In the 1950s hair was all about soft waves and curls. No one wore straight hair.
Many ladies would sleep in curlers or even rollers in order to achieve this look – don’t ask me how. As a child I even remember seeing women outside with their hair in rollers covered by a scarf or even worse just a hairnet. My mother thought this was dreadful – terrible etiquette. There were no hairdryers then so it really was a matter of leaving these dreadful things in your hair for hours. If you could afford it there was always the hairdresser. That was expensive though.
Short hair was the height of fashion though if you were young then long hair was also acceptable especially if tied back to produce the pony tail, a chiffon scarf was used to complete the look.
Marilyn Monroe epitomized the must have hair look, short and suitably wavy.
Many other stars hairstyles were imitated including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Doris Day.
Each style required rollers and hair lacquer. As demands for hair lacquer increased, hair salons became popular with those who could afford the luxury of having their hair done professionally. It became easy for women to create more complex hairstyles. As a result, the beehive became popular by the end of the 50s. The hair was backcombed from the scalp and sprayed heavily to create the height required for this style. Liberal use of heavy lacquer would hold the style for a week if it were not touched by a comb or brush. If a touchup were needed, the women usually had some hair lacquer at home that had been purchased from the salon and decanted into nylon puffer spray bottles.
Universal Studios even released a drawing so you could recreate Sandra Dee’s hair.
According to Life Magazine in April of 1955, “every woman in the 1950s got at least one home perm.” If that wasn’t technically true, it certainly was not for lack of trying on the part of the advertisers. Home perms were big business especially in the US, and advertisers sponsored radio shows and eventually TV shows, including…
As a child I had wavy hair but I wanted more curls and ringlets like my friends. To achieve the effect you had to tie rags through your newly wet washed hair, it took ages and you then slept in these. My mother did it once and refused ever to do it again. We always want what we can’t have. In the 1960s I even ironed my hair.
As we all know the retro and vintage looks are fashionable once again.
Readers take note.
Have a good week.
Selma x ♥