Learn about Life in the 1920s

Hair Classes and Characteristics - Cutting and Styling Methods

This chart is an exact copy of the original which was exhibited in the Social Science Building at "A Century of Progress," World's Fair, Chicago, Illinois, 1933-1934.

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The previous Figure is a chart illustrating the various races of mankind and the forms of hair characteristic of each. Study this chart carefully.

The average growth of hair on the scalp is about one-thousand hairs to the square inch.

The average life of a hair on the head is from two to seven years, after which time the hair falls out, thus making room for a new one. Blond hair is usually more luxuriant than darker hair. That is, we find a greater number of blond hairs to the square inch than is the case with dark hair.

The color of the hair depends upon the chemical composition of the coloring pigment supplied.

A healthy hair may be stretched from one-fifth to one-third of its length without breaking.

The cells which form the hair shaft are either flat, oval or round, and it is their shape which determines the form of the hair. For instance, if the cells are flat, the hair will be very curly, or even kinky.

  • If the cells are oval, the hair is wavy.

  • If the hair is straight, the cells are round in shape.

  • There are two kinds of straight hair.

    • 1 The wiry and

    • 2 the smooth, which lies flat.

    Each kind calls for a different technique in cutting.

  • Under curly hair there are also two general classifications:

    • 1—Loosely curled hair, and

    • 2—Tightly curled hair which mats together easily and goes right back into the same tight curl, no matter how often you comb or wet it.

Today there are some preparations on the market to relieve the condition of hair which is too curly, so that it will remain straight or loosely curled, even after a shampoo.

There are many different textures of hair which may be generally classified as coarse, medium and fine, or harsh, soft and silky. Some heads of hair have even two or three textures as well as two or three forms of hair, including shades of coloring which may vary also.

I know a young lady who has absolutely woolly hair from her forehead over the top of her head to the crown. The side hair, however, is straight and the back hair is curly. Some day I hope to go into this interesting subject of hair more thoroughly.

The following are just a few simple facts regarding cutting various forms and textures of hair:

• Straight hair is very easy to cut.
• Wavy hair is cut close to the ridges.
• Curly hair is cut between the fingers as illustrated in Figure 24.
• Woolly hair is treated by cutting off all ends between the fingers.
• Coarse hair is more difficult to handle. This texture of hair needs more thinning and shaping.

Hair of medium texture is rather easy to cut, but when cutting hair of fine texture, great care must be exercised.

• Fig. 50

Dotted line shows position of the ear. If the sides are worn straight, it is sometimes preferable that they are worn in a point, as in that way they are easier to arrange.

The hair is cut in a half circle and the different positions of the scissors are shown in the above illustration. Cut the hair in a half circle, finishing off with the scissors pointing towards the eye.

See Index below for next Chapter


How to Create 1920's and 1930's Hairstyles

1. 1920's Hair Styling and Design

- Foreheads

- Cowlicks

- Neck Lines

2. Hairdressing Tools

- Combs

- Razor Comb

- Scissors

- Thinning Scissors

- Clippers

3. Thinning and Tapering

4. Cutting and Thinning the Hair for Permanent Waving

5. Scissors Hair Cutting

6. Shingling

7. Razor Hair Cutting

8. Hair Form and Structure

9. Layer Hair Cutting

10. Alteration Hair Cutting

11. Bangs