1920’s Hairstyles – The Bob

Louise Brooks – The Bob hairstyle – GlamourDaze
Colleen Moore – The Bob -1920’s Hairstyle – GlamourDaze
Louise Brooks – The Bob Hairstyle – GlamourDaze
Colleen Moore – The bob hairstyle – Glamourdaze

As modelled by the imcomparable Louise Brooks and Colleen Moore
Below is one of the first references to the ‘ Bob’ written by F.Scott Fitzgerald in a little
short story published in 1920.

Bernice stood on the curb and looked at the sign, Sevier Barber-Shop. It was a guillotine indeed, and the hangman was the first barber, who, attired in a white coat and smoking a cigarette, leaned nonchalantly against the first chair. He must have heard of her; he must have been waiting all week, smoking eternal cigarettes beside that portentous, too-often-mentioned first chair. Would they blindfold her? No, but they would tie a white cloth round her neck lest any of her blood–nonsense–hair–should get on her clothes.
“All right, Bernice,” said Warren quickly.
With her chin in the air she crossed the sidewalk, pushed open the swinging screen-door, and giving not a glance to the uproarious, riotous row that occupied the waiting bench, went up to the first barber.
“I want you to bob my hair.”
The first barber’s mouth slid somewhat open. His cigarette dropped to the floor.
“My hair–bob it!”
Refusing further preliminaries, Bernice took her seat on high. A man in the chair next to her turned on his side and gave her a glance, half lather, half amazement. One barber started and spoiled little Willy Schuneman’s monthly haircut. Mr. O’Reilly in the last chair grunted and swore musically in ancient Gaelic as a razor bit into his cheek. Two bootblacks became wide-eyed and rushed for her feet. No, Bernice didn’t care for a shine.
Outside a passer-by stopped and stared; a couple joined him; half a dozen small boys’ noses sprang into life, flattened against the glass; and snatches of conversation borne on the summer breeze drifted in through the screen-door.
“Lookada long hair on a kid!”
“Where’d yuh get ‘at stuff? ‘At’s a bearded lady he just finished shavin’.”
But Bernice saw nothing, heard nothing. Her only living sense told her that this man in the white coat had removed one tortoise-shell comb and then another; that his fingers were fumbling clumsily with unfamiliar hairpins; that this hair, this wonderful hair of hers, was going–she would never again feel its long voluptuous pull as it hung in a dark-brown glory down her back. For a second she was near breaking down, and then the picture before her swam mechanically into her vision–Marjorie’s mouth curling in a faint ironic smile as if to say:
“Give up and get down! You tried to buck me and I called your bluff. You see you haven’t got a prayer.”
And some last energy rose up in Bernice, for she clinched her hands under the white cloth, and there was a curious narrowing of her eyes that Marjorie remarked on to some one long afterward.
Twenty minutes later the barber swung her round to face the mirror, and she flinched at the full extent of the damage that had been wrought. Her hair was not curly, and now it lay in lank lifeless blocks on both sides of her suddenly pale face. It was ugly as sin–she had known it would be ugly as sin. Her face’s chief charm had been a Madonna-like simplicity. Now that was gone and she was–well, frightfully mediocre–not stagy; only ridiculous, like a Greenwich Villager who had left her spectacles at home.
As she climbed down from the chair she tried to smile–failed miserably. She saw two of the girls exchange glances; noticed Marjorie’s mouth curved in attenuated mockery–and that Warren’s eyes were suddenly very cold.
“You see”–her words fell into an awkward pause–“I’ve done it.”
“Yes, you’ve–done it,” admitted Warren.

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9 thoughts on “1920’s Hairstyles – The Bob”

  1. My Aunt May was the only one of my mother's four younger sisters who had the Bob; she was also the only one who smoked. A nursing Sister, she was terribly, terribly modern.

    More on 'Monday' 31st.

  2. Thanks for posting the F. Scott Fitzgerald story. I hadn't read any of his short works, now I will have to look into them!

    I've had a bob for a few years now and I feel like changing, but I know I will go back to it.
    I recently found a picture of a great-somebody-or-other from 1925 at age five and she looks so sweet in a bob.
    Wonderful blog, I'm glad I ran across it. I'll be following you now, thanks!

  3. I love Bobs! I have the cutest pictures of both of my grandmothers in bobbed hair-dos. Each photo was taken in the 1920's and they look so jazzed! I read Fitzgerald's short story a year ago for a college literature class and enjoyed it very much. He is an awesome writer that is the epitome of the spirit of the Jazz Age spirit! Love your blog!

  4. Colleen Moore – who the last picture is of – was probably even more responsible for making the bob mainstream than Brooksie! But I loves them both ^_^

  5. I know this post was about the bob haircut, but reading that story took me back to English class at NYU and learning about F. Scott Fizgerald. I had not read that short story, but I adore his writing. Maybe I shall visit the bookstore today and buy some of his work- I have not read him in at least 10 years.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

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