Permanent ondulation and it's care, 1935

January 06, 2013

Recently at a bookstore in my hometown I found a book I was searching for for so long. It's about beauty and health care. It's written in dutch and translated it's called 'Modern beauty and Health care'. The book is orginally from 1935. I was ecstatic when I found it and I cannot stop reading it. When I take my daily bath, I bring the book with me.

It is my plan to write some subjects mentioned in the book here on my blog and I want to kick off with 'hair'.
Here goes!

General Haircare

"Only an effective groomed scalp can produce healthy hair in the long term. The hair also needs, for it's beauty and health, an efficient power supply. Oils, pomades and hair water that are randomly chosen, where one has no idea of origin or composition, will cause more mischief than that they are useful. To stay healthy, it is necessary that the hair is kept clean. (A unkempt scalp can cause a bad complexion). The hair also needs fresh air and some sun. Excessive cold and heat should be avoided, as well as headgear that is too small which impedes the blood circulation. In the interests of the health of the hair it is very recommendable to wear headgear in the summer as little as possible. A normal scalp needs to be washed every other week. The simplest hair detergent is a good, fat soapy water of about 35 degrees Celsius, that one can prepare itself from neutral, odourless soap. Ordinary alkali soap, kitchen soda, spirit of sal ammoniac, etc. are very bad for the hair, because strong alkali substances not only solve the pigment, but even the hair.

With hot soapy water - only when it is necessary, it is lawful to add sodium bicarbonate or borax - the hair is washed and with the fingertips well rubbed so that dust and dandruff are well loosened. With very greasy hair this should be repeated again. The rinse is decisive for the beauty and health of the hair. The hair is first doused with warm water and then lukewarm water until it's completely clean. Some vinegar - about a third glass on 1 liter - or the juice of a lemon can be added to neutralize the last alkali. Then one rubs it as good as possible with a warm towel dry. The use of an electrical device when one has a sensitive scalp is not recommended. The strong air flow may be the cause of hair loss."

Jean Harlow

Hairstyles, ondulation, etc.

"The hair dressing should be chosen in accordance with character and type, and so also becoming. Curly hair, especially when the curl is natural, is always good, but sometimes straight hair is also charming because of it's simplicity. Women who want to wear their hair curled can directly after washing with the help of a comb, which they repeatedly douse in clean water, - or in the extracts of pine tree needles - bring it in the desired shape, exactly as the hairdresser does with permanent waves. Afterwards, the waves will be attached with clip pins or ditto combs, and during the drying a veil will be bound to the hair to keep the waves in place."

Jean Harlow let's the hairdresser ondulate her hair.

"Who is going to let her hair ondulate must take her own comb to the hairdresser on hygienic grounds. Apart from infection with various diseases, it is distasteful to get the filthiness of others in the own hair. There must be ensured that the hairdresser is accustomed to the shape of her own comb, because one always gets back to the same hairdresser. For this you can purchase a special comb the hairdresser will use.

"The perm wave which is so easy, can never be applied more than twice a year. More will bring damage to the hair. The perm wave is in fact nothing else than a kind of steam or boil-process of the hair and is carried out as follows: the cleaned hair is divided in small clumps, then wrapped around metal rods, then moistened with a liquid preparation, then protected with parchment or tin foil, and then the hair comes in tubes. Finally the liquid preparation, by  electric heat, will be brought to boiling or the boiling point. Or the hair will be wrapped dry around the metal rods, where a substance will saturate the hair with liquid preparation that will develop steam when heated. After this proces, the hair will be washed and set. Usually the duration of the perm wave will be guaranteed for half a year; however experience has shown that the waves expire within only a few months. In order to enjoy the waves as long as possible, the hair also in this stage must be effectively taken care of.
This is done as follows: after the hair is brushed, the scalp massaged, and if necessary also greased, one bends over in a washbin for five minutes, filled with boiling water,  while one spreads a towel over the head. Then the hair is combed and the waves will be inlaid again with the fingers. The tips of the hair will be wrapped around a cold curling iron, and after one removes the curling iron with care,  the curl will be fixed with several hair pins. After the hair is totally dry one can comb it again."

Perm wave machine.

"An other kind of waving the hair is by means the use of rubber rollers. These are shaped so that they can do both frizz or waves. They do not disrupt sleep because of their softness and pliability. They will be rolled into the hair before one goes to sleep."

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  1. What a nice post. That perm wave machine is quite something, isn't it :-)

  2. I love it, only washing the hair once a fortnight! Wow. :-)


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