The range of hairstyles available to women began to expand as the world entered a new century in 1900. The Victorian Age was drawing to a close, the automobile was emerging, giving people much more mobility, and a general sense of unlimited possibilities pervaded society. All of this gave a new impetus to creating hairstyles that expressed a more open and optimistic feeling.
As the 1900s moved into the 1910s, hairstyles started off with an emphasis on long hair that was either pinned up in elaborate updos, or made wavy and flowing. Hats and bows were increasingly popular accessories. Nevertheless, in the mid-1910's, a sea change occurred that would affect women's hairstyles for years to come. This was the short bob haircut.
As these very short styles caught on and swept America, the range of elegant hairstyles for formal events and nights out on the town diminished. The focus shifted to what women put in their hair. The most popular accessory was a headband, often adorned with fancy beads and stitch-work designs. One hairstyle that gained a lot of popularity (and some notoriety) was called "curtain hair." This entailed parting short hairstyles down the middle, then letting the hair fall across a headband worn around the middle of the head, just above the ears. For more elegant hairstyles, women often constructed ringlet curls all along the headband, or added jeweled pins.
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