Jean Harlow, a famous actress of the era known as the blonde bombshell, played the leading actress in a romantic comedy rightfully named, “Platinum Blonde” in 1932. Little did she know that she was shaping the 30’s hairstyles, as men and women around the nation were going wild for her “bleached-blonde hair.” Apparently not for the same reasons, women around the nation began dying their hair with peroxide and the men surely didn’t seem to object. Although the platinum-blonde look was not for everybody, it created the bleaching era, which would lead to many distinct new hairstyles and colors for the new decade.
In the 1920s the popular “bob” gave hairstylists a short-lived, new beginning for their businesses. The naturally short nature of the bob cut or style required frequent trimming to maintain the proper appearance and shape. Therefore, it was crucial for the “bobbed” women to visit the salon way more often than before. Due to the worsening economic state of our nation at that time, the bob lost popularity in the early 1930s, “cutting in” a new era of longer, more traditional styles that were less expensive, but yet very attractive. However, unwilling to surrender the “hair freedom” they had gained in the 20’s, women remained loyal to their own hair salons.
Hair care innovations of the time were rapidly coming of age. Women with longer haircuts could opt to pull their hair back into a low bun. Achieving this look is pretty simple, just by combing your hair straight back from the face, and gathering most of the hair into a ponytail and wrapping it around either side to form a bun.
The 30’s hairstyle would benefit from advancements in many areas of hair care including hair products and hair styles. Shampoos for various hair types and textures weren’t available previously, but now they were beginning to be introduced to the public at an alarming rate. Major advancements in technology occurred with the invention of various hair-styling tools like the curling iron and additions to the permanent wave machine. Fashionable hairstyles in the ’30s would prove to survive longer than the short bob cut of the previous decade, so up-dos became popular.
A surprising new look that came about around the early 1930’s is the finger wave. Finger waves are incredibly difficult to create outside the salon. They are created literally by hand with each curly strand being sculpted by wrapping the hair around the finger while curling. It may sound incredibly easy, but many hairdressers today cannot do them. Creating finger waves is a highly skilled practical craft and having this “old Hollywood glamour hair” process done to your hair is time consuming and a little more expensive. If you want to try something different or perhaps start your own trend, it is best to seek out hairstylists or salons that specialize in old Hollywood hairstyles. They will surely make you feel as glamorous as a 1930’s Hollywood starlet.
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