( My Haircut is Better than Yours )

(First Part)

Beauty as always been dependent on fashion. Each age has concentrated on different parts of the female body, from the Cretan ladies who left their bosoms bare to the 1970's girls who showed their legs from the hot pants down. What all previous ages had in common is an admiration for women's hair which was traditionally regarded as her crowning glory.
For the girl of the twenties, long hair was an incovenience and not even Mary Pickford [1] 's appealing ringlets which were making their appearance in silent pictures could stop women from bobbing [2] their hair. For many it was an expression of confidence in themeselves as equals in a man's world that made them cut their hair, in defiance of his wishes and to show how themeselves as assertive as he could be. The shorter the hair, the more manly the clothes became, culminating in the most unattractive Eton crop which appeared in 1926. Women were more or less forced to cut their hair by the universal and enduring fashion for the cloche hat [3] which simply could not be worn attractively with long hair. Ultra-smart women devised eccentric forms of male hairdressing for evening parties. Lovely blondes were nicknamed les coques d'or because they curled the straight ends of their short golden locks and then brushed them into a peak resembling a roosters comb. Another parted their hair at the back near the right ear, oiled it and then combed it sideways from left to right. Hair oil was used and the ingenious girls used a dilute sugar water mixture to keep their shingle curls in place. Ladies went to men's hairdressers who charged their prices, from 2 half pounds upped to 17 half pounds.
Ladies' salons were opened early on in the decade.

[1] was a Canadian motion picture star, known as one of silent film's most important performers
[2] a bob cut is a short haircut in which a weighted area is left to fall between the ears
[3] cloche hat is a fitted, bell-shaped hat that was popular during the 1920's (cloche is the French word for bell)

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