Full Caption: Miss America getting a permanent wave. Quaker Photo Service. 1926. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-26742. Full Caption: Miss America getting a permanent wave. Quaker Photo Service. 1926. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-26742.

Norma Smallwood, Miss America 1926, smiles bravely through an electric permanent wave, as she ventures toward the outer limits of what a woman will endure for beauty. The fashion for bobed hair in the 1920s greatly increased the popularity of the torturous twelve-hour procedure invented in Germany around 1905. Requiring the direct application of heat, the result was sometimes a frizzy disaster.

see caption below