Popular Science Monthly/Volume 92/March 1918/The Secret of Those Curly Locks
Man-made Beauty—Electrically Baked Curls
This is not a close-up view of the head of the Statue of Liberty. It is just the picture of a good wife endeavoring to please her husband by having the straight hair he detests turned into the enchanting curls he adores. Her hair is being baked electrically. Ten minutes of this baking and she has curls that defy the straightening effects of shampoos or sea fogs
|Popular Science Monthly|
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The Secret of Those Curly Locks
Science steps in and waves the straightest hair
FOR years and years, probably ever since Eve's day, seductive woman has tried to fulfill man's idea of loveliness. Does he admire blondes? Forthwith the peroxide bottle appears. Does he prefer curly hair? The dear ladies undergo tortures in sleeping on lumpy curl-papers, and burn off enough hair with hot irons to supply the armies of the world with mattresses. Every drug store is a beauty shop, crammed with numberless lotions, ointments, freckle removers and skin foods, all to be applied in the endeavor to please man's critical eye.
Man has watched this struggle of woman throughout the ages. When he found he couldn't bear the spectacle any longer, he gallantly came to her relief. It is he who invents and manufactures all the wrinkle-removers, chin-straps, hairtrainers, and lip sticks. Even science takes a hand in the game. Step right up ladies. Give two hours of your precious time to the scientific beautifier. Fido can get on without you for that long and the great bargain in yon shop will be there two hours hence; so step right up and change yourself into a Mary Pickford.
Your hair is straight, and you want it waved—permanently? Walk into this little room. It is spotless white and gleaming gold, quite to your feminine taste. What are they doing now? Just tying a rubber mat in back of your head. Why are they swathing you in sheets? To protect your clothes. Next, they take down your hair, and you lean back luxuriously, your head over a basin, while your hair is given a thorough shampoo. What dries it so quickly? Electricity, my dear.
"Please walk in here," says the scientific hair man. It is another little room. Above your head is something that looks like a huge, old-fashioned chandelier. Only instead of lights, about fifty little round devices that look like sockets for electric lights hang on long, pendulous green cords.
You are seated directly beneath this device. Quick, deft fingers dampen your hair with a solution. But what's this? Oh, he's wrapping it around small, hollow pieces of metal. They are curlers about a quarter of an inch in diameter and about four inches in length. Each curler is fastened in one of the pendent sockets. The current is turned on.
For ten minutes you sit breathlessly awaiting the miracle. The current is turned off. The baking process is over. They wash your hair and dry it again. Now look in the mirror. Your astonished and delighted eyes behold a perfect riot of curls where straight wisps disgusted you but a short time ago. But that's not all.
Man has done much for woman, but he hasn't been able to make her hair grow in curly. Perhaps he will, by and by, who knows? In the meantime, your hair will grow, and if you want those curls to start in right at the root of your hair, you have to have the new hair curled once every six months. The long hair that was first curled will retain its curl to the end of time.
When the permanent wave was first invented, the process was much more troublesome than it now is. It used to take nearly all day to do the trick, but to-day it is possible to have the whole thing over and done with in two hours.