DIY: Sweet Hair Bow & Tie in One

Living in hot and sunny Singapore means that I have my hair tied up when I am at home most of the time. After completing my adorable 1950’s baby doll pjs set, I decided that I had to have something just as cute to tie my hair up with.

A bow is the simplest thing you could add to your hair for an instant cute and retro flair. Using a ribbon to tie a bow to a ponytail is a very popular hairstyle in the 1950’s and 1960’s. While I like the idea of having bows in my hair at home, I don’t quite like the trouble of using a regular hair elastic and then adding a bow in later.

I wanted something quick, easy and fuss-free. And so, I decided to make a pair of these hair bow ties for use at home. It took me less than 5 minutes to whip both of them up, so I decided to share how I made them with everyone too!


  • Toilet paper roll (or a pipe, a slim glass, or even a lover’s wrist – just something to tie your elastic around with)
  • Elastic (at least 28″ for 1 hair tie)
  • A pair of scissors


1. Lay your elastic under the toilet roll. Ensure you have at least 12″ to work with to the right of the toilet roll.

2. Hold the elastic on the right with your right hand, and the elastic on the left with your left hand. Cross them and pull one side under the other.

3. Create a loop on each side and cross your left loop over the right loop as shown in the photo.

4. After pulling the left loop over the right loop, pull it from under the right loop.

5. Pull the loops gently to tighten the bow.

6. Pull the elastic that is still wrapped around the toilet roll to tighten the bow even more. Neaten as you go along.

7. Cut the excess elastic off once you are done neatening the bow, to create the bow that you want. You may want to have a bow with longer strands coming down.

8. You now have a sturdy, and sweet hair bow tie!

I have been wearing this hair tie at home a lot with my baby doll pjs. Now all I need is a pair of pink fluffy house slippers to complete the dreamy 1950’s stay-home look!

New year, new hair

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage styleI finally got my hair done again just a week before the Lunar New Year, and I’m so happy to go from cheap to chic!

My last hair dye job was in August 2016 and while the colour was glorious at the start, it faded fairly quickly despite the fact that I was only washing my hair 2-3 times each week. I ended up having to tolerate a cheap brassy tone for the longest time, because getting a hair appointment once every 3 months just for the colour isn’t quite the lifestyle that I want.

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

I am hoping that my new hair colour will last longer this time. My scalp has been slowly adjusting to the reduced frequency of hair washing, and I am now down to washing my hair 1-2 times only each week. (Hooray to less waster usage, less shampoo usage, and less time spent in the shower!)

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

On top of that, I am also using a colour shampoo once a week which will hopefully help to retain the vibrancy of my current dye job. As I said before, bleaching my hair and getting a balayage at a proper salon is definitely one of the best things I have done to my hair. My bleached locks is less slippery to work with when I put them in foam rollers. Also, curls show up so much better with the colour!

I haven’t quite decided on a go-to colour yet. I am not sure if I will ever have one. There’s a good chance that I will do pink again once my hair is long enough for the ends to be easily hidden in a bun for when I go to work. But for now, I’m just gonna stick with ash grey for at least the next 6 months or so. Let’s see if it works out! x

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style

gwenstella ash grey hair retro vintage style


The girl with sunlight in her hair

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dyeThe last time I bleached (almost half of) my hair was about 4 years ago. I loved it, I had to cut it, and I have always missed it… until now.

Back then, I was just a student in my last year of uni. A roommate I was living with kindly offered to bleach my hair for me. My hair was almost up to my waist; I had nothing to lose.

gwenstella balayage ombre asian hair

Circa August 2012. (Note the thrifted vintage woollen jumper and glasses – I was a hipster)

gwenstella balayage ombre asian hair

Circa August 2012. (Yes, definitely digging the hipster grandpa style with my other thrifted vintage oversized knitted jumper and laced-up brogues)

Circa September 2012

Circa September 2012

Circa March 2013

Circa March 2013.

gwenstella ombre dip dye pink hair manic panic pretty flamingo

Circa May 2013.

It was done on a cold winter afternoon, with just a single box of blonde hair dye/bleach, a plastic comb and some aluminium foil. The wait was long, and the smell of hydrogen peroxide was strong. I didn’t know what to expect. But the result was nothing short of exciting. I was a true rebel! Bleached ends! My life was full possibilities!

Unsurprisingly, a couple of weeks later, I bought my first bottle of Manic Panic colour in the loveliest shade of pink – Pretty Flamingo. I became a unicorn…

As it usually goes, another life happened after uni, and I shed my unicorn mane.

Since then, I have always dreamt about colouring my hair again. I decided to get a balayage done on my hair after seeing a photo of Alexa Chung on Pinterest one day. Many of the trendy hair colour salons that I enquired quoted approximately $200-300++ for the colour treatment, and I decided that it was too costly for me. (I mean, I’d rather buy a rare 1950s Hawaiian dress with matching bolero with that kind of money.)

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

gwenstella asian balayage ombre brown gold hair dye

Wearing: Green gold glitter crop top (second-hand via Carousell app), high-waisted denim shorts (purchased in Sydney over 3 years ago), beaded gold bag (second-hand via Carousell app), laced-up flats (via online shopping market)

But the universe had other plans (or rather, Google was good at their algorithms). I came across Ivy Rupef’s page on Instagram (@ivyrupefhair) by chance one day. The price that was quoted seemed so much more affordable, so I contacted her immediately for an appointment. Ivy was very knowledgeable in the area of hair colouring and very professional. The entire process took around 2.5 hours and cost me only $148 for my shoulder-length hair. The result is absolutely fantastic! I have gotten so many compliments on it and I’m just so in love with how it looks. How is it that it took me so long to get this done?

My hair is bright again and so are my days. x