered to style your hair, they’re amazing. I personally don’t feel silly wearing mine out and about because I generally don’t care what people look at me and think – which might surprise people as I’m quite shy and introverted, but I just don’t. I also don’t think it’s that noticeable and feels like a much bigger deal to the wig wearer.
So, onto the wig I’m showing you today, which is this Bettie Page inspired style by Annabelle’s Wigs that comes in blonde, dark brown – seen here, and black. From all the historic pictures I’ve seen, this kind of short fringe and looser, longer curl style that Bettie favoured was more the domain of the pin-ups and sweater girls of the day, but it’s therefore quite a nice way to go a bit 50s but also keep it fun and fresh. You see a lot of modern day pin-ups favouring her trademark bangs and dark locks, so it’s got that vixen vibe too.
What I’m going to try to do with this wig and the next one I have to show you soon, is also show you ways I’ve managed to further style it very simply to give it an extra ‘vintage’ edge. So no, you can’t put this wig into a ponytail, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear it exactly as it comes. Stay tuned for simple tips to adjust to the wig life too.
Au Naturelle
Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review
Very much the vintage vixen, right? Pout is totally optional. For this photo, all I’ve done to the wig is shove it onto my head (with a wig cap to keep my long hair out of the way – although sometimes for comfort – they’re kinda itchy – I will just pin my hair to my head instead) and with my Wet Brush (a gentle brush designed to detangle wet hair) I’ve brushed it through. It’s imperative that you don’t just put an artificial hair wig onto your head and walk out the door. They require a bit of love to fall back into the style they’ve been set and be tidy, especially when bought online. I find brushing it and shaping it with my hands is all it takes, though. The good news is you can’t really ruin the original set by brushing it. And that’s absolutely all I’ve done here. The fringe falls into that lovely rounded shape all by itself (with a little persuasion, at least).
With a beret
Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review
Oh come on, you knew the first thing I’d do is put a beret on it. But doesn’t it work rather well? This is a super cheap eBay beret that is quite thin wool, and it stays in place rather well on the smooth wig. I could add kirby grips for further security if I want to, though. I’ve not tried a more structured hat than this with this wig, and perhaps that would cause problems with grip, but the humble beret works rather well.
With a headscarf
Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review
Ah, that staple of the modern pin-up – the chiffon headscarf. This is as easy as it looks, you just tie it on like you would your own hair. It also felt quite secure without clips because the weight of the wig held it into place. To make doubly sure my own hair didn’t poke out at the sights I pulled a little of the wig hair in the scarf towards my face, with the rest staying secure behind the scarf. Tying the scarf partly over my ear also helped to keep the wig hair at the sides where I wanted it to be.
With a hair flower
Annabelle's Wigs Becca dark brown Bettie Page style wig review
It actually doesn’t get any easier than this. I just clipped the flower onto the wig like I would my own hair. Again, there’s a few of my own hair stragglers here but honestly if I take the time to put this on properly this doesn’t happen. Job done.
At this point I need to apologise for the poor lighting in these photos – you can thank the dark days of winter for needing to resort to my halo light. This wig doesn’t look as shiny as this in natural light and I’ll prove that in my next post when I feature it as part of my next outfit 🙂
In addition to the above looks, I thought I’d give some other general tips on buying artificial wigs:
  • Don’t go too cheapAnnabelle’s Wigs is a really good budget option for artificial wigs, but in my experience, paying less than about £25-30 on a full wig like this one is going to show in the product. A human hair full wig, by the way, might set you back £300-600 for a good one, I hear.
  • Opt for similar colours to your hair – particularly if you’ve not worn wigs before, staying close to what you’re used to will make it easier for you to adjust to the sight of yourself with a wig on. It took me a long time to accept I looked ok in the one in this post because it’s almost black and my hair hasn’t been that colour since my emo years…
  • Accept that curly artificial wigs won’t look like the picture – I feel like every curly hair wig is going to be different, but neither one I have looks anything like it did in the model photo on me. I more chose them based on the general look and size of curl, not the exact way it was sitting on their face etc. If you go in with that mindset, you won’t be disappointed…

I’ve also heard about people doing things like powdering a shiny cheaper wig to make it look less obviously fake, but actually I don’t think my wigs have needed that (as I say above, shine in these photos due to poor lighting). Maybe if you got really close up you would tell, but I’ve gone round the supermarket in this one and no one’s said a word… or even really looked at me any longer than they usually would (and who knows when you dress vintage, you’re always getting stared at anyway!).

So what do you think, would you brave a wig for the every day? As I say, stay tuned to see it in action soon (sneak preview over on Instagram right now)!



  1. February 16, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    I do like the idea of trying out different styles and colours through wigs. And like you say, quicker than curling!! I look forward to seeing more of your growing collection 😉

    • February 17, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      The truth is I've actually got quite a few wigs, but the reason why I have them I'm not going to be sharing just yet 😉

  2. February 16, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    i have a collection of about 8 wigs in different colors, styles, and lengths. I even have one so close to my natural hair, no one knows I'm wearing one. I like wigs so much, I've pondered cutting off all my hair. You can even combine hair pieces to wigs for more fun…….ponytails, clip on bangs, buns, braids, etc. Using a needle and some thread to match the wig color and you can put temporary styles into them with the aid of a wig head. Make sure you care for them: wear a wig cap, keep them clean. I was mine with cold water, gentle shampoo, and fabric softener as a conditioner. Then, I put curlers in them and let them dry indoors. It's like a wet set for your wig!

    • February 16, 2017 / 6:32 pm

      Wow, I defer to your expert knowledge! That's a great idea about adding matching attachments to a full wig, I like that! I've not tried washing mine yet, I'd be curious to know if they totally lose their shape or not if you leave them to it…

  3. February 17, 2017 / 3:04 am

    The wig looks awesome and I love the different ways that you have styled it! I'd love to play around with some different wigs one day! x

    • February 17, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      It's great for blog posts – no more painstaking attempts to get a particular era's look…!

  4. February 18, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Love this! When this post popped up in my reading listing and I saw the teaser pic I thought for sure you cut and dyed your hair. Such a fun wig and a great way to get a big change fast 🙂

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