Boys' Hair Styling


Figure 1.--.

Hair can and has been styled and dressed in many different ways. The most common is arranging the hair, but other processes include cutting, curling, perfuming, bleaching, dyeing, powdering, waxing, plaiting, weaving, and anointing with oil. Various implements from a shaving balde to sissors have been used over time. To the list the modern blow dryer has to be added. False hair or a wig or headdress is another possibility, although more common for adults than boys. A number of adornments such as hairbows have also been employed.

Purposes

Hair was styled for a variety of paractical reasons as well as personal adornment and to convey status. Many societies have also use hair styling to identify children and the point at which they were accepted into adult society.

Practical

Virtualy every society has found it necessary to either cut or control their hair in some way to keep it from interfering with daily activities. Long hair could interefere with labor, warfare, and other activities.

Adornment

Man at an early point also began to style hair to meer an apparently basic human desire for personal adornment. While the desire for adornment appears to be basic, the actual styles are as diverse as the huge coiffures of 17th centurian French cortisans to the slicked shingled hair of 1920s flappers.

Status

A key purpose of hair styling througout history has been to convey status. Even primitive societies styled hair for status, fastening bones, feathers, and other objects in their hair to impress both enemies and subordinate members of the tribe with their rank or prowess. Conquured people might be forced to change their hair to show their subjection as when Ceaser forced the long haired Gauls to cut their hair.

Occupation

Hair styles might also convey occupation. British barristers have traditionally worn elaborate wigs. Japanese geishas lacquered their hair.

Religion

Religion has also given great importance to hair. Christian and Buddist monks shaved their hair to show their renunciation of wordly pursuits and total devotion to God. Single long locks on the shaved heads of Muslim men signigied how Attak would pull them to heaven.

Poltical sentiment

Hair styles at odds with prevailing styles often were used to indicate political discent or modern thought. The English Roundheads used short hair to show their discent with the Rnglish King and his long-haired Cavalers as did the French Revolutiaries use short hair to show their rejection of the Ancien Refime. In moderb times it was long hair that discenters use to show their resistance to the War in Vietnam.

Mourning

Changing ones hair style was often used to express mourning. The aincent Egyptians who shaved their hair would let their hair grow to express mourning. Hindu widows might cut their long hair.

Marital status

Girls and young women often have had destinctive hair styles to signal their marital status. Medieval maidens in Europe wore their hair long without covering it. Matrons on the other hand bound their hair in varying fashions such as veils.

Age

Hair styles have also been used to signal age . Egyptiann boys wore one lock of long hair which they shaved on achieving adulkt status. Ancient Greek boys wore their hair short to signal their juvenile status. Hindu boys shaved their hair upon reaching adolesence. Orthodox Jewish boys wear long locks on one side. Boys during the 19th century, as men began wearing short hair styles, were often kept in long hair when dressed, especially before breeching.

Processes

Hair can and has been styled and dressed through varied processes in many different ways. The most common is arranging the hair, but other processes include cutting, curling, perfuming, bleaching, dyeing, powdering, waxing, plaiting, weaving, and anointing with oil.

Styling

The most important qualities for hair are that it be healthy, shining, and in a flattering, easy-to-manage style. Many fashion magazines suggest hair styles according to the shape of the face in order to make the face resemble as closely as possible the perfect oval. The circularity of a round face may be minimized by a sleek, con trolled style with side bangs. A square face needs a style that cuts across the square corners at the temples and is full around the jaw. The best style for a long face also rounds off the corners at the temples and is short. For a triangu lar face, a narrow chin should be filled out with chin-length hair, while a wide chin may be minimized with wide bangs. In finding the ri~ht hairstyle, however, a woman should also consider the proportions of her whole figure, the texture of her hair, her skill in handling it, and the character of her life.

Once a hair style is chosen, it must be main tained by regular washing, setting, and, usually, cutting. Some women care for their hair princi p ally at home, going to the hairdresser only in- frequently for a cut or a shampoo and set for a special occasion. Many women go to the hair- dresser once a week, while still others may see him every day for a combing.

Washing

Clean, healthy hair is the basis of any hair style. In addition to brushing, dry hair requires shampooing once a week, oily hair per haps every day. Shampoos are soapy or synthetic detergents in liquid, gel, lotion, or cream form and may have special uses. There are nondn~ing shampoos for normal hair, egg shampoos to add sheen to dry hair, and lemon shampoos to cut extra oils in oily hair. There are hypoallergenic shampoos for sensitive scalps, medicated sham ~005 for scalp problems, and special shampoos for tinted or bleached hair.

Coloring

Coloring Because hair coloring is constantly being improved and tested scientifically and is subject to rigid quality controls, more women than ever before can color their hair safely and achieve a natural effect. Most errors stem from the user's carelessness. There are three types of hair coloring available. Temporary rinses, which coat the hair shaft and wash away with one shampoo, make no drastic change but add highlights and blend in discolored streaks. Semi perl!Lanent rinses, which also coat the hair shaft but last through four to eight shampoos, make hair slightly darker (never hghter) and can ef. fectively cover gray hair. Because the color im parted by these rinses fades gradually, it does not require retouching.

Tints

Permanent tints penetrate the hair shaft and permanently change the pigment inside. The tint includes a bleaching agent, which removes the natural hair color, and coloring matter, which gives a new color. In a one-color process these actions take place at the same time. In a two- color process, only for the most dramatic changes, the hair is bleached first and then a toner (a very light shade) is applied to enliven the bleached hair. Retouching is needed about every three weeks at the roots, where the darker hair grows in. It should usually be done professionally be- cause overlapping of chemicals can cause the hair to become overly porous and brittle. Streak ing is the two-tone process applied to strands separated from the mass of hair.

Cutting

Fundamental to a short hair style is the cut. A blunt cut with scissors makes the ends -.of the hair straight. Cutting with a razor tapers the ends so that they cling close to the head.

Setting and Waving

. Most hair, especially if it is short, needs to be arranged in a certain position while wet to give it shape when dry

Setting the most popular method of setting the hair is to wrap small sections of wet hair around rollers, usually of plastic wire. The result is relativel,' flexible, natur al-looking curls with a "hounce" that add height and width to a hair style. Hair may also be set in flat pin curls, which produce a very curly effect. There are many aids for setting hair. Electric curlers (rollers) in dry hair quickly revive a set. Setting lotions on wet hair help the set to hold its shape and last longer. Mter a shampoo an instant conditioner (a protein-based lotion) add, "body" (substance) and sheen to the hair, or a cream rinse makes hair softer and less dry.

Combing Out

The final step in creating a hair style is to comb out the hair. Once the set hair is dry, the rollers or pins are removed, and the hair is brushed to distribute the curl evenly and to achieve a smooth line. If hair lacks desired height or fullness, it may be "teased" (back combed) to add bulk under the top hair, which is then smoothed down to follow the co~tour of the head. Then the hair is lifted slightl~" l)y the handle of a rattail comb, and hair spray is lightl'. applied to help hold the style in place.

Implements

Various implements from a shaving balde to sissors have been used over time. To the list the modern blow dryer has to be added. I'm afraid I can't give you a definitive answer as I'm not sure when sissors were developed, I think before the 19th century. So I believe that boys' hair was mostly cut with sissors. One exception to this was that although not common in America, many German, Russian, and Austrian school boys had their hair shaved or cut very closely during the late 19th and early 20th century. I do not know, however, how it was cut.

Wigs

False hair or a wig or headdress is another possibility. Wigs were widely worn during the 17th and 18th century in Europe and America. Boys in aflluent families mike also wear wigs, although they were much more common for adults.

Adornments

The peak of adornment for hair was reached in late 18th century France before the Revolution when women wore massive creations with elaborate adornment. Boys luckily were spared most of that. A number of adornments such as hairbows have also been employed. In the mid 19th century, some mothers began adding hair bows to their sons' curls.









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Created: January 16, 2000
Last updated: November 12, 2000