Tag Archives: twenties hair styles

Permanents and Marcels Bridge the Twenties to Thirties

An advertisement for permanent waves, Delineator, April 1932.

An advertisement for permanent waves, The Delineator, April 1932.

"She raved about her experience in Paris." Illustration from The Delineator, August 1931.

“She raved about her experience in Paris.” Illustration from The Delineator, August 1931.

These women are enduring a hair-raising experience in the hope of looking like this:

Cover illustration, The Delineator, August 1931. The artist is probably Dynevor Evans.

Cover illustration, The Delineator, August 1931. A softly waved “Marcel” hairdo with a low bun in back.  The artist is probably Dynevor Evans.

The hairstyle known as a “Marcel” — and the permanent waving process named after its inventor — had been around long before the 1920’s, (click here for more about Monsieur Marcel Grateau’s 1872 innovation) but the combination of changing styles in hats and a switch from the “boyish” ideal to a softer, more feminine appearance as “the twenties” became “the thirties” made the deeply waved “Marcel” especially appealing to women.

Cloche hats could leave your coiffure seriously squashed when the hat was removed.

Gage hats, 1925. Ads from Delineator.

Gage hats, 1925. Ads from Delineator.

Many women who had bobbed hair in the twenties also had permanents. If they didn’t have perms or naturally curly hair, perspiring in a cloche could ruin a hairstyle. For more about early (and curly) 1920s hair styles, click here.

Permanent Waves, 1920’s

The C. Nestle Company sold electric permanent waving equipment like this to hair salons .

C. Nestle Permanent Hair Waving Machine, illustrated in

C. Nestle Permanent Hair Waving Machine, illustration from An Illustrated History of Hairstyles, by Marian I. Doyle.

Nestle also sold home permanent machines, which heated just one roller and plugged into an electric light socket, since most homes did not have wall-sockets in every room.

From Nestle Lanoil Home Permantne ad, Delineator, Dec. 1924.

From Nestle Lanoil Home Permanent ad, Delineator, Dec. 1924. “A whole head can be comfortably waved in just a few hours.”

Nestle Home Permanent ad, Delineator, July 1924.

Nestle Home Permanent ad, Delineator, July 1924. Marcelled hair style at top. Early 1920’s bobbed hair on the right.

The satisfied customer on the lower left is only five and a half years old.

"If You Are Going to HAve a Permanent." Article from The Delineator, May, 1932

“If You Are Going to Have a Permanent.” Article from The Delineator, May, 1932

Many women now in their eighties must remember these machines, because they were still in use in the 1940s. In fact, I was even younger than the little girl in the Nestle ad when my mother took me to a “beauty parlor” to have my hair permanently curled.

Child after a permanent, about 1948.

Child after a permanent, about 1948.

What I remember is how very heavy the porcelain insulators — like those in this picture — were.

1932 april hours 500 permanent ad

Other Ways to Marcel Your Hair

Ad for the Marcelwaver, Delineator, July 1928.

Ad for the Marcelwaver Company, Delineator, July 1928.

"A Perfect Marcel Wave in 15 Minutes" for only two cents. Ad, July 1928.

“A Perfect Marcel Wave in 15 Minutes” for only two cents. Ad, July 1928.

"American women can know the secret of the French woman's always perfectly marcelled hair.... Marcelwaver -- as it is now known -- can be used by any woman in the privacy of her own home."

“American women can know the secret of the French woman’s always perfectly marcelled hair…. Marcelwaver — as it is now known — can be used by any woman in the privacy of her own home.”

The Marcelwaver seems to be a clamp that crimps waves into your hair, but the ad does not say it is heated by electricity. However, the photo at bottom seems to show a twisted electric cord leading to the appliance.

Marcelwaver in use, 1928.

Marcelwaver in use, 1928.

Very Short Hair in the Mid-1920’s

Women wear shingled hair at a fashionable dance. Illustration from The Delineator, July 1928.

All the women wear shingled hair at this fashionable dance. Illustration from The Delineator, July 1928. (Typo edited 4/17/15]

Hair worn very short, and “shingled” to taper close to the head in back, was part of the “boyish” look that was adopted even by chic older women in the mid to late 1920’s. (For more about bobbed and shingled hair in the mid-twenties, click here.) It was not bulky, so it “worked” under a cloche hat, leaving small amounts of hair visible on the cheek.

Four Hats for Spring, April 1925. Delineator.

Four Hats for Spring, April 1925. Delineator.

Women who wanted to wear tight-fitting cloche hats in the 1920’s, but did not want to cut off their long hair, could twist it into a chignon worn very low on the neck in back.

From an article on hair styles, The Delineator, May, 1926.

From an article on hair styles, The Delineator, May, 1926. The waves on the far right are Marcelled.

Not all Marcelled hair was worn long.

Marcel waved hair styles from a Mulsified Cocoanut Oil Shampoo ad, The Delineator, February, 1929.

Marcel waved hair styles from a Mulsified Cocoanut Oil Shampoo ad, The Delineator, February, 1929. A longish bob is worn by the model on the left; the two on the right have long hair.

Longer Hair Returns with the 1930’s

As early as September of 1928, The Delineator’s beauty editor, Celia Caroline Cole, was writing about the return of longer hair — and the confusion it was causing.

"The men who create the styles of today and tomorrow give theri verdict on the return of long hair." Delineator, September, 1928.

“The men who create the styles of today and tomorrow give their verdict on the return of long hair.”  Delineator, September, 1928.

“One of the most chic hairdressers in the world told me . . . that the bob is surely passing. Then two blocks down that same broad street, another hairdresser, equally swanky, assured me that  . . . the bob will never go — it is here to stay.”

The first hairdresser reminded her that “Styles are a part of life. And youth catches on to them first.  Youth makes us do what it wants. The young girls now are letting their hair grow — they don’t want to look like women of forty — and soon women of forty will let their hair grow because they don’t want to look like women of forty either. They will do what youth does.”

” ‘Have you seen women of forty with that little knot at the back of their heads?’ I demanded.

” ‘I know,’ he agreed, ‘they look their years, but they will adapt to their needs this new style as they did the bob. And they will dislike the hairpins, but they will let it grow, just the same — not right away, but gradually, like the skirts — you say that you will never give up short skirts, but here they are, an inch or two longer this autumn, still a little longer next spring, and so on. One is helpless before this evolution, this ‘style’ — Youth sees it coming, and catches it, and we follow. The bob is going. “

Celia Cole noted, “The general trend is much more hair about the face, framing it softly.” That is what the waves of the Marcel did for women in the late nineteen twenties and early thirties.

Waved hair softly framing the face. Butterick illustration, April 1921.

Waved hair softly framing the face. Butterick illustration, April 1931.

However, in 1928, the other “swanky” hairdresser Celia Cole consulted said, ‘The bob going? Not for years and years, maybe never. Women seek more and more freedom — and they will go on seeking it. . . . Oh, no, women like you will not go back to hairpins and something dragging at their heads. Young girls must try out the unknown — they have never had long hair dragging at their heads, hairpins jabbing in, but last spring all my young clients came in and had the hair they had been growing all winter cut off again.”

Cole concludes that “We can do as we like. . . . What is style for you? The thing that exactly suits your type.”

However, by 1931 she was writing aboutThe Return of the Long Lost Locks — Hair styles have completely changed.”

Longer hair returns, August 1931 article from The Delineator.

Longer hair returns, August 1931 article from The Delineator. The model is actress Tallulah Bankhead.

By 1931, fashions had changed, and hairstyles with them. Hemlines had plummeted. Young women were wearing “uplift” brassieres that separated the breasts instead of flattening them. The waistline had returned to its natural location.

“Nothing sleek and hard is left in the feminine world today.” “The masculine neckline has vanished as completely as the dinosaur.” “Weary of realism and boyish, frankly displayed bodies, we’re going to play at romanticism.” — Celia Caroline Cole, The Delineator, August 1931.

“There was a moment, in this evolution of hair out of restrained boyishness into feminine curls, when the fashionists and coiffeurists came to blows. ‘We’ll keep the bob!’ the coiffeurists cried…. ‘Let it grow!’ the fashionists shouted back, their minds on ruffles and bows and little tip-tilted hats.”

Tilted hats from Sears Catalog, Spring 1933. Both young and older women wore their hats tilted to one side of the head, revealing a good deal of hair.

Tilted hats from Sears Catalog, Spring 1933. Both young and older women wore their hats tilted to one side of the head.

In fact, the change in hat styles took place very gradually, but as the cloche hat receded, more hair became visible, especially as the “tip-tilted” hats of the 1930’s began to be worn on the side of the head and tilted down over one eye.

In the late twenties, “the human parade that wanders up and down the streets saw only hats, close little hats that hugged every woman’s head and revealed only a wisp or two of hair making arabesques on her cheeks. Then all of a sudden [last March] forth they came — all those long lost locks! . . . In joyous abandon, they waved and curled and pushed hats ‘way over on one ear.” — Celia Cole, August 1931.

In May of 1932, The Delineator ran this article, “If You Are Going to Have a Permanent,” reassuring women that the process was safe — even for dyed or gray hair. Although they had been available for years, permanents still needed to be explained.

"If You Are Going to HAve a Permanent." Article from The Delineator, May, 1932

“If You Are Going to Have a Permanent.” Article from The Delineator, May, 1932

Top of Article, "So You Are Going to Have a Permanent," May, 1932.

Top of Article, “If You Are Going to Have a Permanent,” May, 1932.

Bottom of Article "So You Are Going to Have a Permanent," May, 1932

Bottom of Article “If You Are Going to Have a Permanent,” May, 1932 This hairstyle has a little roll of curls at the neck, just like the model wearing the $1.69 hat below.

The article concludes, “Most permanents have to be set after each shampoo unless you are very clever and use your combs or fingers skillfully. It depends on the setting, whether you look like a Fiji Islander [or a 1925 movie star] or a sculptured lady.”

The “long bob permanent” pictured above looks very much like the hair on this hat model:

Hats from Sears Roebuck Spring 1933 catalog.

Hats from Sears Roebuck catalog, Spring 1933.  Hats show more hair, and the “long bob permanent” Marcel wave ends in a soft roll of curls at the back.

Changes in hat styles and hair styles happen in reaction to each other.

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Filed under 1920s, 1920s-1930s, 1930s, 1940s-1950s, Hairstyles, Hats, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories, vintage photographs

Tam-O’-Shanters for the 1920s, Part 1

Butterick Tam-o'-Shanter pattern # 3157. Pictured in Delineator, March, 1924.

Butterick Tam-o’-Shanter pattern # 3157. Pictured in Delineator magazine, March, 1924.

1920s Alternatives to the Cloche Hat

Although the cloche is the definitive “Nineteen Twenties” hat style, there were alternatives – including wide brims, turbans, “very small hats” (almost brimless), and the Tam-o’-Shanter. (For more about the history of Tams, click here.)

Other Paris hat styles -- besides the cloche -- for May 1925. Delineator.

Other Paris hat styles — besides the cloche — for May 1925. Delineator magazine.

Above, from left to right:  1) “a wide hat of lacquer-red straw,”  2) “a turban-hat of twisted ribbon,”  3) “the very small hat turned up at the front or back.”

Two more "very small hats" from the article on Paris styles, May 1925. Delineator.

Two more “very small hats” from the article on Paris styles, May 1925. Delineator magazine.

 Tam-o’-Shanters for Women and Girls, Mid-Nineteen Twenties

Butterick Tam-o'-Shanter pattern #52. Delineator, September 1924.

Butterick Tam-o’-Shanter pattern #5458. Delineator, September 1924.

A very good article about twenties hats, “1920s Hat Styles Beyond the Cloche,” by Vintage Dancer, mentions that the tam was usually worn by young women and girls, but it also appears occasionally with rather dressy outfits on adult women:

Dressy Tams on Women, from the Delineator, 1924 & 1925.

Dressy Tams on Women, from Delineator magazine, 1924 & 1925.

Butterick’s tam-o’-shanter patterns were usually sized for “Ladies, Misses (i.e., ages 14 to 20), Children and Girls.”  Tams could be made from wool flannel, silk velvet, satin, cotton velours, taffeta, and other elegant fabrics. Although a pom-pom was the traditional trim, tassels, ribbons, feathers, embroidery, jewels, and other ornaments decorated 1920s tams for women.

1920s Tams decorated with jewels, embroidery, and ribbons. Delineator.

1920s Tams decorated with jewels, embroidery, and ribbons. Delineator magazine.

Magazines usually featured tam o’shanters in fall and winter, but this summer tam appears to be made of lace or, possibly, popcorn-knitted or crocheted silk ribbon:

A large summer tam worn with a sheer dress trimmed with pulled threads.  June 1926. Delineator.

A large summer tam worn with a sheer dress trimmed with drawn threadwork. June 1926. Delineator magazine.

The Tam:  Simple to Sew

A basic tam-o'-shanter shape; Vogue pattern 7980, dated 2004.

A basic tam-o’-shanter shape; Vogue pattern 7980, dated 2004. The pattern calls it a beret.

Butterick offered many Tam-o’-Shanter patterns during the 1920s, perhaps because the tam was easier for a home stitcher to sew than a cloche (although four- and six- gored cloche patterns were also sold.) In fact, I have come across so many 1920s Tam-o’-Shanter patterns that I can only describe a few in this post.

In an era when women and men rarely left the house without wearing a hat or cap, the tam-o-shanter was a quick, un-fussy hat to put on for the trip to and from school, or to the local shops. A schoolgirl or telephone operator could take it off and hang it with her coat, and there was no danger of a tam-o’-shanter being crushed; they looked crushed to begin with!

A Tam-o'-Shanter pattern from Butterick, March 1924.

A Tam-o’-Shanter pattern from Butterick, March 1924.

Butterick Tam-0′-Shanter Patterns, 1921 to 1925

These three tam patterns were featured in Butterick’s Delineator magazine in 1924 and 1925. Their numbers, in the three- and four- thousand range, indicate that they were first issued before 1924, but they were still being included in pattern illustrations for 1924 and 1925. Although some Butterick hat patterns are for children or girls only, these tams were intended for ‘Misses’ (ages 15 to 20) and adult women (“Ladies”) as well.

Butterick Tam-o’-Shanter Pattern # 3157

Butterick Tam-o'-Shanter pattern # 3157. Pictured in Delineator, March, 1924.

Butterick Tam-o’-Shanter pattern # 3157. Pictured in Delineator magazine, March, 1924.

Three views of Butterick Tam pattern # 3157. April to June, 1924.

Three views of Butterick Tam pattern # 3157. April to June, 1924. It can be worn with the band tucked in (left) or showing (right.)

These full-length pictures show them with appropriate daytime clothing:

Butterick Tam pattern #3147 as illustrated in April to June of 1924.

Butterick Tam pattern #3147 as illustrated in April to June of 1924. Delineator magazine.

Butterick Tam Hat Pattern #4886

Butterick Tam Pattern # 4886, issued late 1923; illustrated in Delineator in March 1924 (L) and January 1925 (R).

Butterick Tam Pattern # 4886, issued late 1923; illustrated in Delineator in March 1924 (L) and January 1925 (R).

The two-headed pin which goes through so many 1920s hats is called a “cliquet” or scarf / jabot pin. The Cartier and America Exhibition in San Francisco included several superb art deco examples. You can see some of them  here, at a Yahoo image search.

Butterick Tam pattern #4886. All were illustrated in April 1924. Delineator.

Butterick Tam pattern #4886. All were illustrated in April 1924. Delineator magazine.

Here are the full-length illustrations of the outfits tam #4886 was shown with:

Butteric tam pattern #4486 as worn in April 1924.

Butterick tam pattern #4886 as worn in April, 1924. Delineator magazine.

Butterick Tam-o’- Shanter Pattern # 4898

Butterick Tam pattern # 4898, issued in late 1923, but illustrated in 1924 and 1925. Delineator magazine.

Butterick Tam pattern # 4898, issued in late 1923, but illustrated in 1924 and 1925. Delineator magazine.

Although all four of these illustrations show girls or teens, pattern #4898 was sized for Girls, Misses, and Ladies.

Sidelight: The girls on the left have a hair-do associated with Mary Pickford, (“Little Mary”) the silent star who played child-women well into adulthood. She played Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm the year this picture was taken (1917), and Pollyanna in 1920, when she was 28 years old. She finally bobbed her hair in 1928. Mothers who were fans of Mary Pickford movies were probably responsible for their daughters’ long, long curls in 1925.

Mary Pickford in an Ad for Pompeian Hair and Face Massage Creams. 1917.

Mary Pickford in an Ad for Pompeian Hair and Face Massage Creams. 1917.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 1920s, Accessory Patterns, Hairstyles, Hats, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns