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1930's Hairstyles

Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s       In the beginning of the 1930’s women tired of fighting against their female forms and decided they no longer desired to look boyish and ignore their wholesome bodies, but instead they began to wear more tailored dresses that would bring the appearance of more softness and the exposure of their small waist lines. Gone were the cloche hats that once hid their foreheads and were replaced by button plate hats exposing the whole of their faces and all the hair surrounding, that went with it.
 
Times were indeed changing, as laying out in the sun became the in thing. Women could display their rich new skin color under their new backless dress. Quite daring, to say the least. The snood made it’s historic appearance at this time and Hollywood seized the idea and before you knew it, you saw such stars as June Allyson, Joan Crawford, Linda Darnell, Greta Garbo, Merle Oberon and Barbara Stanwyck; to name only a few; wearing the most attractive designed, custom made snoods. Some were knitted or crocheted with fine sparkly yarn.
 
There were those who may have been tatted as well. Having a hand made snood was indeed in fashion. Male hearts liquefied in their presence, as these young starlets, came along in a most respectful and tasteful expression of their womanhood.
 
Hairstyles were still quite close to the head with the deep set, finger waves. Some were parted in the center, others on the side. Around 1932 the styles began to soften a little bit more; as a play in the waves arrived and a little bit of volume appeared on the scene. All of a sudden, women had full, lush deep waves and started to look sexy. The best part of it all, was that this new style still obliged the large brimmed hats and the other smaller hats they would wear. Around the middle of the thirties, the main fashion was waves and more waves; just, “be sure and give me my waves!” Many hair fashions were worn with a center part with deep waves and the hair pulled back into an array of small curls on the neckline secured with bobby or hair pins. For styles such as this, the hats were sometimes cocked diagonally on the side of the women’s head, hence the ever-lasting snood, would once again make it’s appearance.
 
Curls were having a real kick-off around this time as ladies would wrap small portions of their hair around their finger, quite tightly and secure it with a pin. The curls were placed quite firmly and close to their head, whatever size curl was desired. Some styles were parted in the middle and pulled back and up on the sides with a roll formed, while the back was rolled under or knit together in tight sausage cluster type curls. In the latter part of the 1930’s the hair was sometimes pulled back into one roll while the back was either turned up or under. At the time, it was of the utmost importance for the hairstyles to be able to accommodate the latest and most fashionable hat.
 
These were the years of intense finger waves with small rolled pinned curls fastened closely underneath the waves to address yet, more waves and for a dressy affair, an addition of a braid would be worn to give the appearance of a lovely band dividing two sets of waves with the bunch of curls found on the bottom.
 
Gloria Swanson in the 1930s These were the years of hardship, if you think about it. The 1929 NYC stock market crash spilled over and into the 1930’s and there were some people who ended up losing everything they had worked for. Family men left their homes to make money to send back to their families. There were four to five million unemployed men in America during this time.
 
This was the era when ladies began to wear backless bathing suits, always smiling of course. Think of the beginning, of such freedom. In 1938 Walt Disney’s film of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs came on the scene and everyone was singing “hiho, hiho, it’s off to work I go.” But, everyone wondered where the work was. Troubled times sounded the distant rumble of war.
 
Through all those hard times, hairstyles were still making a statement and when the ladies went to the salons they started to be serviced with a color as Hollywood dared to once again set the trend. Celebrities such as Jean Harlow stirred a boldness in the hearts of those in the thirties, as the mothers of the day, began to ask themselves “why not?”
 
Before long, there were many war widows bleaching and tinting their hair like they had done it for years; although, this would give the older and more seasoned ladies something to whisper about. As if that wasn’t enough to gossip about, thin eyebrows were in, as many a lady would tweeze practically all of their eyebrows off and then, with her face ever so close to the mirror; with her tongue hanging out on the corner of her mouth, artistically draw a thin rounded line above their eye; believing this made them appear more captivating. Think of how thin Betty Davis’s eyebrows were. Remember the song; She has Betty Davis eyes.
 
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