A Century of Hairstyles by Pamela Church Gibson

By Pamela Church Gibson

Not anything defines an individual like their coiffure - and what a century it's been for hair! Bangs, bobs, buns, beehives and bouffants have vied with pixie cuts, pin curls, perms and pageboys for ascendancy in an ever-changing parade of women appears and traits, and one of the males weve noticeable Caesers, comb overs, ducktails, fake hawks, flattops, quiffs and slick backs. From the Edwardian period throughout the seismic adjustments of the 20s and 60s, and together with each quirky twist hair background took on its technique to the flip of the millennium, this booklet is a lush visible survey of 100 years of hair types and the good stylists of the century together with Jackie Kennedys stylist Mr. Kenneth and innovators like Vidal Sassoon.

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His salon in Knightsbridge was as flamboyant as the man himself, complete with gilt chairs, chandeliers and even champagne fountains. He affected a fake French accent and attracted many well-known clients, including film star Diana Dors, herself promoted as Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe. She flew him over to America to style her hair, causing a great stir in the press. He was most famous for the backcombing he deployed to build hair into the ‘bouffant’ style that he is usually credited with inventing.

These poems ensured his immortality. Brooke became a figure of popular mythology, epitomising the many talented young men who sacrificed themselves for a war that had not yet become bogged down in the mud of the trenches. B. Yeats described him as ‘the handsomest young man in England’. His good looks and artistic haircut probably helped to guarantee his posthumous popularity; the volumes of his poetry that were published after his death invariably carried this photograph on the cover. It is an image in striking contrast to contemporary ‘men in the street’, particularly after their locks were cropped short for the trenches.

Each week its shape might need to be retained by a trip to the salon for a ‘shampoo and set’. In the 1950s home perms were introduced – waves and even curls were still seen as necessary – and lank, straight hair was seen as unsightly. By the 1960s, women grew their hair long again and some even ironed it straight, using brown paper and a domestic ironing board. Hair straighteners were on the market to stay. Today, the majority of women straighten their hair if it is naturally curly while many of us associate perms with the excesses of the 1980s.

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