How To Get Gibson Girl Hair Even When (Or Because) You're Hungover

My go-to Edwardian updo for those mornings when I have to look put together despite being kind of drunk.
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Publish date:
May 14, 2013
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hairsprays, How-To, updos, teasing, muses, wigs, hair powders, art, combs, got2b, Aqua Net, Edwardian, Gibson Girl

So, a lot of times I wake up under questionable circumstances. I think this is the epitome of youth.

But there are days when I wake up, and I am filled--I am destroyed--by some sick feeling in my stomach that is undoubtedly last night's absinthe seething in my guts. It takes only minor sophistry to convince me that a hair of the dog that bit me is exactly what I need at 10:30 before walking some 20 blocks for a meeting at noon.

I have a hairstyle for those days when I have to look put together despite being kind of drunk.

Despite the imbibing of absinthe, I am not always as "fun at parties" as I would like to be. I have very specific interests at any given time; and in social situations with new people, often my obscure interest is really all I want to talk about. For awhile it was discussing Das Kapital, and then I turned towards 19th Century French spanking literature, and then it was Gilles de Rais. But right now, I'm interested in the Edwardian era through the lens of the 1960s, particularly when it comes to embodying that in my beauty routines.

The makeup of the 1960s doesn't really have a lot in common with 1910 through 1920, but the hair from both decades is huge and elegant. Basically, Gibson Girl hair.

So on mornings when I know I will shortly be stumbling drunkenly down South Street, I can do this really quickly, and look intoxicating instead of intoxicated. I like the idea of "balance" in beauty--and I think an elegant updo balances out morning drunkenness--perhaps suggesting that I couldn't have been that drunk if I did that hair. But I totally, totally was that drunk.

TL;DR, I know, I know. Moving on.

The only specific products I use in this are Aqua Net Extra Super Hold Hair Spray and got2b POWDER'ful volumizing styling powder. I also use a variety of combs, because variety is the spice of life.

You can start with your hair in really any state to do this--that's what makes it appealing. Even if you have vomit in your hair, you will come out of this looking like a sexy late-Renoir painting, or a Charles Dana Gibson illustration. In fact, it probably helps if you have vomit in your hair.

(I don’t mean for this hair to be particularly period-accurate, obviously, although I could totally arrange for you to hear me rant about historical accuracy. I do not judge myself by my standards, and neither should you!)

My hair is already long and thick, but for height I like to shove assorted household items into it. Today, I'm using a wig.

The wig in question is dark, short and cost $5 at Walmart around Halloween. I kind of thought it would make me look like Anna Karina in Vivre Sa Vie. It actually just makes me look even more like I'm dying of scurvy than usual.

You should use a wig that matches your hair color as much as possible; I dye my hair black semipermanently on and off, so this wig matches my hair now, but does not always.

You can actually shove whatever you want in there, really: socks and pantyhose work well, and a rat would work great if you have one. If you do use a wig, it should be rolled in on itself, and secured with clear rubber bands or the like.

First, I split my hair into a front half and a back half. I rub that powder’ful stuff thoroughly on each section of hair, and then I tease each half of the hair. If I was doing this look sober, I might set my hair on big curlers beforehand to get more volume, but in this case, I just want to make my hair as large as possible by teasing it.

So once my hair is massive, I smack the wig haphazardly down on the part, When I lean over, the wig should not fall off of my head.

I gather all of my hair as I’m leaning over, and pull it straight up...

... let it fall into a poof on my head, and twist the top into a chignon. I secure it with clear rubber bands and pins or whatever. I don’t try too hard, and if the wig peeks through it doesn’t matter because no one will know that the wig hair isn’t my hair. This is the best.

This hair usually powers me through whatever I mistakenly believed I needed to look elegant for, and then it keeps the hair out of my face when I come home to change into this Velvet Underground t-shirt that doesn’t belong to me and read DH Lawrence novels.