Miss America Gets a Permanent Wave

Norma Smallwood's victory in the 1926 Miss America contest was widely credited to her long, straight hair, which was widely admired. So it made news when she decided to get a permanent wave. It also made an unusual photo.

Standing with her, below, was Charles Nessler, inventor of the permanent wave machine. (More info about him here.)

I haven't been able to find any photos showing what she looked like after getting the permanent wave. In fact, in all the later photos her hair still seems very straight. Perhaps she didn't like the result.

source: Library of Congress

Pittsburgh Press - Oct 17, 1926

Minneapolis Journal - Oct 3, 1926

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 17, 2023
     Category: 1920s | Hair and Hairstyling

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