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1930s Water Waves

1930s Water Waves


A water wave is produced by placing combs, teeth upward, in the hair after it has been moistened with water and waving fluid (setting lotion), in such a manner that, when dried and the combs removed, a natural wave will result. A net is placed over the combs to hold them in position.

The combs are made for this purpose and are curved to fit the head.

For water waving, the hair must be very wet and should be sponged with curling fluid (setting lotion). The waves are outlinedaround the head as in a finger wave, and the combs placed properly to hold the waves in position. The outline depends, of course on the style of hairdress desired. The ends of the hair should be divided into very small sections and rolled and pinned with small hairpins. After all the combs have been placed, they should be tightened once more before the net is placed over the head and the drying process begun.

This type of hair dress is best suited to naturally curly hair or that which has been permanent waved; for it is meant to create a fluffy wave rather than flat tight one.

The length of the part governs the length of the comb used.When a long part is made a 5 1/2 inch comb is used.When the part is short use a shorter comb.

At all times during the process of comb waving the hair must be kept smoothly combed out. Each type of hair dress requires a definite procedure, but the following is the most commonly used:

Hold the comb with both hands. Place a long comb on the hair with its teeth almost straight. Let it shape to the head (never straighten the comb out). Draw it down the distance the first wave is to be form the part. Draw down about 1/4 inch and shape over forehead. (There is a tendency to push the hair upward. This may be avoided by placing the palmar side of the left hand tightly against the hair before the comb is entirely inserted). Do not let go of the comb but slide the right hand to the center then push comb securely into the hair.

Now lock this comb with another of the same size, placed on top, forming a ridge. Comb the remainder of the hair and move around to the thin side of the head in the same manner as on the heavy side. Draw comb down and directed. Shape hair toward forehead, sliding right hand to center of comb and place palm of left hand flat to head as comb is pushed into place. This comb is not locked. Comb the remainder of the hair. Place index finger upon head next to section where last comb was placed. Insert small comb below index finger; draw down to position. Shape. Let this comb overlap the large comb next to it 1/4".

Small combs are used around the crown as first directed until the crown is entirely encircled. Now place another large comb on heavy side and slide down as directed. Shape. Slide right hand to center of comb, placing left hand on the head. To hold the hair below securely direct the teeth of the comb upward.

Now lock the combs on the thin side of hair and crown, always using combs of the same size. Observe that the hair is shaped back in the opposite direction from the comb which it is locking.

Continue comb waving until waves are formed as far down on the head as desired. The rest of the hair may be finished with pin curls; or the curls may rolled on a stick as discussed in the wet Mae Murray hair dress.

The size of the wave is governed entirely by the amount of space in which the comb is drawn downward.

It is necessary to have 2 1/2 dozen water waving combs - one dozen long ones and the rest medium, which may be broken into combs of any size needed. When the net is in place the combs should be pushed in tightly and held by 3 inch hair pins, to sharpen ridges and hold them in more securely. The artistic effect of this wave depends upon the closeness and evenness with which the combs are placed. (Combs locked with rubber bands or string disturb the waves, therefore combs and large hair pins should only be used).

Variations on the Water Wave

Short Part Water Wave
Part hair about 1 1/2 inches to either side and set water waving combs accordingly.

Quarter-back Water Wave
Part hair, combing back to a quarter section of head and set water waves combs accordingly.

Half-back Water Wave
Part hair, combing back to a half section of head and set water waves combs accordingly.

Three quarter-back Water Wave
Part hair, combing back to a three quarter section of head and set water waves combs accordingly.

Straight-back Water Wave
Comb hair straight back from forehead and set waves accordingly. The first wave is carried directly across the front of head.

Center Part Water Wave
Part hair directly in the center of the head, forming a wave toward the face on each side of the part and complete wave by placing combs as directed.