Marcels in the Family, late 1920s to Mid-1930s
These three photographs of my mother, with and without a rather unbecoming — but tight-fitting — cloche, show why the cloche hat influenced so many women to adopt the close-to-the head Marcel hair style in the late 1920s. [Unless your hair was naturally curly, you needed a permanent wave to preserve the Marcel style under your hat. The women in my family spoke of the Marcel wave and the permanent wave interchangeably.]
A secretary like my mother (above) would have worn a hat while commuting to and from work, but not indoors on the job, so she probably wore an invisible hair net under the hat to protect her style when the hat was put on and removed. A good quality hat would have been fully lined, but this unflattering cloche looks like a cheap hat. Although my mother had bobbed her hair by 1922, . . .
. . . she grew it out by the end of the decade, like a lot of other young women.
Her Marcel ended in a small bun at the back. Her older sister had a Marcel wave, too:
My aunt liked her Marcel so much that she wore it all through the nineteen thirties:
(And she was still wearing it in the 1950s!)
My mother was also photographed at intervals, now wearing her 1930’s Marcel with a side part:
In this 1930’s family photo of three generations, both younger and older women have Marcelled hair.
My grandmother, center, always had her hair permed, but I can’t tell from this picture whether she wore it long like her daughters, or kept the bob she had in the 1920’s. Perhaps she was one of the older women who decided they would never go back to heavy hair and hairpins.
Digression: I have a special fondness for Odo-ro-no deodorant, because it is one of the many products and advertising slogans mentioned by e.e. cummings in his satirical “Poem, or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal.”