The bob haircut was simply a blunt cut, level with the bottom of the ears all around the head. It was worn either with bangs or with the hair brushed off of the forehead. It was a simple look but a drastic departure from the long feminine looks created by Gibson and Marcel.
By 1921, following the lead of fashion designer "Coco" Chanel and actresses Clara Bow and Louise Brooks, young women everywhere took the plunge and began bobbing their hair.
As the younger generation eagerly embraced this latest fad, women of all ages would soon find themselves having to face a critical decision – to bob, or not to bob. Many were fearful of taking the plunge only to discover that long hair would quickly be back in vogue. In fact, professional hair publications predicted an immediate return to long hair. However, it was difficult to ignore the continued popularity of the bob.
Overseas, it was reported that while King George took no official position to the controversy of bobbed hair, her majesty, Queen Mary, preferred if ladies with short hair would in some way conceal that fact at court functions or royal ceremonies. Hair additions, as depicted in this 1920s advertisement, were commonly used to conceal the shingled back. Many women actually saved their long locks just so they could use them to conceal their new haircut!
By 1925, the bobbed hair controversy still raged. A teacher in Jersey City, New Jersey was actually ordered by her Board of Education to let her hair grow! The Board claimed that women waste too much time fussing with bobbed locks. Preachers warned parishioners that “a bobbed woman is a disgraced woman.” Men divorced their wives over bobbed hair. One large department store fired all employees wearing bobbed hair.
And to make matters worse, the bold and daring flapper pushed the envelope even further when she subjected herself to the shingle bob causing even more controversy. In a letter to the editor of a professional hair publication, one parent deplored this newest version of the bob: “From the rear, it is hard to tell a girl from a boy, since the advent of the shingle bob.” And, “I’ve raised my girls to be women and my boys to be men, but since the advent of this shingle bob, I have to look twice at my own offspring to tell which is which.”
The shingle or the "boyish bob" introduced in 1923 featured hair which tapered into a V-shape at the nape of the neck with either waves or spit curls at the sides.
|Did you know?|
Bobbed hair prompted the invention of the bobbie pin!
Hair Memorabilia from the 1920s
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