Story: Personal grooming

Shingle cut, marcel waved, 1924

Shingle cut, marcel waved, 1924

This 1924 photograph shows Miss May with a 'shingle' cut. A variation of the bob, the shingle had an upward slant from front to back, a line which in the bob was flat. If Miss May's hair was not naturally wavy, then ‘finger waving’ or ‘marcel waving’ would have been used. Finger waving involved setting wet hair in undulating ripples of the desired size, sometimes applying a setting lotion, and letting it dry undisturbed. Marcel waving required a trip to the hairdresser, where heated curling irons were used to get the same result. A marcel wave lasted longer, but was more risky than simple finger waving. If the heated iron was too hot, hair (or skin) could be burnt; if too cold, the curl would not hold. Skill was needed to get a wave rather than a curl.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: 601-1947E

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Bronwyn Dalley, 'Personal grooming - Women’s hair', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

Story by Bronwyn Dalley, published 5 Sep 2013