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Fifties Hairstyles (2)

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Then, there were that small, proud and very popular group who bleached their own hair and lo and behold, had discovered Ivory Snow Flakes and peroxide. What genius brainsicko started this idea, is another one we’ll probably pass over without really knowing. That is right, they mixed up the laundry detergent with 20 volume peroxide and lightened their hair that way. As far as I know, none of it fell out.
 
Susan Hayward The more in the know, sophisticated young people would go to the local drugstore and buy a good oil bleach, like Helena Rubinstein’s turn blonde, and depending on what shade your hair was in the beginning would be the outcome of your hair. For example, if your hair was a light brownish strawberry to begin with, your hair would turn out to be a lovely strawberry blonde, or orange! Orange was in, back then; but still looks better in the fields on pumpkins.
 
If your hair had the pixie cut, there wasn’t any problem with it being orange, because you would end up cutting it all off again anyway and because our brains usually do not mature into the aha stage until we are in our late forties or fifties, the youth usually ends up doing it all over again because the way they see it is; as a heavenly shade of blush carrot berry that can get any boys attention, and it really did!
 
Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell, Susan Hayward, Elizabeth Taylor, Esther Williams and Ginger Rogers were all busy making movies and the girls of that time were all busy, together with their friends trying to look like just like them. If they wanted to look like Liz or Susan they would tint each others hair black or red at a pajama party.
 
Beauty marks were so in vogue. Everyone penciled in a fake mole. Of course, if you went to the drive-in movie and made out with your boyfriend, the mole sort of disappeared. No matter how hard you would look for it, you wouldn’t be able to find it. Now we know why the boy looked so puzzled, when he looked at you; when all the lights came on and everyone headed to the refreshment stand to get some popcorn. Not only was your lipstick smeared, part of your eyebrow gone, but your mole went the way too. Blame it all on your boyfriends sideburns that went all the way down to his chin.
 
When girls wore their hair in ponytails, it wasn’t just any ponytail; the hair was combed back and fastened into a rubber band. There wasn’t any of the protected bands that we have today. Everyone’s hair was breaking off all of the time because of those rubber bands and no one thought anything about it. They would say things like, “boy, your hair sheds a lot!” Many times, there would be small sections of the hair cut on the sides to have, you got it; spit curls up and down her face. On the top, there would be two spit curls on each part of her forehead looking at each other. That look was ultra cool with their collar turned up in the back.
 
Not only was it in fashion to have either a cocker spaniel or a poodle pooch, but the poodle haircut became stylish as ladies would have all their hair cut off to about one to two inches all over their head and get a permanent, to once again convince the world they had naturally curly hair. The working women in the 1950s who did have naturally curly hair usually kept their hair clipped up into a shingle in the back with close clipped sides. If the hair was naturally quite wavy sometimes the hair would be brushed back with a c curl on both of the sides of the forehead. Straight hair was given permanents as straight hair was considered taboo at the time, unless of course you were a teeny bopper and had a ponytail.
 
The older women used rinses instead of tinting their gray hair and would go to the beauty shop on a weekly basis to have their hair rolled. Hairdressers were called Beauticians and wore white uniforms with a girdle, stockings and nurses shoes. What we call clients today were called patrons back then. The permanents were harsh with ammonia, unlike the alkaline and acid waves we know of today. When a head of hair was bleached, they wouldn’t think of putting the head under the dryer, but rather accepted the time allowed to bring the lift up to the desired level needed. Afterwards, there was always a toner applied to neutralize the hair and be able to obtain the color wanted.
 
The 1950s are bygone, and with those years went many memories for some, of a more simpler nature of picket fences, playing marbles on the sidewalk, housewives who were really housewives, double bubble gum and George Burns and Gracie Allen on television. This was a time, that was without cell phones, computers, Ipods or DVDs. How could we exist in such an era today? There was less clutter and perhaps more appreciation for the things they had, as the older people who came out of the war years; had a respectful gratitude for where they were in that new life and their attitude would always be to repair a radio and take your shoes to the cobbler before they would ever consider buying something.
 
With all this, we say farewell to the hoola hoops, the music from The Platters, past presidents Harry and Ike, bobby socks and Bogie and Bacall but, the ponytail lives on.
 
Penny Williams                                                                                                                       ©Hairfinder.com
 
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