Mary Pickford’s Ringlet Curls

I told you we would get back to more of Mary Pickford.  America’s first “Sweetheart” was known as “the girl with the golden curls.” No one could top the things.

Let’s look at an early photograph of her during her Broadway days:

Photo taken by Broadway photographer Ira L. Hill

Her ringlet curls and large, wide hat were common during the early 1900s, but ringlet curls had also been popular during the 1800s and before. In any case, Pickford was well known for her “sausage” curls. Let’s just take a look at several photographs of her great curls.

Sausage curls whet your appetite?

So adorable!

"Does this hat make me look fat?"

Pickford was a star of the silent pictures, but, more than that, she produced over thirty pictures and did a little directing too.

"Give me melancholy."

Around the time her career was going down the tubes thanks to the advent of talkies, Pickford’s mother died and she chopped off her curls in response, shocking the nation and making headlines.

The sad end of the story is that she started getting zozzled more often than not and became a ragamuffin hermit. Damn those talking pictures!

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Published in: on 26 February 2010 at 18:27  Leave a Comment  
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Marcel wave

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

Published in: on 4 February 2010 at 13:00  Comments (1)  
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