The gallery is proud to present a series of vintage
photographic hairdressing studies from the 1940s produced by the
National Beauty Service of Chicago. They were created as originals
from which posters would be produced and marketed for sale to hair
salons across the country. Much like knockoff dress patterns of
Paris fashions, they were used as templates to recreate the latest
hairstyles of the day, giving every American woman the opportunity
to emulate the look of their movie star idols.
As part of the national self-reflection movement that ensued after
World War II, these hairstyles were popularized in magazines such
as American Hairdresser, the National Cosmetologists Association's
official magazine. Founded in 1877 and still in publication today,
it operates under the title American Salon. Long before the advent
of hairspray, which was invented in 1950, these styles were created
by solely by the use of water, with hair being set while wet in
tight curls until dry.
In these photos in fact, the hair is the star, in spite of the often
glamorous woman models used. With the use of ingenious printing
techniques, exquisite gold toning and an ample supply of negative
retouching, one can't help feel the lusciousness of these hairdo's.