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DIY Friday…..Gatsby girl. A Zelda Fitzgerald hairstyle.

(Photo styled by Mel Arens, Mayapple boutique)

Zelda Fitzgerald was the dynamic and willful wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, iconic author of The Great Gatsby. The lead female character in that book, Daisy Buchanan was loosely based on Zelda. She was gorgeous and fashionable and hob-nobbed with the boot-legging elite of New York in the 1920’s.

If you haven’t read it, please do. Read it before you go see the blockbuster movie that comes out next spring. I predict that 1920’s hairstyles are going to be HUGE next year, so lets get started early.

Here is my interpretation of what Zelda’s hair must have looked like when attending a swank New York party.

This 1920’s inspired DIY Gatsby girl hairstyle is much easier than it looks. I threw it together on a whim of experimentation on Whitney, my daughter’s fabulous kindergarten art teacher. I think she looks absolutely perfect as Zelda Fitzgerald. Her hair is fine and medium-long. It is heavily highlighted, which helps it hold a style. I used no styling products. If you have very slick hair, you will definitely need a good texture spray to disperse throughout your hair to hold this style.

Because it is a very drape-y and loose hairstyle, It is hard to do on thick straight, coarse hair. If that’s what you have, first set your hair with texture spray on damp hair, and one of HTHG’s no heat curl techniques. This will help it hold. Definately get some long bobby pins, too.

Here is how I did it…..

1. Start by sectioning the hair down the side of the back. One side should be about 2/3rds of the head, and the other should be about 1/3rd of the head.

2.On the heavy side, begin a twist that starts at the temple and wraps around the back of the head.

3. Continue the twist all the way to the end of the section.

4.Wrap the end into a loose bun and pin  through the bun with large bobby pins.

5. Reinforce the twist with a couple small bobby pins.Don’t worry about making a really neat bun. It looks better loose.

6. Now make another section that comes down from the top of the head to just in front of the ear.

7. twist that section down to the ends of the hair.

8. Now wrap it into a loose bun and pin it into place slightly above the first bun. Take a swig of a PBR and get ready for the next step.

9. Make another section that leaves just a small amount of hair around the face. Twist it back and pin it into a small loose bun. This time use little bobby pins so you can hide them better.

10. Take the last little bit of hair and twist it into a tiny little pincurl.

11. Snuggle it in with the curl before it and try and hide the pin.

12. Now give it a spray of firm hold hair spray if you want. It will help it hold.



Bootleg bride, anyone? Flapper? red carpet starlet? stuck at home on a rainy day? DO IT!








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  1. SarahBeth57

    The hairstyle looks very easy to do, and I’ll definitely try it out. I think it looks even better than the more difficult ones out there. It was written very clearly. The only thing that would make this better is if the pictures were numbered. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      Thank you for the feedback! Glad you found me. I love the Gatsby Girl because it is so pretty and unique and easy:)

  2. katie in austin

    Thanks for all the great tutorials! I did this ipso for a 20s party last night. It was easy & looked great!

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      Wonderful! Id love to see a photo:)

  3. Lexi Wolfe

    Going to hopefully get my loving fiance to recreate this for a play we’re doing at our local theatre over the Christmas period – it’s the 1929 classic ‘Rope’ and I’m play Leila Arden. Rather than cutting all my hair off, which might have been appropriate for the time period, this looks like the perfect thing to do instead so I get to be period-appropriate and yet keep my long locks =) Thank you very much for sharing!

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      so glad you found it!!

  4. Elizabeth

    This is great! I’m in a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and need to style my hair for the 20’s… unfortunately my hair is quite long, and this is the first hairstyle that’s worked really well. Thank you!

    1. roxie.hunt Author

      You are so welcome!!!!! glad you found HTHG:)

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