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How To Get Mad Men Hair At Home

It takes a lot to distract me while I'm watching an episode of Mad Men; the plots are too engrossing, the characters too complex, the period details too accurate for my thoughts to wander. But every so often, I'll lose track of what's happening because I'm wondering about the logistics that went into mid-century hair. Ranging from architectural waves to shellacked-in-place updos, the styles seem far too involved for an at-home replication. So how on earth did the real-life Bettys, Joans, Megans and Peggys make do in an era without blowout bars?

To answer my question, I asked two of the John Barrett stylists who schooled us in Games of Thrones braids last week, Kayley Pak and Isabel Gullien, to return for another crash course. And I was pleasantly surprised with what I learned: women 50 years ago were not magically born with Veronica Lake waves, nor did they spend several hours a day creating them. In fact, it took less than 30 minutes to recreate four Mad Men looks on me and three of my fellow editors, and none of the steps were confusing or unmanageable.

In the slideshow below, I've shared our Mad Men makeovers, complete with a DIY tutorial for each. Start practicing now so you're ready for Sunday's big two-hour premiere!

Using the smallest curling iron at your disposal, curl the ends of the hair out and up, then clip into place. Let them cool for a few minutes, take out the clips and fix with hairspray. If you are working with natural bangs, split the fringe and curl each side under, switching the direction of the curling iron each time so the handle is always closest to the ears—this ensures uniformity.


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