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The History of Permanent Waving
Transcript of The History of Permanent Waving
Before the 20th century, waving was not permanent and was very primitive. Electric curling irons did not exist and styling products were not developed until the 1910’s. Many women achieved a wave or curl using Marcel curling tongs heated over stoves or open fires, wrapping their hair into rollers, or tying them in rags. Ringlets soon came into fashion during the 20th century to compliment the pale complexions caused by pulmonary tuberculosis. Charles (Karl) Nessler
Charles Nessler came up with the idea for a permanent wave early in his youth. He had been working on the permanent wave since 1896 and finished the project in 1905. The stlying lotion was a mixture of cow urine and water. His method was only useful for long hair. The hair had been wrapped around sprial rods and sodium hydroxide was applied to the hair and then heated to 212*F. The process took 6 hours to complete. The hot rollers were suspended from and overhead chandelier using counterbalanced weights. Suter and calvete
Eugene Suter and Isidoro Calvete collaborated to create the first permanent wave rollers in 1917. They consisted of two parts; the first part was used to wind hair. Then they were inserted into aluminum tubes which were heated by electricity through wires. The two decided to work on this project independently, concluding in conflicting patents with each other and Charles Nessler. Calvete later developed a heater for croquignole waving Development of Heaters
The first perm heaters were tubular. To prepare the hair, it was parted into 22 sections. The section of hair was then wound onto the upright curler starting at the scalp. This technique was known as root winding. The heated rollers on early models of permanent wave machine tended to flop onto the head and burn the scalp. Improved models tended to hold the curlers diagonally.
Josef Mayer, a Czech hairdresser, developed a second style of roller. The hair was fed through a clamp,which the hair would hold both ends of the roller. The ends of the hair were held on the roller until it reached the clamp. This was called point winding. He later attempted (and failed) to claim a patent on this method. Development of the units
Support for these waving machines were first suspended from the ceiling like chandeliers; soon, they were soon replaced by an actual machine. Later, these machines were soon adapted to be portable. A vertical metal pipe held a circular fixture, constructed like a chandelier, with the heated rollers suspended by wires. The wheels enabled the machine to be moved around the salon between clients. The chandelier fixture kept the heaters tidy and facilitated the electrical connection. They also held some of the weight of the curlers, making the client more comfortable. Early models had few rollers because of the price of production and the process took more than 1 step. As waving became more popular, there were up to 22 heaters on a machine and was one process. Some of the heaters on these machines were croquignole. Development of "Reagents"
Although heat was required for permanent waving during this time period, an improvement needed to be made to avoid over heating, damaging the hair, and speeding up the waving process. The use of water was convenient because the hair had previously been washed, and caused the machines to create steam which “improved” the process. From experiment, Alkaline solutions were shown to help wave the hair and kept the hair waved for a longer period of time. Reagents were made by the hairdresser themselves or sold by the machine’s manufacturer. Borax or ammonia were common ingredients in these reagents because they were technically harmless to the hair. Marjorie Stewart Joyner
Marjorie Joyner had developed her own permanent waving machine. The device, patented in 1928, waved women’s hair for a longer period of time than previous waving machine. She got the idea for her machine from a pot-roast cooker, which employed 16 pencil-shaped pot roast rods connected to an old-fashioned hair dryer hood and then joined together with a single electrical cord. The machine was popular among white and black women. She was the first African American female to receive a patent; however she did not profit directly from her invention because it was property of the Walker Co. (Madame C.J. Walker, her employer). History of Permanent Waving
Keller High School
April 22, 2010 J. Bari-Woolls
Up until 1930, the progress of permanent waving was empirical. Many hair dresses felt that more research needed to be performed on hair; Bari-Woolls was chosen by Isidora Calvete to do just this. He experimented on the effect of hear, steam, alkalinity, and the variations of winding the hair, such as, the type of hair, and the tension used during the winding process. Bari-Woolls lectured and wrote a book on this subject.
Bari-Woolla demonstrated the factor of reduction: the opposite of oxidation and can result in the addition of hydrogen, which broke keratin bonds in the hair. This helped the wave form in the hair. Sulphites were added to Icall (hairdressing product co.) reageants (sulphur dioxide). Later alternative were found which led to the development of cold-waving Developments after 1930
By this time, the process of permanent waving was well established. Women would go to a salon once a week to have their hair set, and would perm their hair once every three months as the hair grew out. Despite the great improvements, hair dressers were still developing more economical and speedier ways for the waving process. The glamour of permanent waving was promoted by the wealthy and by the many celebrities that had their hair permed. Bibliography
McCarthy, Laura Flynn. "The New Wave." Vogue (September 1989): 652-56
Trasko, Mary. Daring Do's: A History of Extraordinary Hair. New York: Flammarion, 1994
http://www.bloomington.in.us/~mop-i/benedict.html Exerpt from "My First Permanent"
by Carolyn Benedict
"...When I was fifteen, it was inevitable that mother would insist that I have a permanent. In 1935, the beauty shop business was still in a primitive state. The instrument of torture which made curls was a tall, floor-lamp shaped machine on wheels, with a series of electric cables hanging form a pole. The wires ended in clamps, one of which fastened to each strand of hair to be curled. After being shampooed, the hair was dipped into an acrid, foul-smelling solution, wrapped in foil s trips and clamped one at a time onto the machine. I was sure I would be electrocuted when the machine was switched on, but all that happened was a sizzling noise and a concentrated gust of the permanent wave solution that blew into my face and caused an immediate headache and a feeling of nausea. To distract myself, I began examining my surroundings. The room was large, bare and clean. The ceiling was very high, covered with sculptured tin tiles, painted white. Three sinks, and three chairs and tilted drainboards were lined up against one wall, and three chairs with hooded dryers were against another wall. The permanent wave machine to which I was fastened, sat in a corner, next to a table of magazines. I realized I was a prisoner, and visualized myself running away, flying down the street, still attached to the machine, rolling along behind me. The ticking of the timer brought me back to reality and to calm myself, I began sorting through the magazines. I had never seen any of them before. Our reading at home was Harper's and Atlantic Monthly, American Magazine, and McClure's and Delineator for fashions. Here I found True Confessions Magazine, and several movie magazines. On examination, I found them to be from another world, about which I knew nothing. I could not identify with them in any way. My headache worsened and I wondered if I could hold out. And then the timer finally rang. Developments After 1930 cont.
Charles nessler re-entered the permanent waving market once more, introducing the Radione system. The system started by winding the hair dry and then was placed into cellophane tubes with moistened paper. His "oleum" system used oil instead of water.
The Gallia system, developed by J. Metelski, started by moistening the hair with a reagent, which created better results. However, winding the hair was more difficult. This was credited as a very fast system.
Superma was a machineless permanent wave, that relied on the contents of a cotton pad. It was popular because it did not require electricity. II At-home Box Perms
DO-it Yourself perm kits existed as far back as the 1920s. The rollers were heated over a stove and used a waving lotion similar to ones used in salons. Box perms existed throughout the 40s and 50s, with the cold waving technique, and regained popularity in Britain during the 60s and 70s with the brand Twink. The 80s and 90s emphasized the convienience and simplicity of at home perms that are the most similar to the ones today. Modern Perms
In 1938, Arnold F. Willatt developed the cold wave. This was the precursor to the modern perm. The hair was wound around rods and a lotion containing ammonium thioglycolate was applied to the hair. The chemical broke down disulfide links in the polypeptide bonds in the hair. This reaction caused the hair to lose elasticity and break easier during the perming process. The and oxidizing lotion was applied to reconnect disulfides. The process took six to eight hours at room tempurature.
Acid perms were invented in the 1970's, which didn't contain any ammonia. The perm was slower and gentler to the hair. This perm released heat and could cause the scalp to burn without protection.
Perms today use sodium thioglycolate, and takes 15-30 minutes to process until a neutralizer is applied.
DIgital perms are the most modern innovation currently recorded, and has origins from Japan. nkilaf