Thursday, January 19, 2012

19 January 1933 “New Hair Cut and Possible Styles.”

I spent yesterday getting my hair cut finally. Getting it bobbed after letting it grow so long was rather a similar feeling I am certain to that first bob a woman received in the 1920’s.

I cut my hair for the 1950’s project with bangs/fringe and a longer bob or ‘page boy’. After that first year I let it continue to grow out and wore various “up do’s”. By the end of the past three years it was well down my back. longhair(This picture was taken before I was off to the salon so do excuse the look of my hair. I was just about to simply brush it and French knot it until the hairdresser could address it.

louisebrooksMy actual cut right now has a more 1920’s look, but that is only because it is a bob without curls or finger waves. Thus, making the transition from the 20’s onward.myhaircut1 Here it is last night. I put a barrette in and thought it looked rather vintage. My next attempt will be with pin curls. Then I shall attempt finger waves.

Here are some of the images I brought with me to the salon as a guide for how I would like to style it.

haircut1 haircut2 haircut5 As you can see, these are a bit longer, a more grown out bob, which was the basis of the 1930’s style. Which is quite logical as one moves towards a new trend the bangs/fringe grows out the bob increases in length and one plays about with different curls and waves. The early part of the 1930’s, where I am, would have still be very peopled with 20’s style bobs, which had a tighter wave or was left straight. There was more closefitting pomaded highly sleek looks like the second photo. But, as the decade progresses towards the 1940’s, the hair becomes looser and has more movement. Thus, my more severe bob will be a great way to move out of the late 20’s and into the mid 30’s. My hair grows rather fast so the shape will evolve rather quickly.

Getting back to that feeling of the ‘first bob’, I rather felt that. Having had my longer hair over the past few years and before that it had been long for quite a few years, to suddenly have that weight removed felt rather liberating. It was long enough and not color treated so that I could donate it to locks of love, a charity that makes human hair wigs for those going through chemotherapy. That made me feel even better about having it bobbed.

Because of that, the hairdresser put in a tight elastic and then just cut off that ponytail, so that it could be bagged and sent to the charity. Thus, the liberation of that long hair was simply a cut snip. My head actually felt five pounds lighter! And this morning I reached for my braid/plait to undo and brush out and was happy to find my neck and short hand in its stead. I think this will make some of the harder aspects of this year a bit easier as shorter hair equals less work in maintenance and even use of shampoo (though it will mostly be bar soap for me, I believe.) I am still trying to discern what shampoo was available

shampooad This ad is from 1937 but am still looking for earlier 30’s shampoo advertising. And many, simply out of habit or economy, may simply used bar soap such as ivory soap, which was available in the 1930’s.ivorysoapad This ivory soap ad from the mid 30’s exclaims it has been making its soap for over 50 years, so that may have been readily available. I have spoken with many older ladies who said that they often used bar soap on their hair, which was usually washed once a week. And as an aside, how adorable is that gentleman’s bathroom? So masculine with the lovely black time and the shower curtain depicting golf and tennis rackets. Truly a wonderful look for a man’s private bath, if one were lucky enough to have such a thing.

handsacrossthetableposter I will close with this clip from the 1935 movie screwball comedy, “Hands across the Table” staring Carole Lombard and Fred McMurray. It is about a manicurist looking for a wealthy husband. This clip shows a woman at a salon getting her hair washed with shampoo.

This is a darling film, though two years away from 1933. Here is part one of it:


And iff you would like to watch the rest of this movie in its entirety i have it HERE on APRONTV.

I also apologize for not posting yesterday, but stayed off the computer all day in my own little black out protest for the current PIPA laws, which luckily seemed to have had a turn about. The internet is really the one aspect of small, grassroots and community we have left in this world. In many ways, despite it being cutting edge technology, it is probably the most really ‘old fashioned’ thing we have in this modern world. By that I mean, it allows a local singer, or an artist, or movie maker or yes, even a blogger (the new local journalist) a chance to share their ideas and views. Despite it being a mash of good and bad it is, for now, all of ours and has a sort of democracy missing in many countries actual political policy. So, hear hear to the reversal of Pipa/Sopa and I hope we can, all of us, hold onto our little bit of self expressive freedom. Even I, with many of the materials I share and scan, could have been taken down. And what good is it to let all that information molder away unshared with others? No good, as far as I can see.

Happy Homemaking.


  1. Great post! I can't wait to see the curls you get for your hair! I love those hairstyles! That men's bathroom is a hoot! LOL!

  2. Your cut looks awesome! I love the timeless feel it has :)

  3. Donna, I'm sure you've found this in your research, but Breck shampoo was established in 1930, becoming the first successful commercial shampoo. So far the only print advertising I've found is from 1937. Also, lisafreemontstreet, on youtube, has very good tutorials on pin curls and finger waves!

  4. Dear Donna,

    I am absolutely thrilled that you are going to the 1930s now!
    I have been following your blog since almost the beginning but only now found out about the "30s project" Personally, I love the 30s the most! I love the decor, the fashion, the music! I love the fact that the food was natural, pure and simple.
    So, I am going to January 1st and will read all the posts that I have missed!
    Good luck and thank you!

  5. I am curious as to why you have chosen a bob for your hairstyle. Most mature women your age in the 1920s-30s retained their long hair and kept it neatly piled on their head. Bobs were the fashion for the young society set. Along with the bob went a waife-like body type; the total image of the 1920s "it" girl - is that your goal? Seems to conflict with your domestic pursuits and matronly appearance.

  6. I am glad you bobbed your hair if you wanted to.(great for charity)I am sure just as now there were some who did and some who didn't. I have a mother who was born in 1927. I asked her last week to tell me stories about when she was a kid. I asked her to tell me about her two aunts. Mom said they kept their hair short and permed. They were farm women in the mid-west. I love to hear stories of their love and hospitality.Cooked all day and invited everyone in to eat. I am sure they knew when to use good manners as well.(hint) These are stories from people who were there.Keep up the great work.If you didn't have a maid you probably would have had a sister or daughter,or cousin to help you.

  7. I think your hair is darling - can't wait to see the waves! My grandma worked as a cook for the Fitch Family in the 1930s, and he was already established as a shampoo manufacturer for dandruff shampoo - it was a combination of the bar shampoo and a dandruff hair tonic sold in a bottle starting around WWI I think.

  8. You look lovely as always! My grandma had finger waves on her wedding day in 1930 - very cute and feminine. My hair is down to my thighs and I wear it up. I often wonder how many pounds I would lose if I cut it! Thank you for such a fun blog, Dee

  9. I can't wait to see the finger waves!

  10. You should check-out this website for vintage hair:

    She gives great step-by-step videos on vintage hair styles including pin curls.

    Don't let other posters get you down... I think that you look lovely regardless of your size, and that you should wear your hair however you want no matter what decade you "live" in.



  11. Wow, can't believe how rude some people are. I'm assuming they are just jealous because you are doing something they don't have the tenacity to do. Just wish they'd keep their comments to themselves. Not nice.

  12. My grandmother's photo from around 1933 shows her with the same hairstyle, a barrette holding it at one side. It looks very nice on you.

  13. Do you have the metal pincher like holders they used to hold the wave in your hair till it dried? I don't know what they were actually called. My mother put waves in my hair with them and I still have some. I hope you so or find some...they will help to give you that finger wave look. Lots of people used the finger waves even around their face then the back of the hair was in a low bun or whatever...thus they updated their look to a pretty new do! I love these looks!! Thank you for letting us follow you through your transformation... Sarah

  14. You can wash hair with bar soap and rinse in a jug of water with a good splash of vinegar.the smell quickly fades.Vinegar balances the pH.I did it for years with long thick hair and it was lovely.add herbs to the vinegar for smell if you like.Also a cold water rinse after makes the hair scales lay flat so your hair is shiny.


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