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How the Hairnet Changed American Business

Jul 15, 2011

by Chappell Ellison

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

I am no stranger to the allure of the flea market. Its siren call is what gets me out of bed before noon on a Saturday morning, fueled by strong coffee and a fancy pastry. The average vintage discovery may consist of a new addition to the wardrobe or a much needed piece of furniture. Yet sometimes it is the most inessential objects that possess the most priceless stories, exciting the sleuth-like nature within us history junkies.

While at a pop-up flea market in downtown Brooklyn, a box under a table caught my eye. Within it were two flat circular nets, about a foot in diameter, each with a cardboard insert with “Boudoir Bonnet” printed in decorative script. I knew exactly what they were — dainty net-like caps that a woman might stretch over her head, covering her hot curlers while she gave her hair time to set. I thought of my mother’s stories of rolling her hair around orange cans, training herself to sleep sitting up. “That’s just what you did back then,” she always said with a shrug. Proof of my mother’s bonnet days can be seen in the header image above (she’s on the left).

With the memory of my mother’s story in my mind, I paid my two dollars and left the flea market. Later, upon closer examination, I saw that the cardboard insert bore the name “Harry Glemby Inc. N.Y.C.” A quick Internet search revealed nothing, making the case even more curious. I began to research Harry Glemby old school style — no Google, just me, the library, and microfiche. Within a few days, I found Glemby’s name all over the newspapers of the first half of the 20th century. And that’s when things got juicy.

The earliest appearance of Harry Glemby’s name in print was in 1918. A small ad in the classifieds section of The New York Times requests an experienced governess for his two children. By this point, Glemby was already a very wealthy man — he had made a small fortune in the antique business, and had recently set out to make his name synonymous with women’s haircare.

Through the years that followed World War I, the most common hairstyles for women required the daily use of hairnets. Much like King Gillette who famously made an empire after realizing that men needed razors for shaving every day, Glemby saw dollar signs in women’s hair habits. By 1919, his company was distributing hairnets from their offices in New York City’s Flatiron district, and within four years, he struck a deal with Lorraine, the most popular hairnet brand of the time. From that point on, Glemby’s name was printed on every envelope that contained a Lorraine hairnet.

In 1923, an advertisement shows just why Lorraine-Glemby hairnets were so popular — at only 10 cents each, the hairnets were competitively priced. Women were accustomed to paying up to a few dollars for hairnets, so Lorraine quickly became the brand of choice, particularly as the Depression took hold of the country. Yet how was Glemby able to reduce the price of hairnets so much while still turning a profit? Nearly all hairnets before Glemby’s time were handmade in Europe in limited quantities, due to inadequate manufacturing facilities. They were then shipped to America where they were packaged and distributed. While such a business tactic is no surprise in a modern day world, for Glemby’s time, it was revolutionary. In fact, Glemby Inc. was one of the first American company on record to outsource its manufacturing process to China.

Throughout the 1930s, Harry and his socialite wife, Clara, attracted the seediest of vandals in a string of misfortune that kept the local newspapers working overtime. Robbers, payroll theft, and missing pearl earrings — some even thought the Glembys were cursed. However, it was a headline on June 22, 1932 that trumped them all: “Thugs Bind 3 in Home, Steal $349,000 Gems.” Dressed as deliverymen, the thieves rang the door bell of Glemby’s Upper East Side home, and proceeded to knock out the butler and tie up all the occupants. The safe was raided and the robbers escaped just before the police arrived. Throughout the rest of the decade, the Glembys’ personal lives kept New Yorkers more riveted than the moving pictures.

Yet by the 1940s, business was better than ever. Updos were back in style, pushing out the long, loose hairstyles made popular by actress Veronica Lake in the 1930s. With women taking up previously male-driven work in factories, hairnets were required for safety precautions. Glemby enjoyed a prosperous decade, and by the 1950s, he owned beauty salons in almost every major department store in New York City.

In October of 1952, Harry Glemby made the headlines once more, but this time he wasn’t the victim. Glemby pled guilty to a charge of paying $13,000 to a hair exporter in China, an offense at a time when the United States had a ban on trade with Communist countries. Though trade with China was not yet illegal when Glemby placed the order, his shipment was received after the anti-trade law went into effect on December 17, 1950. In retrospect, it was Glemby’s first public admittance to outsourcing, a quiet explanation of how he was able to sell hairnets at such a low price for several years.

Always resilient, the Glemby empire rolled on. Post World War II fashion saw the disappearance of the hairnet, causing Glemby to reinvent the company’s offering. No longer in the hairnet business, Glemby began producing boudoir bonnets. Decorative and frilly, bonnets epitomized post-war, girly fashion, encouraging women to look prim and proper even in the privacy of their own bedrooms. Glemby continued to ride the wave of hair trends until he passed away in 1965. By the 1970s, most traces of Harry Glemby’s company had vanished — stick straight hair was en vogue, with women trading their hot rollers for irons.

Hairnets and boudoir bonnets have long since faded from popular use. No long part of women’s daily habits, updos are reserved for special occasions. Yet if Harry Glemby were still around, there’s no doubt he would be as popular as Pantene and as well known as John Frieda. As important as Glemby’s story is to the history of American business, it might’ve remained hidden if not for a fortuitous trip to a flea market and a powerful cup of coffee.

Bath and Beauty Category

vintage coca cola pink hair dryer 1965 advertisement
vintage coca cola pink hair dryer 1965 advertisement
Sold
Lady Schick Consolette Portable Hair Dryer
Lady Schick Consolette Portable Hair Dryer
Sold
1940's Solo Invisible Curlers and Tip Top Curlers on Original Cards
1940's Solo Invisible Curlers and Tip Top Curlers on Original Cards
Sold
Vintage Gayla Hair Pins 1960s in original box
Vintage Gayla Hair Pins 1960s in original box
Sold

138 comments

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 5 years ago

    WOW interesting THANKS

  • rejive

    rejive said 5 years ago

    It takes a foxy lady to pull off a hairnet

  • VintageEyeFashion

    VintageEyeFashion said 5 years ago

    What a fabulous tale of fame, beauty & scandal!

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 5 years ago

    Loved the story - how fascinating! A good read. :)

  • LittleRedCottage

    LittleRedCottage said 5 years ago

    Absolutely fascinating.......and brought back memories of my mother's hair devices!

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick said 5 years ago

    Great article! The things we do (& use) for beauty! :)

  • GardenApothecary

    GardenApothecary said 5 years ago

    I still vividly remember my grandma's "hair cap". She wore it each night and well into the next morning, usually while cooking breakfast. I would always try to fit my mop of hair under it when she took it off, but it never worked.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    Great article! Never knew the history of hairnets! Thanks for the research!

  • scarletbegonia11

    scarletbegonia11 said 5 years ago

    cute story, one of my vintage slips has a Lorraine tag... I wonder if its the same company?

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 5 years ago

    So great! Thanks for this!

  • seclusioncove

    seclusioncove said 5 years ago

    Thanks for an interesting read.... and thanks for doing the research!

  • WhisperingOak

    WhisperingOak said 5 years ago

    Wow, this is so interesting

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 5 years ago

    i love the vintage ads. hand illustrated...so cool!

  • lisahenrysdatter

    lisahenrysdatter said 5 years ago

    Great history. I fondly remember buying hairnets for my Nana for Christmas as a little girl, 25¢. And then, later, frantically looking for hairnets in the local drugstores at recital time for my young daughter, a dancer.

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns said 5 years ago

    Looks like fancy hairnets back then. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 5 years ago

    Great article!!!

  • dahlilafound

    dahlilafound said 5 years ago

    Great article! I have many memories of my mother & grandmother in hair nets to tuck under their chignons, upsweep their curls from the shower, & still the curlers as they went to bed. Can you imagine? The video was great too. In the 70s I ran a printing press & there was always danger of my long hair getting caught in the rollers. One wrong move & your hair was gone for good. I love the darling caps the women wore in the video. Serious safety from all those engine belts & stylish too. :-) thank you for sharing, dahlila xo

  • MadisonStreetBeauty

    MadisonStreetBeauty said 5 years ago

    great article

  • LMMLISA

    LMMLISA said 5 years ago

    Love the story! it made me smile the whole time reading it. My grandmom still sleeps with her hair net on every night...! As much of a pain as it seems to have had to do this, part of me thinks it seems fun as well. It seems like such a project, people took such care of themselves. Now most of us, me especially!, just throw our hair up in a pony tail. great story... would love to hear more about vintage finds.

  • hollyhockdaze

    hollyhockdaze said 5 years ago

    Now that is a fine story..loved it!

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 5 years ago

    Loved reading this!

  • Tiffabulous

    Tiffabulous said 5 years ago

    I really like that picture of those girls. They are lovely, even wearing hairnets.

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 5 years ago

    Such an interesting story! I remember attempting to sleep with curlers in as a kid a couple of times. It always ended with me waking up and pulling the things out or them falling out on their own. Guess I needed a net to keep everything in check! Who would have guessed the family of the hair net fortune would have attracted so many thiefs?!

  • vintagethisretrothat

    vintagethisretrothat said 5 years ago

    I have a picture of my grandmother in her rollers and hair cap. I still remember her setting rollers in her hair

  • oldtimethreads

    oldtimethreads said 5 years ago

    Interesting story!

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 5 years ago

    What a fabulous article. Great research !!! LOVE love love the photo of the 3 gals with the frilly boudoir bonnets. How adorable is that !!! I have 4 sisters and I would give anything to have a photo like that of us !!! Excellent article.

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree said 5 years ago

    Fantastic story! I love to learn about something that I have never heard about before! Great that you found those hair nets and were determined to find out the history! I can see why you do this! (Where did the "shower cap" come from - very similar?)! Thanks again!

  • AcrosstheSeaShop

    AcrosstheSeaShop said 5 years ago

    Very interesting! Thanks for your detective work!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 5 years ago

    Fascinating article, I've never worn a hair net but I certainly won't look at them the same again. Just goes to show the twists and turns life takes us on.

  • DoolittleJewelry

    DoolittleJewelry said 5 years ago

    Great article! I'm so glad she researched all of that and shared it with everyone. What a story.....and the fabulous homes on East 67th Street. I do remember that Lady Shick Consolette hairdryer and seeing women trying to put heads full of large rollers under them. They would be great to have today if they had 1700 watts of power as do our hand held hairdryers.

  • MollCutpurse

    MollCutpurse said 5 years ago

    This is exactly what I tell my students - history can be both fascinating and fun! Thanks for the great article.

  • BijouxOdalisque

    BijouxOdalisque said 5 years ago

    I love this! I have been scouring YouTube lately for WWI hairstyles to try and getting to read about the essential "frilly bonnet" is fabulous. I just love photo of your young mother - she looks so much like you! Thanks very much for this!

  • pinkflapper

    pinkflapper said 5 years ago

    Love all this New York / Hair-net history! And love that it was inspired by your flea market find!

  • SheppardHillDesigns

    SheppardHillDesigns said 5 years ago

    Great story and visuals. Love that the little girl on the left is your mom, Chappell. Priceless!

  • junquegypsy

    junquegypsy said 5 years ago

    I love the journey of researching vintage purchases. So interesting!

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 5 years ago

    Wow! Thanks so much for this one. Really brought back some days gone by. Had to have a hairnet to cover up those ugly rollers on our heads. Funny.

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 5 years ago

    Love this story!

  • blueflowervintage

    blueflowervintage said 5 years ago

    I just loved reading this! Thank you!

  • DessertWine

    DessertWine said 5 years ago

    History of hairnets - amazing!! Even today's production lines for the highest tech products require them! Love this!

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas said 5 years ago

    Before Etsy gave me my little business I did hair so I found this to be especially fascinating! Isn't researching your vintage finds half the fun-or am I just a geek? Love the sweet photo of your mom in her curlers.

  • BucksCountyDesigns

    BucksCountyDesigns said 5 years ago

    I remember the orange juice cans (and even coffee cans if your hair was long enough) back in the 60s. And then along came 'Curl Free' - ugh, I remember the smell! Funny memories - GREAT story! Thanks!

  • PyxusPassionProject

    PyxusPassionProject said 5 years ago

    What a discovery!! Thanks so much for sharing the story behind the find.. so interesting!

  • passingtimeandchimes

    passingtimeandchimes said 5 years ago

    I just love this treasury and the article. I have spend many Saturday mornings under a hair dryer set up on an ironing board. Thank goodness for blow dryers and curling irons!

  • labellefairy

    labellefairy said 5 years ago

    I love my collection of boudoir caps!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 5 years ago

    This is always so fascinating.. to see how people did things in the past!

  • girliepains

    girliepains said 5 years ago

    wonderful

  • dimenstitch

    dimenstitch said 5 years ago

    i wish my mom still had her ancient 60s hair dryer. it was a bonnet attached to a tube attached to a hairdryer that sat flat on a surface. It was pink. You turned it on and the hot air came through the hose tube and dried your hair in the bonnet on your head. we had to get rid of it finally when the plastic on the bonnet started to tear. but you could read a book or whatever and not have to be moving the dryer all over your head. and you could make your hair really straight and flat in it if that's what you wanted.

  • TheAdornedArticle

    TheAdornedArticle said 5 years ago

    I think we should bring back the boudoir bonnets!~Hotcha!

  • ChanceryLane

    ChanceryLane said 5 years ago

    Really good read, great research!

  • OsoVictoria

    OsoVictoria said 5 years ago

    Thanks for doing the research! Great information about hairnets and Glemby.

  • gathersalot

    gathersalot said 5 years ago

    Interesting! Thanks :)

  • Ebrown2503

    Ebrown2503 said 5 years ago

    Wow! As a librarian I can totally relate--$2.00 in hairnets leading to hours of research and a wonderful article. Long live the hairnets, I say!

  • PinkCobweb

    PinkCobweb said 5 years ago

    My hubby and I have a deal.He keeps the man boobs under wraps and I won't wear the hair bonnet. Loved the story!

  • sewbettyanddot

    sewbettyanddot said 5 years ago

    Cool! I sold bobby pins and a hairnet to the daughter of the man whose company manufactured them--her name was on one of the products! It was soooo cool! Transactions like THAT are what make Etsy so very very fun.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 5 years ago

    Love this story. :)

  • Eccolo

    Eccolo said 5 years ago

    Thanks for going beyond google-- what an interesting story. Thanks for sharing!

  • kellyemeraldhart

    kellyemeraldhart said 5 years ago

    I loved reading this! Thankyou for sharing his story. It seriously made my night

  • CrownWillow

    CrownWillow said 5 years ago

    I had no idea. Thanks for going to all the trouble of finding that information. I love vintage and it's great to have stories behind the product.

  • whimsicalpaperdot

    whimsicalpaperdot said 5 years ago

    Great story !!!

  • stelie

    stelie said 5 years ago

    I Remember Glemby Salons and Shampoo From the Late 1980's

  • earthakitsch

    earthakitsch said 5 years ago

    Wow! Fascinating! And I love that photograph with your Mom. : )

  • gunnh

    gunnh said 5 years ago

    You did a great job with this article!! You have excellent research skills and a charming way with words. I can almost taste that pastry! :) Keep up the great work!!

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 5 years ago

    I enjoyed this article. Thanks for sharing this interesting story!

  • Trenza

    Trenza said 5 years ago

    Very cool article!

  • blupony808

    blupony808 said 5 years ago

    And this is why I LOVE ETSY!!! if etsy was a dewd I'd marry it! Love the historical bits of awesome...

  • shadowguild

    shadowguild said 5 years ago

    Love this story! Great research! Also loved your Mom's Trixie Belden book ;)

  • spanishangels

    spanishangels said 5 years ago

    This is a great article! I remember my nan wearing a 'posh' hairnet which had tiny glass beads all over it, I loved it - very glam. And I'm sure I remember Glemby hair products here in England too, maybe shampoo??? And not very expensive either.

  • nvthis

    nvthis said 5 years ago

    Enjoyed reading your article. I'm not that old, but I do remember wearing a hairnet! Only because since the age of 4, I wanted to be a hairdresser. I use to go with my Mom to her hairdresser every week. He was the best in the area. ( to me, the world! ) Every holiday, I wanted a fancy "up-do". So, I had to wrap my hair at night with toilet paper and put on a hairnet, so that my hair would look like it did the day it was done. Most of the time, it worked, but others, I must have been sleepy and tossed and turned and my hair looked it. There was a certain way to sleep for sure! Since those times, I did go to beauty school and became a hairdresser. For the past 34 years now I've been doing hair and seeing the styles change. Will the hairnet return? lol... not sure, but funny what women did just to look good! My old hairdresser use to tell me as he teased my hair at the age of 9, "Beauty must suffer!"...

  • weaverwood

    weaverwood said 5 years ago

    great article

  • NatalieDrest

    NatalieDrest said 5 years ago

    Lovely article, thanks for sharing!

  • vintagenowandthen

    vintagenowandthen said 5 years ago

    thanks for sharing all the history behind your vintage finds in this fascinating article! that's part of the allure of vintage for those with curious minds ~ to discover some piece of history behind the find!

  • AzaferraJewelry

    AzaferraJewelry said 5 years ago

    This article was so interesting! I remember hairnets and I thought they were horrible! And they had swimcaps also back then that were very decorated, with ruffles and all that, because after all, that's what feminine is! Glad those stupid,sexist rules have changed. But it was interesting to see also how the war had an influence on fashion.I read once that clothing manufacturers were not allowed to use silk during one of those wars because it was needed for parachutes. And they were limited to 2 or 3 yards of wool for each suit, which lead to the patchwork type of styling of the 40. I mean where there were different types of fabric in one garment, like the yoke of a jacket might be black and the rest of it some other color. The history of clothing is very interesting. I'm so glad you did this article, it gave me some laughs!

  • AzaferraJewelry

    AzaferraJewelry said 5 years ago

    And I was always fascinated by the 40's hairstyles. Now I see they came about out of necessity.

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt said 5 years ago

    Wonderful article. I have a couple of vintage hairnets as examples of hand woven netting. Imagine making them by hand from human hair!

  • estatejewelryshop

    estatejewelryshop said 5 years ago

    Loved that history....remember much of the hair net era personally:)

  • greatestfriend

    greatestfriend said 5 years ago

    as a fellow vintage & history junkie, i'm ecstatic at this piece! the research is the certainly the biggest reward - i love it! It's so interesting to relate occurrences, trends, movements to what's happening today, (ie trade and where we are at with local manufacturing) we too right now are producing "hairnets" of the future!

  • mermaidsista

    mermaidsista said 5 years ago

    What a great article! I slept in those Goody pink sponge curlers and tie-back hair nets when I was in my teens (80s). I wonder about the descendents of Glemby? Are they around? Are they also in the hair business? It would be very interesting to know. :)

  • ohriginals

    ohriginals said 5 years ago

    Lovely trip in time. t h a n k s !

  • fadedroseantiques

    fadedroseantiques said 5 years ago

    My sister, first cousin and I had a great laugh and trip down Memory Lane after reading this great post. Thank you for the research and picture. That was us 50 years ago.

  • BMJM74

    BMJM74 said 5 years ago

    This was an awsome article! I'm a hairdresser and I love flea markets as well!

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 5 years ago

    Great article. Not a bad idea to charge companies a min of 13,000 for outsourcing to china or elsewhere (drop in a bucket).

  • 1WillowStreet

    1WillowStreet said 5 years ago

    What a great article! I'll be 65 in a few weeks and I remember wearing one of those bonnets to keep my rollers in place while I slept. Thanks for the memories!

  • MudsEvolutionPottery

    MudsEvolutionPottery said 5 years ago

    This was very interesting. When covering my rollers, I certainly never thought of someone actually becoming so successful off these and envy the vision that some people can have. Appreciate all your time in the research and sharing not to mention your talent in telling the story. Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane.

  • IrmasElegantBoutique

    IrmasElegantBoutique said 5 years ago

    Thanks for this article. I know how much fun flea markets can be. I remember the gadgets of those times through my mother and others. Thanks

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 5 years ago

    What a great read with my morning coffee. Thanks. Definitely a few nets around my house growing up and I could probably still find one or two in my mom's dresser today. And the Woolworth ad brought a smile too - my first job.

  • RedorGrayArt

    RedorGrayArt said 5 years ago

    oh the memories of bonnet dryers .. hair nets .. such a fun slice of Americana. it was a very well told story of days gone by ..thanks so much

  • hollaluna

    hollaluna said 5 years ago

    Wow! I really enjoyed your article and can hardlly wait to share with my mom and her sisters!!! Thank you!!

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 5 years ago

    Every Christmas and Easter eve my mom would tie my hair in rags...literally strips of fabric from leftover projects she was working on. What a terrible night's sleep, but I suppose as a child I wouldn't have been sleeping those nights anyway. Thanks for sharing this incredible story!

  • allthebestvintage

    allthebestvintage said 5 years ago

    Loved this article! Thanks!

  • angelmadeecospa

    angelmadeecospa said 5 years ago

    I loved reading this. Thanks for the reminder to keep digging if you can't "google" it....

  • shrinemaiden

    shrinemaiden said 5 years ago

    Hey, in the 60's, I wore my ruffled pale blue boudoir cap over my headfull of 4" diameter plastic rollers (that I somehow slept on!)

  • pollyfoofoo

    pollyfoofoo said 5 years ago

    i really enjoyed this article. thank you so much.

  • CassiasGarden

    CassiasGarden said 5 years ago

    "rejive says: It takes a foxy lady to pull off a hairnet".. hehe....yep. Never been able to pull off a get up like that! ;) So that got me to thinkin.......if our economy really takes a dive. what kind of war soap, can I make? but definitely will NOT be outsourcing to China on that one!

  • blueskyclouds

    blueskyclouds said 5 years ago

    Wow! What a story....kudos to you for doing such research. Etsy sure can be educational! Anyway, thank goodness hair isn't so much work today...oh wait a minute...it is....just in different ways! Great work on the article!

  • esther2u2

    esther2u2 said 5 years ago

    Wow! I love it! What a great story. I would love to find some of those ruffle caps. I just love that picture :)

  • HeirloomOrphanage

    HeirloomOrphanage said 5 years ago

    Thank you for yet another fabulously well written/researched article!

  • gemagenta

    gemagenta said 5 years ago

    LOVE the article, very interesting, and inspiring! Now I want a stylish safety hairdo instead of a pony tail when making jewelry :D

  • auntemilie

    auntemilie said 5 years ago

    Thank you for a very interesting piece of Americana history.

  • StepInTime

    StepInTime said 5 years ago

    That was FUN! Thanks to your persistence!

  • GrandOldTimes

    GrandOldTimes said 5 years ago

    I enjoyed this piece of Americana and read it with much interest. Excellent photos too.

  • BGBJewelry

    BGBJewelry said 5 years ago

    I love this, great to read. Brings back so many memories when I was a kid staying the night at my grandma's house. I remember the suit case that was the helmet blow dryer, too funny!

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth said 5 years ago

    What a neat story! Thanks for sharing. I'm the same with stuff, it's so fun to dig in and fill in the blanks :)

  • NakedRatDestash

    NakedRatDestash said 5 years ago

    great story. really enjoyed this!

  • amg721

    amg721 said 5 years ago

    Well, now I know I'm old! I learned to sleep in those 2 inch rollers tied in a hairnet, under a bonnet, while in high school, washing my hair every other day. Women who went to the hair dresser every week wrapped their hair in tissue /toilet paper and covered that with a net to hold the set at least through Sunday morning church. Their hair only got shampooed at the hairdresser! times have changed!

  • StitchingInCircles

    StitchingInCircles said 5 years ago

    fantastic work in the archives! I am a little confused by one of the captions in the blog post -- there is a color image of 2 hairnets and it says it is an ad from a 1923 NY Times -- surely that is wrong?

  • LindenAvenueDesigns

    LindenAvenueDesigns said 5 years ago

    Wonderful, wonderful article! I remember sleeping in big rollers and having such thick hair sometimes my hair was still wet the next morning. Then, finally I got one of the hairdryers that looked like a really big hair net with the vacuum tube like connector to the base. Finally, my hair would be dry! And last was the curlers that you steamed up and put on your dry hair. What a walk through hair memory!

  • pedestrian

    pedestrian said 5 years ago

    Tales of beauty and intrigue. I will never look at hairnets the same way.

  • readytopretend

    readytopretend said 5 years ago

    Great artical. Refreshingly well researched and well presented. I feel that these kind of details in every day life are too little, really noticed. For me , in the 1960's, as a Minister's daughter, curly hair, done with foam and plastic rollers and a hair net like your mother's was " de reguer" each Saterday night. How I envied my sisters natural Shirley Temple ringlets. I wonder who has those jewels now. Thanks

  • GrammaLynns

    GrammaLynns said 5 years ago

    Oh, wow, does this take me back... as a teenager in the 60s I remember well putting "brush rollers" in my hair every night and somehow sleeping on them! One minor correction... hot curlers didn't come along until the late 60s, early 70s..... But I'm tremendously impressed with your research! Thanks for the memories!

  • HouseHoldWords

    HouseHoldWords said 5 years ago

    fun, unique and interesting article. :D My daughter actually just started using a shower cap (LOL)

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 5 years ago

    I remember those horrid pink plastic curlers that had a snap on cover to hold them on. The things that women have done in the name of beauty! At least this one is laughable.

  • FAMILYFIRST74

    FAMILYFIRST74 said 5 years ago

    Great article. Awesome pic of the three girls.

  • mosaicmonkey

    mosaicmonkey said 5 years ago

    great story!!!

  • trudyjames

    trudyjames said 5 years ago

    Really enjoyed your article. Who would have thought hair nets and boudoir caps could be part of such an intriguing story. Thanks for sharing your research.

  • thevintagecrafter

    thevintagecrafter said 5 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing that! I recall those public service shorts, they were played at the movie houses between feature films. My mother was a war worker and wore a special hat. My son and I have recently been sharing books and articles about the period 1919 thru 1946, I'm sending this to him, he'll really enjoy the films as well as the history of Mr. G.

  • mhlinen

    mhlinen said 5 years ago

    If my poor mom was around she would tell you how many times I ruined her favorite black "nets" by playing with them and my dolls! She would coif her hair in a huge bun and cover the top with a matching net... I miss her...

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 5 years ago

    The Glemby Empire Soap opera-who knew? Fun, fun fun....

  • BunniesandAvacado

    BunniesandAvacado said 5 years ago

    I love interesting stuff about hair. Really cool.

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 5 years ago

    I enjoyed this very much so :) thanks! love the video too

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 5 years ago

    This was fascinating! Thanks!

  • GenniandGina

    GenniandGina said 5 years ago

    This is a great article. I'd just like to add that African American women still use rollers in their hair and with or without rollers, covering our hair every night is a must! It keeps the moisture in and our hairstyles - which usually last several days if not a week or more - tidy. Silk caps, hair nets, head scarves and pantyhose, among other things, are still used to cover our heads at night. If you look in the "ethnic" haircare section at any major store (e.g. Target, Walmart, grocery stores) you'll find hair nets, bobby pins, roller clips... it's all still there!

  • aschiffm

    aschiffm said 5 years ago

    haha! interesting and inspiring!!! oh and yes, coffee is great.

  • Lolliebags

    Lolliebags said 5 years ago

    What a fun read! I love how you uncovered an exciting story, just like a mystery novel. I adore thrift shopping and neat vintage items that are no longer in use, its like a little slice of history.

  • jcwnorfolk

    jcwnorfolk said 5 years ago

    I have 5 older sisters and have seen it all, from the rollers and hairnets to the hard plastic hood dryer to the softer bonnet dryer to the first " blow dryers" like the one pictured above that were so heavy, and if you weren't careful it would suck your hair into the back! Then it went on to ironing our hair on the ironing board!(the 60's) lol! I did become a hairdressar and started out with roller sets and we still had to learn finger waves in school! Haha! I still need to buy my daughter hairnets for her horse riding competitions so her hair looks neat under the helmet. They are easily found in riding apparel shops and are incredibly light! Great article and thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  • jcwnorfolk

    jcwnorfolk said 5 years ago

    PS i remember those Cherry Ames nurse books the middle girl is reading lol!

  • vintageangel25

    vintageangel25 said 5 years ago

    Great story!!! Enjoyed reading it!!! :)

  • Dglee

    Dglee said 5 years ago

    Greetings; I love The Modern Head Covers~~I do remember The Hairnets! My Mother wore one all of the time when we lived in Hawaii because it helped hold her up ! The Humidity was pretty thick! D'glee

  • StrayNabeeVintage

    StrayNabeeVintage said 5 years ago

    "to face the world with both eyes in the clear" oh boy what a selling point. I tell ya, I had to wear a hair net for a food service job, I certainly wish it was as stylish as one of these! Thanks for the post (even if it did give me fry line flash backs)

  • Avaricia

    Avaricia said 5 years ago

    thanks, i just bought old stock "puckered Bandeau" shown in the Kleinert's ad. I had no idea my little headband had such a sorted past.

  • tessfelix

    tessfelix said 5 years ago

    Very interesting. Thank you.

  • amysoldschool

    amysoldschool said 5 years ago

    I love the sleuthing you did! It is so interesting to see a bit of history of an item that used to be an everyday item! Thanks!

  • CheekyVintageCloset

    CheekyVintageCloset said 5 years ago

    This is so much fun! great info:)

  • ClayLickCreekPottery

    ClayLickCreekPottery said 5 years ago

    Great history lesson!

  • orleansapothecary

    orleansapothecary said 5 years ago

    so charming! i wonder what beauty item we all use now will no longer exist in 40 years?

  • proteales

    proteales said 5 years ago

    Wowee! What a history! I hope when I get old, I'm one of those old ladies who has to put a plastic bag over my head to go outside in the rain.

  • Loves2Junk

    Loves2Junk said 5 years ago

    These were called "Curler Caps" not hair nets. They kept you curlers in check while you painfully tried to sleep while curling your hair.

  • kathystuffnmore

    kathystuffnmore said 4 years ago

    Who would have known? Great story.

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