I love updos. They can be sophisticated and elegant, or messy and cute. I’m just not very good at them, and never have been (I can’t even get the most basic of up styles – the pony tail – to look right). For years the very best I could manage was a simple bun. And let me tell you, that wasn’t a very flattering look for me. If you thought Lilith looked severe….
And then I found The Gibson Tuck on Pinterest. This very elegant and yet very easy style quickly became my go-to. If you follow my Instagram (or just pay attention to the sidebar on the blog page) you’ve probably seen a lot of photos of it. I’m even sporting it two of my Red and Black Week posts, here and here. As much practice as I’ve had, it’s never once come out “perfectly,” and some days are definitely better than others! But I still manage to get a lot of compliments on it.
It’s an easy style to achieve, truly. The Freckled Fox has complete illustrated instructions on her site, so I won’t repeat them here. One thing I do that’s not in the instructions is use a pick, comb, or lift to pull up some of my hair in front. I have a really deep part that I’d rather disguise if I can! So my version of the style tends to look poufier than the original.
I will say that the elastic seemed to me to be pretty crucial to the style. Gathering the hair into an elastic prior to rolling and tucking the hair under keeps it together and is probably why the style is as easy to do as it is.
Of course, I got to work one morning with no elastic and had to improvise!
What I’ve dubbed the Gibson Roll isn’t as easy to do. It’s not as neat, or as elegant (at least from the back). But now that my hair is insanely long again, I find it lasts longer if I do it this way – sometimes if I use an elastic, I’ll find halfway through the day that the tail has come unwound and is poking out the back! It takes a lot more pins to do it this way, however. I’m fortunate that I found some large “heavy duty” pins at the Beckley Wal-Mart many years ago. I’ve never found them again and I’ve only managed to keep up with six of them over the years…but they’re a huge help with pretty much any style.
Basically for the Gibson Roll, you do everything exactly the same…except you don’t use an elastic. Because the hair isn’t gathered and secured, it’s not as easy to hold on to or to roll. I’ve tried rolling it several ways and in several directions, and all of them have worked. It does wind up a little messier looking than what I can achieve with the Tuck, but sometimes that’s okay.
Below are some photos of one of my early attempts at the Gibson Roll. I was so excited that it came out as good as it did that the first thing I did when I got home was ask my husband to get some snaps – my new phone has a great camera, but no dedicated button…making “selfies” of the back of my head impossible. It’s a little disheveled as it’s the end of the day, but I still think it came out good enough to share!
I’ve done it this way many times since with mixed results, and of course I continue to do the Tuck the correct way. But I am really glad I was able to figure out a way to improvise without the proper tools. One never knows when one will be required to manage an updo on the fly, after all.