Woman applying moisturizing oil to her long curly hair
100 Years of Curly Hair
Long hair was symbolically linked to femininity across both Eastern and Western cultures, but in the 20s, that changed. Women yearned for the independence openly granted to men, and short, boyish, hair — curly or straight — represented freedom and fun.
Short bob cuts were upgraded to add finger waves and gained popularity as the years reached the 30s. Finger waves were accomplished without any heat tools, instead, they used gel and a fine-tooth comb to brush the hair into the shape they wanted.
During the 30s, Shirley Temple’s curls were iconic for representing youth, innocence, and beauty. Short curls were no longer a symbol of rebellion but were embraced by the movie industry, and made to look more glamorous.
Women began to grow their hair longer than in previous decades and shoulder-length hair was very popular. Hair elastics weren’t available in the 40s, so victory rolls were a good way to keep hair out of the face while women were able to work.
The hairstyle known as the Italian cut is when the curls are cut short, but still, manage to look manicured and tousled at the same time. Curls were sculpted in a way to give the appearance of volume with curls arranged to frame the face.