Saturday, November 18, 2006

My new 1920s flapper haircut

Update 4/6/2008: I didn't end up going with this haircut for my wedding. Please click here to see wedding pictures of my 1920s hairstyle.

I decided a little while back that I wanted my hair cut short, 1920s-style, for the wedding. Of course, that means experimenting with cuts now, so that I don't end up with a look I don't want on wedding day.

Today I went to my stylist, armed with a stack of print-outs of 1920s catalog pictures, actresses, and hairstyles that I found on the Internet. I had a basic idea of what I wanted, and between my explanation and the photos, I think I got the exact haircut I'll wear for the wedding!

Here are a few pictures:

You can't really tell in the above photo, but the back is shorter than the front. I don't know if that's really the way the did it in the 1920s, but it looks shorter (or flatter to the head) in the back in all of the photos, and since my hair is so curly cutting it shorter in the back was the only way to do it. Plus, it's really cute. :o)

In this photo (above) you can see better the way my hair is layered shorter in the back, and left long (and mostly unlayered) in the front.

The back view, showing the layering and the fall of the hair from behind. I don't think I was actually looking down at all in this picture.

This one is just for fun. :o) I want to get some cute hats to wear with the cut, both in the meantime and for the honeymoon. I haven't yet decided what style of veil to wear, but a cap style might be cute, and rather appropriate.



At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is SO not 1920s! your hair isn't waved - its just curly! do your research!

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...


Thank you for your concern!

You'll be happy to know that I did, in fact, "do my research." If you check this page, you will find plenty of period pictures of 1920s women's hairstyles. In fact, many of them are famous, stylish women, and about a third of the hairstyles are indeed curly.

This page is where I found the picture that inspired the haircut you see in my post -- check out the middle picture on the 1923 row. Since I have naturally curly hair, and I was getting married in a humid environment, I needed to find a period hairstyle that would also work with my natural hair type. Luckily, naturally curly hair existed in the 1920s, too!

As it turned out, I ended up growing out the layering in the back before the wedding, and wearing the whole thing a little bit shorter. I intend to publish an update to show the haircut I ended up going with, but in the meantime you can see some pictures here.

At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katherine I am so glad that you posted such detailed photos of your hairstyle. I have naturally curly hair and for as long as I can remember I've liked it bobbed, but my hairdressers have usually made a mess of it. I've printed and laminated a copy of your photos which I take with me to the hairdresser and I get the right cut everytime! Thankyou!
I also really loved your wedding photos. Just beautiful. The dress, hat and veil looked great.
Sophia, Queensland, Australia.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Anonymous @ 5:28am,

Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the blog, and I'm especially glad the photos have helped you get the haircut you want.

I have the same problem with hairdressers -- curly hair just acts differently than straight or wavy hair, and many hairdressers don't seem to understand that. I've suffered everything from completely lopsided cuts (because one side was half-dry by the time the hairdresser got to it, and she didn't bother to wet it down again) to a really bad haircut that was like David Bowie's in Labyrinth, only curly.

In other words, I totally know where you're coming from!

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Catherine said...

Your hair looks good, but I have to say I agree with the the comment about it not being 1920's. It may be short, and it may be curly, and it does look cute, but it in no way recalls the 1920's hairstyles you have links to. It just doesn't have a retro look or feel to it at all. Sorry.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...


Thanks for your opinion, but I don't agree with you that the haircut "in no way" looks 1920s.

I think the cut was similar to the short curly styles I linked to, though I ultimately decided that the layered back didn't work for what I wanted. Of course, that's why I had my hair cut some time before the wedding -- so that I could perfect my look.

You can see some pictures of my hair on wedding day here and here.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm getting my haircut today, or should I say "your" haircut. Thanks for the detailed pictures; I'm sure it'll make life easy for the hairstylist. Many thanks for your efforts.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope, doesn't look like 20's. It Doesn't have that "plastic" look that flapper hairstyles do.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous vanessa said...

I really love your hair, looks so sweet and old fashioned. This is a lovely website!

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't look 20s at all.

And shouldn't you have at least washed your hair first?

Greasy, hanging - yuck.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Anonymous, read the other comments. As I mentioned, I decided I didn't think it looked quite twenties enough either, so I had it cut differently for the actual wedding.

I assure you, though, my hair was clean.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous pacificgypsy said...

I think your hair looks great. I LOVE the idea of a 20s wedding. People are so harsh, this isnt a major motion picture being filmed, they cant expect every detail to be perfect.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Pacific Gypsy -- thanks for the compliments and the support. I appreciate getting nice comments, I really do! :o)

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm sorry that some many people are mean. I know you've made yourself clear about your hair not looking exactly like 1920s hair. In some photos is does and in others it doesn't. Its still very nice either way. (:

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks so much, Anonymous! :o)

At 10:59 AM, Blogger KLClark said...

Katherine, your hair looks great in these photos. The important thing when having a vintage themed wedding is to try not to imitate the era but to evoke that feeling with a modern take on the styles. You did that very well. If you tried to recreate the 20's look exactly, you would have wound up looking too costumey and that would have come across kind of tacky. You did a creat job and looked wonderful. Congratulations!

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, KLClark! I did end up going with a slightly different hair cut for the wedding, which you can see here: My 1920s hairstyle for my wedding. The stacked cut just did not work well with my curly hair, especially in a humid environment (and I got married somewhere much more humid than in Denver, where I live, so I needed a cut that would do well in higher humidity).


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