Interview – Meet Lauren Rennells of VintageHairStyling.com
1. Tell us a little about yourself
I am 37 years old and I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona.
I majored in photography at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. I now live in Denver, Colorado in a little historical mid-century modern neighborhood.
I have been doing hair and makeup professionally for about 12 years. Before that I was always experimenting with vintage looks on myself, but it was in beauty school that I really learned technique.
2. What made you start blogging and what’s the story behind VintageHairStyling.com?
There was a very key moment right before I went to beauty school when I was online trying to find information on recreating vintage hair looks. This was before YouTube, before blogs were a big thing, before you could create your own beautiful website by just buying a template for WordPress. The internet was not quite an infant, but it was still definitely in elementary school.
I could not find anything helpful or tutorial. I turned to my boyfriend at the time and said, “As soon as I figure all of these styles out I am going to write a book so that no other girl has to go through this!” I was so frustrated.
It was right about that time that I was starting Cosmetology school and my teacher Miss Lillian had been doing hair since the 1960s. She was a product of and expert at pin curls and fingerwaves and shampoo sets. She was amazing.
And she was highly amused that I wanted to know so much about how they did hair back in the day. None of the other girls in my school really cared about fingerwaves. This was a few years before the boom of vintage in modern style magazines. She let me borrow her Milady book from when she was in school, which started my obsession with collecting vintage hair magazines and books.
So fast forward a few years, I read a book about how to publish your own book. I had everything I needed. I had the subject, I had the photo equipment to take the pictures from my previous profession, and I had enough open balance on my credit card to pay for the first printing. That is how Vintage Hairstyling: Retro Styles with Step-by-Step Techniques began.
And the Bobby Pin Blog was just another outlet for me. I had lots of little tidbits of information here and there and still had more I wanted to write, so I started the blog and it just keeps going.
3. Can you remember the moment when you realized that hair styling is your passion? If yes, tell us more…
My involvement with hairstyling was gradual. I mentioned before that I majored in photography in college and I thought I wanted to be a fashion photographer. When I got out of school and starting working in the industry assisting various photographers and stylists, I realized that I was really interested in being the hair and makeup artist, which was a major surprise to me because I was such a tomboy in high school.
So I went back to cosmetology school and the rest was history. Now the only pictures I take are of my own hair and makeup styles for my retro beauty books and the Bobby Pin Blog.
4. Have you always prefered classic hair styles? Do you have a hair style that you like working on most? Is there something that puts a smile on your face when you hear a customer request…
Honestly, as long as the hairstyle my client requests is a vintage look, I am happy. I recently altered my wedding services I offered by only taking on vintage brides.
I love curls and girlie things and vintage styles encompass all of that. I also really adore anything that looks like a wave, whether it is a fingerwave or a curling iron treatment to get the same effect like I did for Marcel Wave Vintage Made article last year.
5. Do you have favorite brands in hair styling products?
I use many different brands in my kit. Each one has its amazing products.
For hairspray I use Kenra. Each hairspray strength has a different fruit or floral scent, which makes them really nice to use when you are spraying it all day at a wedding.
For thermal styling products I use Goldwell Hot Form. It provides great setting strength without drying crust-like on the hair.
My favorite pomade is Rumble 59 Schmiere medium hair pomade for women from Germany. It smells lovely, it’s pink, and the texture is great for control without weighing down the hair.
6. Please give us your 5 main tips for the the girls out there trying to find their “look”
The 5 most important things I would say to girls trying to find their look is…
- Be realistic about what your hair is capable of doing and go with that. If you set your sights on something your hair can’t do, you will always be disappointed and no woman should be disappointed when she looks in the mirror. She should only see beauty.
- Commit to a haircut or to growing your hair out. The placement of layers and the length of your hair will determine a lot of the look of your hair, so choose carefully.
- Be healthy with your hair. Give it plenty of nourishment and don’t wash it everyday. Styling puts a lot of stress on it and it is important to keep it at its best.
- Don’t get too stuck on decades. If you are going for full on reenactment I can understand, but if you like 1940s dresses, but you also want fingerwaves, go with it. This is about having fun, not rules.
- Research, research, research. Go beyond the internet. Rent old movies. Go to your library. I feel like since we are all Googling the same thing online, we are all just getting the same material to inspire us. There is so much more out there.
7. What are your favorite hair styling websites/blogs?
There are so many places I find inspiration from. Hairstylists like Australia’s own master stylist Sharon Blain and from old photographs on websites like GlamourGirlsoftheSilverScreen.com.
8. A message to your fans.
Come up with 3 hairstyles that you can do in under 10 minutes and photograph them. Keep the pictures in your powder room to keep yourself inspired even when you are in a hurry.