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Creative Hair Styling -- 1940s Swirls, Curls and Water Waving Techniques Paperback – 2008
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Originally published in 1948 and considered to be one of the rarest styling books of the era, this book covers general principles of hairdressing as well as the components necessary to create fantastic 1940s styles. Creating pin curls, direction of lines, proper finger positions, and other techniques are demonstrated. The author breaks the hairstyle portion of the book down into 12 basic pin curl settings with detailed illustrations. These pin curl settings are numbered, with each hairstyle referencing the number of the pin curl setting to use when creating each style. 12 hairstyles are demonstrated with an easy-to-use chart. Another 9 hairstyles with instructions are located in the Swirl, Sweep and Roll chapters and an additional 11 hairstyles can be found in the Hair Style Designs chapter of the book. Beautiful updos still fashionable today can be learned from this book. A large section of the book is devoted to water waving with 34 illustrations and 20 pages walking you through the process of setting the hair, joining the waves, placing the curls, and creating different hairstyles based on the parting of the hair including a center parting, full pompadour, semi-pompadour, and double dip pompadour. Instructions are also provided for creating waves using setting combs. The book also contains chapters on: Shaping and Tapering for Successful Styling, Art of Curling, Hairline and Practical Setting, Definition of Beauty, Styling to Type, Adapting Postiche to Modern Hairdressing, Variations of the Bang Design, Hair Style Designs, and Modern Hair Fashions Influenced by Historical Hairdressing. Sample hairstyles and illustration images are shown at the top of this page. ==== FOR MORE FANTASTIC 1940s HAIRSTYLING BOOKS please see Creative Hairshaping and Hairstyling You Can Do, Hair Style Design -- 1940s Hairshaping, Finger Waving and Styling Techniques, and How to Create 1940s Hairstyles -- Instructions and Illustrations for 17 Swing Era Styles.
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After a few introductory chapters on preparing the hair, the book presents the basic techniques you will need to master: pin curling and water-waving. Morris gives detailed instructions with illustrations for pin curling and presents 4 examples of styles created with pin curls, also with instructions. Next, he illustrates how to create a basic water wave and presents 5 variations on the water wave style, which vary the number of "dips" on the forehead and the location of the part, with instructions. Morris regards water-waving with setting combs as an outdated method, made obsolete by the heavier setting creams that were available in the 1940s, but he includes a chapter on how to do it anyway. He ends the instructions on water-waving with advice on how to dry the hair, normally under a hood, but you can use a hand dryer in a pinch.
By this point, you are at chapter 9, where the lessons on "hair designing" begin. Morris breaks the hairstyles of the day down into "Twelve Basic Principles". These are basic elements of the styles. Both the setting and the finished style are illustrated, with instructions. All elements consist of waves and pin curls. You combine elements for the sides, top, and back to create the hairstyle of your choice. The illustrations are exceptionally clear. You can see exactly how these styles are created. Morris is concerned with the stylist's ability to suit the hairstyle to the client's face, so he then gives examples of correct and incorrect styles for different shapes of faces, necks, noses, shoulders, foreheads, chins, you name it.
Now you've reached chapter 15, where Morris speaks briefly about using postiche (hair pieces) in modern (1940s) styles. Done with the postiche, he goes on to give instructions, with illustrations of the setting and final style, for 4 popular styles of the time -the cockscomb, the bang, the sideswirl, side-swept "v" roll, and the page boy- with variations. Then he does the same for 11 more styles, which seem to be evening styles, as they are upswept, with names like "très chic", "prestige", "aspiration", "olympia", and "soir de bal". What's impressive is that you actually can figure out how to create these styles, from setting to dressing (combing) out. The illustrations are excellent.
"Creative Hair Styling" was written for hairstylist. You could not do these styles on yourself. They require tapered hair that isn't too long, but if you have bangs but no layers or tapers, you could do a bit of pin curling at the bangs and ends and come up with a vaguely `40s look. I'm wondering if the waving cannot be done with a Marcel iron and the pin curling with a very small-barreled iron, so you wouldn't have to work with wet hair and heavy setting lotion. You might get a good approximation with those tools, but the "dips" on the forehead seem difficult to achieve with an iron and without singeing the victim. In any case, "Creative Hair Styling" is the ideal manual for stylists who need to create 1940s hair styles for film or stage.