Did I say that Hitchcock only used blondes? Turns out he used a brunette too, and what a fine choice. Bergman (Alicia Huberman) is such a wonderful leading lady, she makes this film sparkle despite its mostly mundane plot. Her hair is wonderfully, elegantly, unwaveringly 1940s. What a joy to watch! I counted seventeen different ‘dos throughout the film!
Oh, if I could still get my hair to do this! Gracious, it is an elegant upsweep. She uses several hair pieces, hats, barrettes and accessories throughout the film. Seen above is a fabulous black sequined … well, I’m afraid I just don’t know the name of it, but it sure is a sight! The many accessories were very typical of the time. The fact is we just put more into the looks of our hair back then. Now it’s all gone to pots.
She’s rolled it upwards on both sides, sleeked it back through the middle section, pinned it at the nape in back with a diamond barrette and added pin curls to each side of the back bun. Nothing short of a momentous sight!
My favorite look comes in the second scene of the film, Miss Huberman’s “perfectly hideous party” in her Miami bungalow. I think it really is most flattering.
I don’t want to spoil the film, for you really must see these hairstyles in action, and it’s available for viewing online. However, I suppose I really mustn’t neglect Bergman’s leading man, Cary Grant (Mr. Devlin). His hair is neatly parted and gelled in place throughout the whole picture–– a real upstanding man of the ’40s, he is. He keeps a razor to that square face, doesn’t even let his sideburns down. It’s quite surprising that the good-timing, good humoured Miss Huberman falls for such a straight arrow. I oughtta just let you watch the rest, though.
A Memorable Quote:
Miss Huberman: “What does the speedometer say?”
Mr. Devlin: “65”
Miss Huberman: “I want to make it 80 and wipe that grin off your face.”
The longer ‘dos of the late 1930s and the 1940s just had to have luscious waves or big curls. I remember it well, making my curls bigger by stuffing rats into the middle. Oh dear no, I would never let varmints rummage through my locks. We would make the rats by simply pulling out all the loose hair from our brushes and balling it together. During the war we were innovative, see. And we were still glamorous even though our men were away.
All the women were doing rag curls, which required only the rags that we had, cut into strips. A rather good tutorial exists, created by an unusually classy lady for this day and age. If it’s anything like the old days, all the men who are not in the war abroad will be knocking on your door in hopes of taking you dancing, so you really must practice your lindy hop.
Signed: Cordially, Mary Pickford.
America’s Sweetheart, Pickford wore this ‘do at one point. (We’ll look at other of her styles later on, never fret.) Must’ve been after heated curling irons were circulating, for that was the technology required for this style. Francois Marcel invented this ‘do, and I prefer its earlier name, “Undulation Marcel.”
The style requires a waved curl, not a curly curl. Marcel developed his own irons for this look. If one of my dear readers were to come across an original patented Marcel iron from the early 1900s, she should grab it up immediately, for they are rare.
But there’s more. Marcel developed a permanent waving machine–– Yes, that’s right: the real, first perms were becoming chic in the early 1900s among those who could afford it. It wasn’t until the 1980s that everyone could afford it and all the young girls wanted one (a particular low point in women’s history). Also, it was turned into a chemical process rather than simply using a hair iron, which of course wasn’t as permanent as the more permanent perms of the 1980s. Nevermind this. History repeats, but always with a twist.
Marcel’s break in the States didn’t come until he’d waved actress Jane Hading‘s locks. He eventually acquired great wealth due to his several hair iron developments and patents, and he retired to a 500-acre estate. Well, I do declare. He was a man of hair.
Tutorial published in 1923
Someone’s now-grandmother wearing the style in the 1920s, Kansas City, Missouri
Quite a classic indeed. I like to wear it myself. The finger wave is accomplished with gel on wet hair, and, of course, the index finger, should you have one. It is best done on short hair, and it is strictly a ladies’ style, God forbid it be otherwise.
A most masterful finger wave
There exists a rather crass tutorial by a young Canadian lady, although I do say she gives a good lesson in the technique. A lady with longer hair can even wear this style; she’ll just need to pin it up in the back or set some elegant pin curls up.
Do wear it with class and composure, ladies, for it requires nothing less.