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To Bob or Not to Bob

I'm going to get my hair cut tomorrow and I'll take along this handy style guide from 1924. I've got to be in character to sell my book Tea at the Empress about a Victoria flapper from those "roaring:" days.

But seriously, think about how difficult it must have been for women at that time to cut off their long locks and see them lying on the floor. Centuries, perhaps even millenia, of tradition demanded that women wear their hair as long as they could grow it. It was their "crowning glory."

Chapter 34 in my novel tells the story of Edith going to the barbershop to get her hair cut off. Here's a bit of it:

"Cut," I said.

He took the scissors, held a clump of my hair and hacked at it.

"In wartime," he said, "they cut off women's hair like this when they've been consorting with the enemy."

"Don't cut it all off," I said, "I just want a bob."

I showed him again the magazine photo of a fashionable young woman in New York.

He looked at it and shook his head. "Still looks like a man to me."

He continued clipping in hostile silence.

I watched as a long brown curl fell to the floor.


Who hasn't felt that frisson of fear when a total stranger takes a pair of scissors to your glorious mane? Perhaps a long time ago at your first haircut. But don't worry. You know it will grow back again, no matter how bad a hatchet job the barber/hairdresser does. Wish me luck.

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