I wish I had a dollar for every pincurl my mother wound on my head. The upside to bobby pinned curls was that they weren't terribly uncomfortable to sleep on. The downside was that it took my thick hair forever to dry.
|Pincurls...still being used in the late 1940s/early 1950s|
|Me, as a pincurl girl|
My got my first perm in the early 1950s. My grandmother lived in a small East Texas town of 1,000 people. The beauty salon on the town square was a bit behind in hair care technology and was still using an antiquated perm machine from the 1930s. Without my parents' permission, I was hooked up to a contraption like this...even though I already had Shirley Temple ringlets. The result was horrifying, and my parents were not pleased. There are no photos extant from that period. I think it was a condition of my parents' agreeing to speak to my grandmother ever again.
|Permanent wave machine...invented in 1934|
From pincurls and bad perms, I graduated to brush rollers. These things were hellish to sleep on! Women suffered in silence for years, until some genius invented small rectangular foam pads to put next to the scalp. The rollers were fastened together with plastic picks, the best of which had a metal rod down the center so they didn't bend.
ebay.com - southpawtracy
|My picks of choice back in the day...still being sold|
|Brush rollers and hairnet|
Foam curlers were invented to give us some relief, I suppose. Even though they were much more pleasant to sleep on, they never worked as well for me as brush rollers.
|The scarf...pre-bouffant satin hair bonnet|
Ditto plastic rollers...not as effective as the ones with brushes. Like the foam rollers, they always creased my hair.
|Clip-on plastic rollers|
|Too prone to crease|
Smooth plastic curlers were an improvement, but they were still very difficult to sleep on. At this point in hair curler history, the diameter of rollers got completely out of control. And when I couldn't find curlers big enough, I used orange juice cans!
|I was all red, all the time.|
|Plastic rollers and the super-long bobby pin|
Finally, in the mid-1960s, I got a decent night's sleep when hot curlers were invented. Aside from the occasional burn, they were a boon to women everywhere.
|Clairol Kindness hot curlers|
|Hot curlers and special clips|