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Hair & Hairstyling Tips: Charlize Theron's Retro 1920s Flapper Hairstyle


Charlize Theron Grand Opening of Social Hollywood 06-27-06

Charlize Theron was born on August 7, 1975, in Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa as an only child. She was named after her father Charles who died when the star was a young girl. Charlize grew up on a farm in South Africa where there wasn't a lot of opportunity for a performance career.

The wannabe performer turned to modeling when she was 16 but quickly decided ballet was more to her liking.

A ballet related injury sidelined the beautiful young woman and she moved to Los Angeles for a try at acting. Charlize was discovered less than a year after she arrived and has been acting ever since.

Her breakout role is considered to be her turn as the tortured wife in The Devil's Advocate with Keanu Reeves in 1997. Since that time the mostly blonde beauty has starred in many award winning films. Her role as a female serial killer in Monster won her the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her career has soared even higher since that point.

Charlize's Hair Transitions

Charlize Theron Grand Opening of Social Hollywood 06-27-06

When I look at Charlize's Retro 1920s Flapper hairstyle I am amazed by the fact that the actress can morph back and forth so effortlessly between her sharply angled shag style hairdo from March of 2006 (shown below) to her softer, elegant yet classic pin curled set from one week ago (June 27, 2006).

Of course it shouldn't be all that surprising since she works with one of the most talented and sought after Hollywood celebrity hairdressers - Enzo Angileri.

Over the years Charlize has transitioned through a wide range of hair lengths from very long to uber short (The Astronaut's Wife) and has donned a variety of shades from platinum blonde to black opal for her role in Aeon Flux.

Her most shocking transformation was for her award winning role in Monster where she worked hard to transition from a gorgeous blonde star to a drab serial killer. For that role her hair was colored a muddy brown.

Charlize's Retro Hairstyle

Charlize's current Retro 1920s hairstyle doesn't really fit into the classic definition of a Bob because it appears to have some discreet layering. Yes, it's close to a classic bob (which is normally all one length) but it is expertly angled so that it dips slightly forward into seductive curvy points in the front under her chin with some radical shaper strands layered under her chin. This builds in beautiful movement and body. It is also cut to build in maximum fullness along the crown. The ends appear to have been either softly razored or cut with a scissors at a point to create the texture and angles.

Depending on some hair texture and types, razoring may or may not be the best option. With Charlize's current hairstyle the hint of textured feathering along the perimeter creates just the right sharpness and edginess.

Charlize Theron Grand Opening of Social Hollywood 06-27-06

Her basic layered haircut also allows Charlize to either part her hair down the middle and wear a shimmering veil of honey blonde strands framing either side of her face or to wear a side part with a side-swept, eye covering, fringe.

When she wears the style with the peek-a-boo fringe she also has the option to pull a few tendrils forward so that they form soft pin curl shapes along her cheeks. Her side-swept bangs are also curled into a classic pin curl created look.

Whether worn with or without the side-swept strands, the style is perfect with her classic heart shaped face and gorgeous features.

Her faux layered Bob cut takes on a truly angelic and classic 20s flapper look with a traditional wet pin curl set. The hair is set when damp, but not dripping. The finished pin curls can be air dried or slowly dried while under a hood dryer of with a diffused to avoid over blowing the curls.

To create the body along the crown, curls are set in large loops. For the tighter curls along the sides, down the back and along the fringe and tendrils, the curls are wound tighter. For perfect symmetry, the curls are wound different directions on each side for a perfectly balanced look.

Highlights And Lowlights

If you look closely you will be able to see that Charlize's soft honey blonde tresses have been very carefully highlighted with thin ribbons of lighter blonde hues placed strategically throughout her angled bob to add the illusion of fullness and depth. Additional lowlight accent hues have also been interwoven with the base color and the lighter blonde highlights.

Charlize Theron Vanity Fair Benefit 03-02-06

The lighter blonde highlights placed against the soft honey blonde base also helps to bring out a shimmering shine. Tiny lighter blonde streamers frame the star's gorgeous face opening it up while playing off her beautiful skin and eye tones.

Steal Charlize 's Retro 30s Hair Style

Charlize's style is idea for hair that is medium in thickness and cut shoulder to chin length in graduated layers or a traditional bob style that is inverted.

Follow the steps below to re-create Charlize's style:

1. Start by washing your hair in lukewarm water with a product designed to add back moisture and to treat colored or highlighted hair with tender loving care.

Charlize Theron Vanity Fair Benefit 03-02-06

2. Rinse hair well and then apply a moisturizing rinse-out conditioner focusing the products on the areas of the hair that are most dry or damaged. If your hair is fine or thin you may wish to skip this option.

For extra conditioning substitute the rinse-out conditioner with a deep conditioner that is allowed to soak down into the hair's shaft.

3. Finish with a cool/cold rinse to lock in moisture and add additional shine.

4. Towel blot to remove excess moisture. Apply a conditioning detangling spray or leave-in conditioner and detangle strands with a wide tooth comb working from the ends to the roots.

Create either a center or side part, depending on how you wish to style your hair.

Note: If your hair is prone to frizzing apply a defrisant product or mix with your other styling products.

5. For lots of fullness, lift and volume, apply a volume enhancing product to the roots. Distribute a straightening balm to the rest of the strands distributing from below the roots to the ends.

Charlize Theron w/Keanu Reeves GLAAD Media Awards 04-08-06

6. Use a comb with a long tail to help separate hair into neat sections. 7. Separate strands into 1/2 to 1" uniform sections in the areas of your head where you want the pin curls. 8. Take individual strands and wrap strands tightly around your finger. It is important to have the proper tension when wrapping. Curls wrapped too loose will not produce the best curls.

Secure with a smooth silver colored salon clip positioned in a diagonal fashion across the entire width of the newly created pin curl.

Note: Do NOT use traditional bobby pins to secure pin curls which will cause creases in the finished curl. 9. Continue to create pin curls until finished. Spritz finished pin curl set with water so that all of the curls dry to a uniform finish. If desired, spritz with a setting spray after misting with water for a firmer hold. Sit under a hood dryer or use a diffuser on slow, low heat to help speed up the drying time. Ideally, let hair completely air dry or sleep overnight on your set.

Note: When a pin curl set is allowed to air dry or is kept in the hair overnight, the curls are deeper, tighter and will last longer

10. After you remove pin curls but before you style them, mist with a good hairspray. Let spray dry and then use fingers to tousle and arrange new curls. 11. Apply a shine serum, shine spray or hair cream to seal in moisture and add that shimmering shine similar to Charlize 's. Hairspray is optional.


Charlize Theron combines her award winning acting with noteworthy hairstyles that work perfectly with her face shape, hair style and type. Although she has adopted different hues ranging from muddy brown and red to platinum blonde for her film roles, the star is most comfortable with light honey and baby blonde shades that work with her skin and eye tones.

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