Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Fifties Hairstyles (3)

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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 William - Stylist     ©
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