Waving - How to Marcel Wave at Home
To the woman who desires a really attractive, well-dressed head, waving is indispensable. By that I do not mean to lay down a hard and fast rule that every woman, without exception, should always appear with her hair waved. By no means. There are certain types of beauty and mouldings of feature and figure that demand straight hair for the perfection of the tout ensemble. The statuesque, rather cold beauty that can stand a coiffure a la Vierge, or a severe Grecian dressing, looks grotesque with fluffy, waved tresses, or with a lot of curls and puffs. It needs coils and smooth brushing.
Waving, in addition to other matters, needs discrimination. And the woman with classical features and heavy, dark hair, who tries to fluff it and wave it, instead of letting it follow its own simple and severe lines, is worse than foolish.
Waving is for the woman who wants to look smart, or the woman who wants to look dainty and fluffy, but not for the woman who makes a cult of the statuesque. Waving adapts itself equally well to the smart, brushed-up coiffure of the woman who is chic, or to the careless, fascinating fluffiness of the girl with simple frocks and dimples. It can lend a head that indescribable air of "chicness" that is so enviable in a certain type of woman ; or it can add charm to the negligee lines and curves affected by an ingenue. If a classical, statuesque woman possesses heavy, smooth hair, let her leave it as Nature intended it to look, and she will achieve perfection. But if a woman of the more ordinary, everyday type is the possessor of straight, lifeless hair, let her do all in her power to give it that waved fluffiness which will transform her appearance from mediocrity to charm.
Waving is not all of the Marcel type ; indeed, it is practically impossible for a woman to Marcel wave her own hair. But there are other ways of securing an excellent wave on the front and side hair ; a wave which looks pretty and natural, and gives the hair just that support and substance which makes waving such a help in hair dressing. Every woman can wave her hair, if she wants to, on pins. These pins are of two kinds - the ordinary straight hairpin, rather long; and the tortoiseshell or horn pins, manufactured for this purpose, which can be bought quite inexpensively at any good hairdresser's.
The method of waving differs slightly on the different pins. First, let us suppose an ordinary hairpin is to be used. Divide the front hair into moderate strands (the more hair in each strand, the wider the wave). Take one strand, and place the hairpin, with the prongs well divided, at the roots of the strand of hair, with the loop of the pin nearest the scalp, and the hair between the prongs. Hold the pin firmly with the left hand, and take the strand in the right. Twist it over each prong in turn, taking particular care to twist it towards the face the first time. If this is not done, the wave goes the wrong way. Continue twisting over and over each prong until the strand covers the pin in a sort of plait. (See illustration.) When all the hair has been used up take the two ends of the pin, and bend the left one towards the right, and the right towards the left. This crossing of the ends prevents the hair on the pin from loosening or escaping.
This method produces a flatter wave than that done on a horn or shell pin, but either of these waves are more crinkly than a Marcel wave. If the hair is left on the pin all night, or some hours, no heat is necessary ; and when the pin is removed the wave will appear. But if the hair is to be dressed immediately, some flat pincher-shaped irons - as used for curls en papillote - should be thoroughly heated, and the hair pressed firmly between them. The pin can then be removed, and the wave is equally good.
To wave on horn or steel pins divide the hair as before, and place the pin, with the hair between its prongs, and the loop nearest the head. The hair is then taken in the right hand, and wound round and round the prongs. Again, care must be taken to twist it, the first time, towards the face. If this is done, it will be found that, as it is wound round the pin, the hair twists itself. But if it is turned away, it remains flat When the hair is covering the pin, in smooth rings, an elastic band fixed at the end of one prong is slipped across, and keeps the hair in position. This wave may also be left in all night, or pinched with hot irons, when it will be ready for use in under five minutes.
How hair can be waved on a horn or steel pin. An elastic band slipped across the pin. when the hair has covered it, will keep all in position
These two methods of waving the hair are both quick and effective. They only mean ten minutes' work overnight, or the same extra time spent on the coiffure in the morning. And the result is a prettily waved head, which takes half the time to dress, and,besides looking softer and more attractive, remains in position and shape considerably longer than straight, flabby hair. Four pins should serve to wave the front and sides, and the back can be done in the same way if desired. I do not want ladies to think that this process - which needs no helper or maid - will give them the same appearance as a Marcel wave. It will not. But it will wave their hair,
How to achieve the Marcel wave. The comb must remain in the hair, for at the same time that the iron is pressing upwards, the comb draws the hair beyond downwards instead of crimping it - the result of curling-pins and amateurish attempts with tongs. Let me warn ladies to beware of tongs. More harm is done to hair by injudiciously used tongs than would be believed. These pins, if used in the manner described, cannot possibly harm the hair; and they will produce a far more natural, wavy result than badly manipulated tongs or so-called " wavers."indeed, they offer the nearest home-made approach to a Marcel wave.
Marcel waving is the next thing to naturally wavy hair. Before M. Marcel made his name and fortune by inventing it, waving, of a natural kind, had been done by means of a comb and water. A comb, thoroughly damp, was passed through the hair a short way, and then the finger was placed along the damp strand, drawing it up - following the lines of the comb. The comb was then drawn down, and the finger again followed it. This up-and-down process was repeated as much as necessary, and the hair remained in the rising and dipping waves indicated by the comb and finger. Of course, this method was both troublesome and difficult, and the waves also "came out" rather quickly.
How the Wave was Invented
M. Marcel, a Parisian hairdresser, one day wondered why the natural waves thus produced should not be accentuated with hot irons. This experiment he tried, and found it wonderfully effective. For some time he made his wave first with water, and then followed the same lines with the irons. And at last he adapted the up-and-down movement of the comb, finger, and water to the comb and hot irons alone, and achieved the Marcel wave.
When this enterprising coiffeur first opened his doors for Marcel waving, the competition was enormous. People waited hours for him to wave their hair, and actresses and society women bid against each other for first place. Many a lady, having offered 20 francs for the next turn, would arrive to find her place taken by somebody who had bid 30 francs. And so the game went on, and Marcel waving became the rage. At first, M. Marcel did not teach ; but when he found that other hairdressers, having sent their wives, daughters, or assistants to be waved, were learning his secrets, he began giving lessons. Marcel waving has now become universal, and is practised by most hairdressers with - more or less - success.
Now, a good Marcel wave is very difficult to make, and can really only be done by a second person, standing over the hair in question. However, in case any ladies are anxious to try for themselves, or to get a friend to try for them (a wiser experiment this), I will give a few directions regarding the chief rules for Marcel waving. But 1 should like it to be understood that this desirable wave is only achieved, in perfection, after much practice, which is best done on a wig placed on a block, so that the operator can stand in front of it. The irons must not be too hot, and should always be tested on a piece of white paper. If they discolour it, they are too warm, and should be swung round in the hand or left to cool.
Place the irons in the hair quite near the centre or side parting, first running a comb, held in the left hand, through the hair, and lifting it slightly. Turn the hair half round the iron, pulling from the parting and pushing upwards with the iron. The comb remains in the hair, and at the same time that the iron is pressing upwards the comb draws the hair beyond downwards. This movement is reversed every time ; and so, when the iron presses downwards, the comb draws the hair upwards. This is the whole secret of Marcel waving, and gives a waved wave instead of a straight wave. The iron is then turned over to the further side of the hair it holds, which is then pressed towards the parting. This forms the raised wave. The iron then moves along a short distance - the wave may be large or small, as required - and repeats the same process, the comb always following and reversing the movement of the iron.
The wave must be carefully continued at the sides, in the same line as the front pieces.
The irons must not start an entirely fresh undulation, but continue the other right round the head.
For a Pompadour dressing the hair is brushed back and waved straight across the forehead in exactly the same manner.
Success in home-made Marcel waving is difficult to secure ; but if it is remembered that the comb is almost as important as the irons, and that a slightly agitated or nervous movement must be made with the fingers on the iron-handle, quite a successful Marcel wave should result.
A waved coiffure, distinguished for its admirable taste and adaptability to the physiognomy of the wearer
Designs by David Nicol,5o,haymarket, S.ik