June 22, 2015

How I Tame the Beast: Faux Updo for Short, Curly Hair

I was bawling. 

Mouth full of toothpaste, I stared disgustedly at my reflection.

Wet, tight curls hung limply on my head, starkly contrasting with my straight, sleek bangs. I was a pitiful mess--leaky eyes, red nose, weird hair, wounded soul.

Poodle. Poodle. Old fart.

That was me now, or at least that's what I looked like because of my hair. And it was all my fault.

*                          *                         *

When I went to China this year, I got a perm just like last time (photos here and here, or feel free to creep in my 2012 archives).

Unfortunately, it didn't turn out like last time. 

I had forgotten that my hair had been a lot longer then, and that I hadn't gotten the top of my head permed. So I was left with a huge, unruly mess fit for the 1980s. 

Since time-traveling to the 80s, getting a straightening treatment, or cutting the curly parts off weren't viable options (I like the 21st century thank you, and I also don't want to be left with no hair from more chemicals or no hair from cutting it off), my only solution was to just deal. 

And I did deal for about a week, finding mild satisfaction by pulling the curly locks up with a wire headband. But I was still extremely self-conscious about the poof, and there was absolutely no way to disguise my hair in a ponytail because of the short length. Youtube tutorials for short, curly hair were also fruitless because my hair was too short.

Out of frustration and curiosity one day, I began furiously twisting and pinning sections of my hair up. This is the result, and I'm actually pretty happy.

So, as I promised, here's how I tame the beast.

What you'll need:
-- bobby pins (I use 9-12; if possible, matching your hair color is ideal)
--short, curly hair (slightly damp, and not long enough for a ponytail works best)

1. Starting from the sides, take a small section of hair that can be easily pinned.

2. Twist the section and pin it at the end. For best results, especially if you're planning to wear your hair down later, twist in the natural direction of the curl (either down or up).

3. Repeat until you've finished the whole head. For the back, I pin the top layer down and the bottom layer up (section near my neck).

4. Take care of any flyaways with more bobby pins, or leave 'em. I personally like a few to keep the look more tousled.

Here are larger, more detailed shots of the finished look:

short curly hairstyle, faux updo
short curly hairstyle, faux updo
short curly hairstyle, faux updo

If you have experience with short, curly hair, definitely drop me a note--I'd love to learn more styling techniques. If this sort of hair is totally irrelevant to you, but you also have a hair disaster story, I'd be grateful to hear how you dealt. 

Of course, for every downside, there's an upside. I may not be happy with how my hair looks now, but I've learned to invent solutions and search for more confidence in something deeper than appearance.

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Join the conversation!

  1. I'm no short hair girl, but I love how this turned out! Honestly, though, I do think that the perm doesn't look as bad as you described it to be! You did a wonderful of taming it, nonetheless!

    May x • THE MAYDENbloglovin'

  2. hey! sorry I've been so rare in your blog. I thought vacation means more time for blogging and reading blogs but oh how wrong I was! it means less time than before :P okay, about the hair now! let me tell you that updo is a great success! it could have totally fooled me if I didn't know you had such short hair! I've actually had similar hair once but I can't remember how I kept it under control... I do remember when I had bangs I hated it because my hair is curly and so was my bangs. it lived its own life and I just used bobby pins to attach it wherever I could (read: hide the fact I had it). anyway, like I said, I really like your updo. looks great with the straight bangs!

    - Part of

  3. Aw I am sorry to hear about your hair! I don't think it's bad at all and you definitely made the best of it! I guess I'm not too familiar with how perms work but is it something you could like straighten out too? With a hair straightener? But anyway, it really does look super cute and hair always grows out so I'm sure you'll be back to loving it soon enough :)

    Olivia | Her Name Was

  4. aww its a shame it didnt work out how you wanted but I still think the way you styled it is awesome :)

    ♥ Ellen #NZblogger


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  5. Aw girl, I'm sorry you hair didn't come out the way you wanted--the great thing is that nobody else will notice and it's mostly just your perspective on what happened. And thankfully hair grows back! :) I love your positive attitude toward the whole situation though. Don't ever let anything get you down, lady! <3

  6. You did a fine job taming your hair here, and I must say this is a somewhat sophisticated hairstyle. Flower(s) or even a floral crown or floral headband would make hairstyles lovely with this style hair. Well styled you are here, Lily. Much love.


  7. Ahhhh, no!! I'm so sorry that happened Lily, but hey! I've got to say, I think you found such a cute solution to the hair trauma. It looks great in that updo!
    My worst hair trauma would have to be when mom trimmed my bangs too short. Yeah, instead of stylish and chic blunt bangs, I had a messy fringe that hung well above my eyebrows...yikes -_- I pinned them back for what felt like forever till they grew out...

    The Dragonfruit Diaries
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  8. I like how you fixed your hair!

    Obsessed Fashion Blog

  9. HI LILY! I just found your blog from Linda's and read your "about" page and got super excited because AMHERST! my brother goes to Williams so I've been well-informed about Amherst haha! Also, I think we're the same age...are you a rising sophomore? I go to UVA! Can't wait to keep reading your blog, glad Linda has brought me to you! (She's one of my favorites...as a blogger and a person!!)

    Rory of www.WearAboutsBlog.com

  10. Aww Lily that is so cute! Your hair looks amazing short, you pull it off so well! And I love the curls I think they look really good! The pins make a very pretty hairstyle too! It's Francesca from vintagelillies, and I have started a new blog if you want to check it out!


  11. Hi, Rory! So glad you found me through Linda--what a gem! I just visited your lovely blog and left a little note. Let me know if you can't see it because I later realized that I switched google accounts!

  12. It looks really nice the way you did it! I am scared of having anything done to my hair as I remember a disasterous hair cut from my teenage years!x


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