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Natural Curly Hairstyles Scarce In Mad Men

If you've been reading my blog you know I am addicted to AMC's Mad Men set in New York City in the 1960s.

I have watched Season One and Season Two many many times.

In fact, I just finished a Mad Men marathon watching session over the weekend.  At least for me, I have to watch each episode multiple times to catch all the nuances of each plot line.

Sometimes I put the episodes on freeze frame so I can study the clothing, the hairstyles and the makeup in great details.

(Image of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Betty Draper (January Jones) from Season 2 in AMC's Mad Men - All Rights Reserved).

It was during my marathon watching this weekend that I discovered the scarcity of naturally curly hairstyles, as we know them for the 1990s and 2000s. 

Yes, Mad Men showcases big backcombed hair, modified beehives, skinny ponytails which end in one flirtatious curl and other classic 1960s looks.

(Image of Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) from Season 1 in AMC's Mad Men wearing  her normal office updo - All Rights Reserved).

But where are the naturally curly hairstyles?  The men wear their hair stick straight and either brushed up off their foreheads or to the sides.  The women wear a myriad of flips, rolls and other obviously backcombed styles.

There have been a few women with hairstyles that have curls that might have been created from natural curls.  however, the crown areas are usually smoothly backcombed with the majority of the curls being limited to the perimeter of ths hairstyle.

In Season One the red haired bombshell Joan Holloway played by Christina Hendricks shows up at an after hours event wearing her orange red tresses down in a cascade of carefully created curls.  It looks like her hair is not naturally curly but was coiffed to create curls throughout the edges.

(Image of Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) from Season 1 in AMC's Mad Men wearing a special afterhours hairstyle with back combed crown area - All Rights Reserved).

Maybe natural curls are not as obvious as other hairstyles because in the world of Advertising and business, loose hairstyles highlighting natural textures such as free waves and curls were few and far between.

Season One - Midge & Friends Showcased Loose Waves & Curls

During Season One Don Draper had an affair with a free wheeling artist by the name of Midge.  Completely unlike Betty, his ice queen wife, Midge believed in smoking pot, dabbling in drugs and free love.  In the early 1960s she was ahead of her time and one of the early hippies.

(Image of LR Friend of Midge and Midge (Rosemarie DeWitt - Season 1 of AMC's Mad Men - All Rights Reserved).

Don was drawn to the free and easy loving provided by Midge and her friends.  In one episode he hangs out with Midge and some of her friends who do showcase longer, looser and more natural textures.

Although Midge, played brilliantly by RoseMarie DeWitt, has an affair with Don, she appears unwilling to blend into his lifestyle.   Midge and Don were over shortly after they began.  The loose hairstyles of Midge and her friends also faded into the background.

More About Mad Men

Mad Men begins at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City's Madison Avenue. The show centers on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a high-level advertising creative director, and the people in his life in and out of the office.

It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.

(Image of Sterling-Cooper advertising agency from AMC Mad Men - All Rights Reserved).

Mad Men accurately depicts some parts of American society and culture specifically highlighting excessive cigarette smoking, drinking, sexism, adultery, homophobia, antisemitism, and racism as examples of how that era was so much different than the present.

Smoking, Drinking, Sexism et al.

Smoking, much more common in 1960's United States than it is now, is featured throughout the series; almost every character can be seen smoking several times in the course of an episode.

In the pilot, representatives of Lucky Strike cigarettes come to Sterling Cooper looking for a new advertising campaign in the wake of a Reader's Digest report that smoking will lead to various health issues including lung cancer.

The show presents a subculture in which men who are engaged or married frequently enter sexual relationships with other women.  Don Draper who has been wed to the gorgeous Betty Draper long enough to produce two children has had a series of affairs.

Problem some women we don't even know yet but so far there has been Midge, a relationship with advertising client Rachel Menken (Maggie Siff) as well as with others.  Although Betty Draper doesn't discover Don's dalliances in Season One, she does in Season Two and kicks him out.

In the finale of Season Two Betty appears to take Don back due to the fact she discovered she was pregnant with Don't baby.

The series also observes advertising as a corporate outlet for creativity for mainstream, middle-class, young, white men.

The main character, Don Draper, observes at one point about Sterling-Cooper, "This place has more failed artists and intellectuals than the Third Reich."

Along with each of these examples, however, there are hints of the future and the radical changes of the later 1960s.

(Image of Rachel Menken (Maggie Siff) and Don Draper - Season One - Mad Men - AMC - All Rights Reserved).

Of course the show also covers 1960s hairstyles, fashions, accessories, make-up and beauty treatments.  In addition Mad Men offers historical accuracy and breathless visual styling.  It is one of the best TV series available at the present time and should not be missed.

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