Throwback Thursday: In 1947, kids' hairstyles were complicated

In the 1940s, party hairdos were a labour-intensive mix of bows, clips, creams, and sprays. The same held true for the under-10 set.


The issue: January 1947

The times: The Canadian Citizenship Act is introduced; David Bowie is born in London; Nova Scotian racing schooner Bluenose sinks off the coast of Haiti.

The party hair: Complicated. These days, all that’s expected of young kids at birthday shindigs is that they try to avoid “accidents” and keep cake off of their dresses. In 1947, pre-tween parties had bring-your-own-bow policies: In “If she’s under ten,” Chatelaine beauty editor Adele White provided readers with some pretty haute hair looks for junior misses. “Hair fixing can be such fun—even for the A-B-C crowd,” she said. “[Whether in] pigtails or curls, crisp bows and pretty ornaments make it a special treat.” Below, a look at some of White’s pint-sized party coifs. (Hot rollers and taffeta sold separately.)


For this festive milkmaid look, White recommended tying “a big, splashy taffeta bow behind each ear—or clip on readymade ones to save yourself the trouble.”


“A feather cut with bangs seems just made to order for this enchanting round face.”


A suitable updo in the event a young gal’s hair gets a little shaggy between cuts. (Or if she needs to wear a wig in an upcoming school play.)

“If the hair curls naturally, you can set it with water,” said White. “If not, a wave-set lotion diluted with three parts water will make curls stay in longer.” If all else fails, put a bow on it.

Every Thursday, we bring you selections from our archive of 86 years of Chatelaine, featuring weird and wonderful recipes, vintage fashion and décor, and stories that still resonate today.