During the Model A era, 1928 through 1931 for women, face, figure, coiffure, posture and grooming became important fashion factors in addition to clothing.
At the beginning of the Model A era in 1928 the style was a short Bob or long hair pulled into a chignon to emulate a short hair styled bob. This Bob was Marcel waved. The bobbed hairstyle began back in the early twenties and was called the shingled Bob.
In 1928 the shingled Bob gave way to growing the hair down at least another inch or two and the waves were not as tight. As the four years went on, the Bob grew longer and softer in style. Center or side parts, low over the forehead waves and often spit curls at the ear lobes. The crown was flat on top with the hair molded to conform to the head shape. The sides and back also hugged the head. Tight finger waves. Hair gels were used, the most widely known brand was Brilliantine.
The term Marcel Wave was named for the creator of the "Marcel Iron", finger waves and spit curls were all popular styles of the 1920ís decade and remained to be so into the 1930ís. The old hairstyles of previous years such the "Gibson girl look with the high puffed up hair didn't fit in with the simple lines of the new fashions, so the hair sat closely on the head, hugging the sides and the back, even when waved and curled. In fact, waves were often set right on the forehead with the widely used Brilliantine and rolled to the sides.
About the time the hems began to lower, the hair began to lengthen and the waves were not as severe and sharp as in the past years.
Longer hair is pulled back in a double roll at the nape of the neck.
By 1931 young girls liked the semi-long hair with curls clustered in back on the neckline. Often seen was the hair pulled back behind one ear with a cluster of curls over the other. The fashionable length was five inches measured from the hairline at the nape of the neck.
This is a more youthful style for the young lady.
Those that still liked the bun or chignon style, like the clustered curls this laid low on the nape of the neck. The chignon or bun was not just a careless knot of hair, or pinned any old way to keep it up. It fit the head closely so that it was part of a smoothly rounded contour, it didnít stand out like a bump on the back of the neck. Semi-long hair could be divided into two buns. The hair was divided equally after pinning or tying it at the nape of the neck. Roll it firmly, then pin the left roll on the right side and the right roll on the left side. The two rolls covered the space from ear to ear.
The only requirement for the arrangement around the face was the hair should flatter your type and shape of the face. Hair could be parted on either side or the middle, combed back from the forehead. Ears could be uncovered or partially covered or hid entirely. The partially covered ear was the popular fashion because of the style for gemmed earrings. Little windblown wisps around the face could be straight or in waves.
A modified French twist.
Older women continued to favor the Bob through-out the era as it was much easier to care for. With the longer Bob in the latter part of the era, the ends were curled and clustered, this was also the same style for the young girls. Detachable hair pieces also became the rage to cover and hold the short ends until they grew out.
A style favored by the older woman
Accessories used to fix your hair included water waver combs. These combs normally sized from 4" up to 6", included two combs that you would join together in your hair and wet them, then carefully remove when dry to form a wave. I was so excited when I spotted what looked to be water waver combs on Ebay and after I won the bid and they were delivered, sure enough I had examples of water waver combs.
A side arrangement perfect for a more formal event.
Adorning and accessorizing the hair once it was perfectly bobbed were hair combs for the sides or back, plain or jeweled settings, many shell finished celluloid beveled backs, fine or wavy teeth as well as celluloid barrettes in a variety of styles and lengths". Buckle or single bar shapes many with a wire snap catch. There were also bobbed hair pins, close fitting crimped steel pieces 1 7/8" to 2" in length. I found one of the Fall/Winter catalogs from 1928/1929 called these Bobbie Pins, this was the brand name. Bob pins of course were used to hold hair in place. Hair pins were found in wire and celluloid.
Menís hairstyles were long on top and brushed back off the forehead with a center or high side part. Flat crown with medium long sides and the sideburns were short and trimmed. The back was medium long and high trimmed at the nape. The style was a straight, plastered down, shiny look. Face normally clean shaven.
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