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From Water Waves To Oil Slick, Everyone Wore These Hairstyles In The 1920s

The fashion of the 1920s marked a major evolution that would change the game over the following decades. Following the First World War, young people embraced a ‘live in the moment’ lifestyle, which transcended into how they styled their hair. Young women, especially those who worked in factories during the war, began to cut their hair short. We’ve compiled five of the most common 1920s hairstyles.

The Shingle

This hairstyle was one of the most popular hairstyles in the early ’20s. Also called the ‘boyish bob,’ the shingle is a variant of the popular bob hairstyle. Introduced in 1923, Katie Holmes is famously credited for popularizing it in the 21st century.

Courtesy: Pinterest

The shingle is a bob haircut that narrows down to the nape of the neck. The hair on the neck is cut short into a V shape. A common addition was spit curls at the sides.

Water Waves

Water waves, also called finger waves, were one of those hairstyles that became popular in the latter years of the decade. The name was derived from making the hair, which involved shaping wet hair to create the curls.

Courtesy: Pinterest

The waves were formed by pushing a comb through wet hair in interchanging directions to create S-shaped troughs and crests in the hair. People often held the curls in place with hairnets and butterfly clips. For dry hair, heated tongs were used.

The Oil Slick

The oil slick was the prevalent hairstyle for men in the ’20s. Since most men wore hats, the resulting helmet shape was called ‘hat hair.’ Men always kept their hair between five and seven inches to make it possible to slick it back.

Courtesy: Pinterest

They often used the oil-based product called Brilliantine to flatten the hair. After applying the product, they could either part it directly at the center or comb it straight to the back. Rudolph Valentino famously rocked this hairstyle.

Orchid Bob

The orchid bob was a relatively more practical hairstyle for women of the time. It was another bob variant that incorporated two simple curls. The hairstyle featured short and smooth hair, which always peeked out fashionably under cloche hats.

Courtesy: Pinterest

The hair was given a side-parting and swept across the forehead. With the length of the hair sitting around the bottom of the ears, the orchid bob was completed with two curls flicked toward the cheeks.

The Earphone

The earphone was a more viable option for young ladies who didn’t wish to let go of their long hair. This hairstyle allowed women to dress their long hair up and rocked the famous above-the-neck style without cutting their hair.

Courtesy: Pinterest

The hair was plaited to make the earphone style; then, the plaits were rolled up and pinned around the ears. The shape of the large bun beside the head gave the hairstyle its name. The hairstyle was popular among schoolgirls then.

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