An Introduction to the 1920’s

The 1920’s will always be remembered to hairdressers as the start of hairstyling and fashion. What started as a simple protest to authority grew into social liberation and altered the face of hairdressing forever.

When the First World War ended in 1918 the world was set for many changes, apart from geographical and political change, peoples attitudes and beliefs were also at a crossroads. Hair styles were no different, women wanted equal rights and were determined to show it. Women no longer wanted to be treated as second class citizens and wanted the same rights and freedom of expression as men.Women traditionally wore hair long but as a show of rebellion and demand for change, cut their hair short, the flapper was born.

When renowned ballroom dancer Irene Castle cut her hair short into a ”Bob” she triggered  a hair revolution that would change the face of female hairstyling forever.

The Bob

The Bob started as a non-gender hair cut for all children, both sometimes incorporated a bow, although the cut was always the same.

The origins of the hair cut came from Austria and arrived in the United Kingdom in1910, up until this point women still had their hair styled rather than cut, with the emphasis on crimping, curling and dyeing.

Antoine de Paris was the first hairdresser to attempt this innovative cut, he “bobbed” the hair of actress Eve Lavalliere for a film role in which she had to play the part of an 18 year old, she was 45. The idea was to try to make her head look smaller!

The world was not ready for The Bob and it caused a sensation, but with the end of the war and a successful suffragette campaign things were about to change.

Bobbed haircuts have continued to dominate ladies fashion taking different guises along the way, the Castle Bob named after Irene Castle unwittingly triggered a revolution that would shape 20th century fashion. This convenient cut was simply a blunt cut, level with the bottom of the ears all around the head.

The Bob since its origin has had a massive impact on the hairdressing world, and it is still as relevant today. Although the basic style remains unaltered it can still deliver a huge impact whether on the catwalk or as an everyday look.







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