The 1920s was a time marked by the revolution of the ‘flappers’. The flappers were girls considered to be influenced by jazz music. They wore short hair, short skirts and were considered Jezebel’s by the community who condemned them.
Ladies like Clara Bow, ‘Coco’ Channel, and Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks and Greta Garbo, and the other fashion pioneers of the time were considered the ultimate ‘flapper’ girls as they wove the trend of hairstyles and clothing choices for ladies of the time.
Ladies who cut their hairs and were unable to bear the ridicule of the community wore hats, kitchen bonnets, and feathered barrettes until their hairs grew back.
Flapper Hairstyles of the 1920s
There were only 2 major types of bob haircut; short and curly, and short and straight. The variances which brought about the numerous styles were the position of the parts, the position of the bangs and curls, length of bob, and method of curling.
We had variations like the ear-length bob with short bob bangs that stopped above or just on top of the eyebrows, as seen on Louise Brooks; it gives frame and defined features to the face. Below are some of the popular flapper hairstyles that define the 1920s;
- Rolled-in curls or faux bob
Rolled-in curls or faux bob style was perfect for ladies who couldn’t cut their long hairs. It was created with the use of curling irons and pins to hold the back of the hair upwards, showcasing the neck and sometimes the ears.
- Inward curl bob
Inward curl bob was achieved by curling the hair with a curling iron inwardly to give defined bouncy curls that made the hair look a lot shorter than it really was. This was worn often by actress Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish.
- Sculpted curls
Sculpted curls were gotten by curling the lower half of the hair to let the curls flow from the top of the ear to the neck. They were popular with short hairs, as seen often on Anita Page.
- Chin-length bob
Chin-length bob was just a few inches longer than the ear-length bob; they also had bangs and gave definition to the face. Colleen Moore and Anna May Wong wore this style often. They styled it with a feathered headband, silky straight bob was the signature hairstyle among flappers. This was a popular style adopted by ladies like Coco Chanel. With some waving lotion and the right finger technique, the finger waves were created without the use of a curling iron, Josephine Baker wore this style effortlessly.
- Soft curled
Softly curled ends were another simple hairstyle for ladies of the 20s that were created by curling the ends of a short hair using a curling iron.
Headwraps and curled hair wrapped in a loose bun gave the classic low bun as seen regularly on Mary Jaquith who carried two loose buns and waves, and Marys Crawley who carried hers in pinned up knots.
Teenage Girls of the 1920s
The 1920s gave birth to the teenage mindset. The attributes that characterize the modern-day teen; dancing, fashion, romance, etc, were all formed in the 1920s. The word was first used in context in the 1940s.
The teenage girl fashion was in a category right behind the women’s fashion. A typical teenage girl was expected to wear loose-fitting/drop-waist dresses, hats, stockings, bloomers, wide-collar tops, galoshes, 2-4 inch heels, and flat toe covered shoes.
As the fashion for ladies became more relaxed in the ‘20s, active and sports wears became quite popular. Although the bikini did not become a thing until the ‘40s, this was close in line to it. Sports wear for teenage girls would include tank tops, shorts, and comfortable sports shoes.
Until the 1920s, that much skin had not been seen, especially not in public. The ‘flappers’ incited a more comfortable way of dressing, which was considered at first to be ‘mannish’.