American Hair Parts: Combing Parts

Figure 1.--This American snapshot shows two boys, presumably brothers. One boys wears a double-breasted knickers suit. His younger brother wears a knickers sailor suit. Both boys wear black long stovkings and high-top shoes--one lace up nd the other button. The boys look to be about 8-11 years old. The outfits and the AZO stamp box (four up triangles) suggest the photograph was taken in the 1910s. The different hair parts are interesting because mon was probannly ztill involved in combing their hair, especially the younger boy whose hair is better combed. Perhaps the younger boy was left handed.

It is mothers who beging combing a child's hair and make the first choice as to parts which began a soon as the infant had enough hair to comb. This varied from child to child, but began well before the childwas 1 year old. Thus it was mom who established how a child's hair was parted. Mom can easily chose either a left or right part, but most chose a left part because most men parted their hair on the right side. And barbers also generally did right oarts for boys unless they were left-handed. Mom's still have to help boys comb their hair in primary school. I recall just doing what mom began without giving any thought to it. We believe that modern boys are more atuned to how they look, both hair styling and clothes than boys 1-2 generations ago. This all varies fron child to child, bur few boys in primary school are completely independent as to hair care. But by 5th and 6th grades some boys may be doing their own combing, but may require some supervision. As boys begin doing their own hair, the practiclirt of righhanded boys doing left parts begin to replace any left parts mother may have done. We think that unless a boy had some destinguishing characteristic, mother combed all here boys' hair on the same side. We have seen some instances of brothers with different sude parts. We suspect that one of the bous may have been left handed. Another possibility is that the older boy may hve begun experimenting.


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Created: 8:46 AM 7/25/2015
Last updated: 8:46 AM 7/25/2015