You might not know it, but hair tools did exist during the 1920’s. There were many extravagant hairstyles which required lots of styling, and without the capability of the tools in use during this time period, these styles wouldn’t have been able to have been achieved. Lionesse takes a historical look back in time at some of the favorite hair tools around during the 20’s.
The ‘Marcel Iron’, or curling tongs, were used to achieve the typical and infamous marcel waves which were very popular during this decade. Many women who had short bob cuts wanted to indulge in a soft look, or jazz their hair up for something special, which is why many women would opt for the marcel iron. These irons needed to be heated up on a gas stove before use, and were then tested out on a piece of paper before use on the hair to ensure adequate heat. This particular tool was the first of its kind, and paved the way of the future for the development of the curling irons we know and love in today’s modern times.
Hair pins were just as important back in the 20’s, if not more important, than they are today. Hair pins were used for nearly every hair style – from achieveing the style, to holding the style in place. No woman could be without them, and always had a large amount on hand at any time – whether in her purse, or at home on her vanity.
In 1920, Hamilton Beach introduced a hair dryer, which was exceptionally large and not very home friendly due to its enormous size. In 1922, however, the first hand held blow dryer was created thanks to a smaller motor, which made it easy to hold and keep at home. These tools were used to dry wet hair, and to create styles – much like we do today. They became all the rage in the 20’s, however, they were usually only owned by those who were well off enough to afford them, as they were quite expensive for their time.
Hair lotion was used to set curls when a woman would complete a look like marcel curls, finger waves, or pin curls. The lotion was applied to damp hair, sometimes used on dry hair, and helped the curls to take, and stay in place all day long. Being that there was no hairspray back in these days, this lotion had to suffice to create the style. There was a hair gel concoction which was also homemade by many hair stylists and women who wanted to give their hair an added boost, but it was a little bit time consuming and could get expensive, so many women didn’t bother.
If a woman completed an elaborate hairstyle, such as a curled or waved style, and didn’t want the style to be ruined when she would go to bed that night, she would put a silk sleeping cap on to hold the style in place all night, waking up to a beautiful, fresh style in the morning that would, for the most part, still be completely intact as it was the day before.