Hairstyles have continuously evolved through time. Looking at hairstyles from the early 20th century can provide insight into the culture and fashions of the time. Looking at historical hairstyles also gives stylists inspiration for their own ideas. Hairstyles of 1910 varied by region and economic status; many fashionable hairstyles of this time were carried over from the Victorian Era.
This era's pompadour style was developed in Edwardian England. Worn by women and men in 1910, a pompadour is achieved by bringing the sides of the hair back and curling it under or feathering it so it fans out at the top and back of the head. Hairpieces were often used to add extra body to the feathered hair or to serve as a framing device round the face. A version of the male pompadour was brought back into fashion by the rockabillies of the 1950s.
Curling and the First Permanents
Many women curled their hair using heated curlers. It was also around this time that the first tools for creating permanents were invented. Permanents at this time took up to 12 hours to complete. A heated iron with a shaped plate was also used to create a wave look. The French hairdresser M. Marcel Grateau invented this hair ironing device in 1872. A lot of body and bulk was a goal for 1910 women who curled their hair.
The Bob style gained popularity during this time. Although the bob style saw its initial heyday in the 1920s, in earlier years it started to become a viable alternative to the heavy and cumbersome Edwardian styles. Bobs at this time, often donned by younger women, were often seen as an act of rebellion. Bob cuts are made by cutting the hair short so that the bottom of the hair lines up and frames the bottom of the face. Short hair was also sometimes cut with bangs or put up with barrettes.
Down and Out
Long hair in 1910 was sometimes worn down. Ample volume was a common stylistic feature to hair worn down. Long hair worn down was typically parted in the middle and curled for thick waviness.
Curtain hair was achieved when short hair was parted down the middle and worn with a headband underneath the hair. Hair was allowed to hang naturally over the headband.
Headbands and Hats
Headbands began to gain popularity around 1910. Headbands at this time were made of luxury fabrics, and elements like decorative stitching or beads were often incorporated. Some headbands also came with combs, and some were made from a string of jewels. Headbands were often worn around hair that was pinned up. Hats were another essential part of 1910 hairstyles. Hats were often big, but smaller hats were gaining popularity. Hats were not just worn on top of the head, but were an integrated and complementary part of the hairstyle. Hats at the time were influenced by Art Nouveau styles. Art Nouveau styles and patterns were influenced by nature and were highly decorative. Types of hats included the toque hat, the merry widow hat and the black ascot. The turban also became fashionable in western cultures at this time.
In 1907, the first chemical formulas for dying hair were invented by Eugene Schueller. Schueller was the founder of the company known today as L'Oreal.
Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.