Posted 4 years ago
When I was 15, my dad sent me to Burnham's Beauty School in the LOOP. Chicago. And it was a old established school, that taught the "old way" and the "new way" What you see going on in this Bamforth postcard C 1912, is the practice of singeing hair ,split end remedy
You took a small section of hair , and starting at the scalp you twisted it tightly from the scalp all the way down the the length of the section. Then with your other hand you back ruffled it til some hairs left the twist--those were the hairs with the split ends (shortning and chipping day by day). You took a long thin taper and lit it passing it CAREFULLY over the twist still in your hand--and "whamo"--no more splitting ends--and YES, it worked. The smell of burning hair was not too pleasant by the way.
The joke on the card is that the two kids are thinking the barber is doing that process and looking for head lice!
One says to the other at the bottom of the 1910 Bamforth copyright card
" Say, Jimmy...He's looking for 'em with a taper" Which IS funny!