The Way We WereApril 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
As hairdressers, we were enamored of all things French even then. In one issue, the legendary Antoine de Paris created a series of six new styles just for us. We also reported that, in Paris, shoulder-length bobs were the smartest.
Toward the end of the decade, we began advertising exercise machines within our pages. There were also ads for something called the Thermo-Pac, which when tied around the neck, provided "a valuable adjunct in the treatment of double chins."
America's sweetheart, actress Mary Pickford, sports a trendy new bob. INSET: Displaying the golden curls she chose to lop off.
There were haircolor advertisers in the book, including L'Oréal, which marketed Henne. An ad for Paragon Permanent Hair Color claimed that its product had that "indefinable something which Paragon chemists have successfully accomplished by tireless experiments and testing on human models." Well, at least they didn't test on animals.
While we ran countless ads for hairpieces in our magazine during the first decade of the century, by the end of the Roaring 20s, most women were bobbing their hair, making hairpieces practically obsolete. One company, Western Hair Goods, attempted to weather the storm, insisting in its ads that "even through the period of bobbed hair, we have always carried a complete line of hair goods, including those for all styles of long hair arrangement."
No doubt about it, the bob was as big a trend in the 1920s as it was in the 1960s when Vidal Sassoon reinvented it. In fact, in April 1928 we ran a story about actress Mary Pickford. The headline screamed, "Mary Pickford Bobs Her Hair!" Underneath her new look was a photo of America's sweetheart holding the "lovely, golden curls" she had just shorn. We'll never know if the star was remorseful about her decision, but there's one thing you can say about hair: It grows back.