"A cut above most workplace histories. Looking at the separate but sometimes overlapping development of European and African-American hairdressing from the early twentieth century to the present, Willett shows how race shaped different trajectories for black and white salons."
"Refreshing to read a history so firmly historicized and grounded in working-class and Afro-American history."
-Journal of Social History
"Offers an unusually comprehensive look at a significant twentieth-century industry and female preoccupation."
-American Historical Review
"With verve, sophistication, and imagination, Julie Willett has discovered the roots of today's hair-care industry in separate searches by African American and Euro-American women for dignified labor, community advancement, and personal beautification. After Permanent Waves, getting your hair done will never be the same again—nor will the study of the shopfloor, professionalization, or the culture of consumption."
-Eileen Boris,University of Virgina
”Combines an evocative portrait of the world of small town beauty shops with a provocative analysis of the hairdressing industry's racial, class, and gender faultlines. Julie Willett explores both the promises of a skilled profession for individual women, white and black, and the realities of low wages, long hours, segregated markets, and assembly-line salons. Covering the entire sweep from the early twentieth century through the present day, this book deserves a prominent, and permanent, place on the reading lists of women's and labor historians."
-Nancy Hewitt,The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers
About the Author
Julie A. Willett is Assistant Professor of History at Texas Tech University.