I don’t know about you, but for me a typical visit to the hair salon results in about $120 tab and that’s before I start adding on tips and the products I’m convinced I need to have. But a visit to the hair salon wasn’t always that way. Oh no. Back in the 1920s, a gal could go for a day of pampering for less than the than price of today’s Grande latte—and I’m talking for the works: hair, nails—maybe even a permanent marcel wave that was so popular back then.
They were called beauty parlors—remember those? And the average cost of a shampoo was 15 cents . If you wanted a haircut, it was a whopping 75 cents. A permanent wave which was all the rage back in the day would set you back $1.50 and you could get out the door with a manicure for 50 cents.
Men had it good back then too. In fact, men led the way in personal grooming and long before there were beauty parlors, men had their barbershops. Most barbershops were anchored in hotels and it was a luxury for men to pop in for a shave and haircut—possibly even a bath. They walked out beautifully coiffed for under $2.00. The barbershop was a man’s haven and off limits to women until young gals showed up demanding to have their hair bobbed—but that’s a whole separate blog!
But back to men and women and grooming, and ultimately to vanity. It’s nothing new. Both sex had the same concerns back in the Twenties that we have today. Men were just as fearful of going bald and sought out snake oil treatments and magical elixirs, even metal helmet contraptions guaranteed to regrow hair. Women purchased anti-aging concoctions like Pussy Willow Face Powder to lighten their skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Honesty, it seems to me that when it comes to female pampering and manscaping, the only thing that’s changed between the Roaring ‘20s and now is the price!