1950s

Hair Flashes

Friday, January 15, 2016

I suppose it's only natural for each generation to think that everything they do is novel and new, however, time and time again, it's proven that everything has been done before. 

Today, the modern gal is embracing beauty aids such as false lashes, shapewear (à la spanx) and, though the trend may be waning, pastel hair-- all of which were fads of yesteryear (click the links to read a little history on each subject!). 

That said, I shouldn't have been at all surprised when I stumbled on a video from 1955 demonstrating the ease and beauty of Chameleon Streaks. It wasn't exactly the novelty of the streaks that I marveled at, but the ingeniousness! 


Applied with spirit gum, these little licks of colorful hair are a temporary accessory "for a girl of changing moods." Actress Alicia Lotti chooses yellow hair flashes to contrast with her blue dress while Anita Collins chooses red flashes to match her ensemble. 



I've worked with spirit gum before and found it quite easy to use. The thought of simply sticking on a flash of color for the night, especially right at the hair line, is so appealing, as is being able to remove the color just as you would any other accessory. 
No bleach, no roots, no maintenance, though, as the video points out, it would be terribly embarrassing should the spirit gum fail!

You can see the entire application process in the charming video below and hop on over to Youtube for more details (including the original cost of these Chameleon Streaks) in the video description.




Having seen this video a couple years ago, it was brought to mind again when a business acquaintance of mine expressed his distaste for my own rather permanent hair flashes. A general fan of my look, he, almost rudely, exclaimed that the addition of unnatural color clashed terribly with the concept of dressing in clothing from the 40s and 50s and really ruins the whole "illusion" (so does wearing my hair natural, but he had already covered that on another occasion). 

I hate to break it to him, but colorful hair is nothing new and, as the video demonstrates, was in fashion when my 50s dresses were new. 


Every few years I get the itch to put a little color (or a blonde streak!) in my hair. Often the thought of doing my whole head occurs to me, but then I figure I should enjoy my natural color as long as I have it. (Perhaps when my hair has faded to that snowy white that red hair so often does, I'll experiment with a whole head of exotic color-- I relish the thought of being an old woman with lavender hair!)

This bout of teal and blue was inspired, I think, by that pesky big 3-0 that looms near. My beau turned thirty just after Christmas, and while I've got a little more than a year before I do the same, I'm feeling old and feeling like I look old. 
A few months ago, while enjoying a brew at a rather hip bar in Wilmington, it suddenly occurred to me that I look like a mother (now I sound like Iona-- see last week's post). Well, now, of course, there's no real way a mother looks, I mean, it's not that mothers look bad in any way... I suppose what I'm trying to say is that sometimes classic, rather conservative style without the aid of a vintage hair-do just comes off as doudy a 50 year-old woman, rather than a youthful (not quite) 30 year-old. 

Needless to say, a few days after this revelation, a few flashes of color appeared in my hair.


Teal-blue is generally my go-to fun color, but I'm looking forward to it fading enough that I can try something different.

 Of course, patience is not my strong suit and I'm "a girl of changing moods" so it's times like these I wish I had my own drawer full of Chameleon Streaks to play with. 

Hmmm... what color to choose next?


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