1930s Hairstyles (2)

Short 1930s hairstyle and a shiny silk blouse
Photo: Everett Collection/Shutterstock
Previous page
Waves seemed to be continuously at the forefront in the 1930s. You would have seen diagonal waves at the back of a head, with small, tiny flat curls above and below the waves. Attractively set pin curls would nestle around a wave and a cluster of rolls. Sometimes, waves would start from the top of a woman's head and go all the way down until they met a cluster of pin curls. This was considered very appealing at the time, and rightly so. It was an era of sophistication and elegance.
Every hair was to be in place, just like their hemlines, and if you had opened any dresser drawer in their homes, the smell of lavender sachets would have filled the room. Working people didn't own much. The materials they had were carefully tended to, so they would last for many years to come. It was a time of thriftiness and minimal waste. Very little was thrown out; instead, items were repaired or preserved.
The 1930s brought spellbinding news each year. In 1936, many can recall the devastating global impact when Edward VIII willingly gave up his throne to marry the love of his life, Mrs. Wallis Simpson.
Returning to hats. They were so crucial in that era; they were considered a mandatory accessory. My own grandmother once operated a millinery shop where she designed hats for ladies in need. Some of the feathers that adorned those hats were at least three feet long. As I mentioned, their hats always accommodated their hair. There were times when you'd see a half-circled wave at the front of the head, twirling about to create a spiral curl that would serve as an ornament for the hat. The rest of the hair would be brushed back into a roll. Then, there were finger or water waves that began at the front and continued all the way to the back of the head, including the sides. Everything was wavy.
1930s man and woman with fashionable vintage hairstyles
Photo: The Everett Collection/Canva
There were also waves that, again, began at the front and would encircle the head. This style was known as the Saucer Wave. Another famous wave during that time was the Sculptor Wave. This style would start with a center or half-part with horizontal waves beginning just below the part and ending with a cluster of round pin curls circling the ears. When I say waves were in, I mean they were seriously in vogue! You were nobody unless your head was filled with those zigzag patterns rippling across your scalp. Many angled waves were carefully placed into the patron's hair with large, swooping curls toward the face.
Gentlemen should not be left out of this most important era, and men kept their hair clipped quite short. It would be unheard of to have long hair in the 1930s, and when men visited their favorite barber, they would also get a shave and a shoe shine. Hats were just as important to men as they were to women, and they wouldn't be seen without one when leaving the house. They would strive to find a bowler hat that matched their Chesterfield coats.
Remember the cartoon character Dick Tracy? He used to wear a snap-brim fedora, and his sidekick, Moon, wore the bowler. Humphrey Bogart also wore the snap-brim fedora, as did our infamous Clark Gable. During this time, men would wear their hair clipped close around the ears and slicked back on top. They were dapper and debonair! Rarely would you see any gentlemen wearing a beard during this time; however, mustaches were very much in style, as moviegoers swooned over Don Ameche's pencil mustache.
Although, when we look back on this era, it appears glamorous and exciting, it's important to remember that these were the years of the Dust Bowl, when the Midwestern part of the United States experienced drought conditions and farms literally dried up and blew away. The years of the Depression and war took a toll on the people who were trying to survive during this time. Hollywood brought stars like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour to lift the spirits of the troops overseas. They provided a ray of hope from home, showing that even in the darkest times, people could find strength through each other to laugh again.
By Penny | Updated | ©Hairfinder.com

See also: Vintage hairstyles