the vintage hairdresser

Remember the good old fashioned local salon I was telling you about, complete with 1950’s Belmonts and barber’s strops? You’ve been wanting a peek at Lutine’s collection of antique hairdressing tools, I know. Here it is:


Wave clips were pretty much how my grandmothers got their distinctive looks, that and bobby pins. I’d like to develop my skills with a bobby pin.


I know the tongs look like they would scorch your hair, but they are luxury compared to the slate pencil heated on the wood stove, that Laura Ingalls Wilder curled her fringe with. Now you know what to do when the power’s out, beauty queens. Are the perforated things curlers?


A comb, brush and mirror set just speak to another era. Sitting down, slowing down to care for one’s hair, such a gentle, intentional thing to do. I’d like to take that up. I’m not sure the last time I looked into a small looking glass, aside from a powder compact. A romantic gesture in itself.


The straight razor, faithful companion to the strop. I’m very happy with the safer variety, my traditional razor.


My flat iron isn’t so different, and sadly will break long before this one. Only I’ve missed a picture of a fascinating object, a bowl to gather the hair from your brush, and form it into shapes to pad a hairdo! It is astonishing how fashion changes. Do you use any of these? Thank you ever so much for a glimpse at the vintage hairdresser, Lutine!

Oh – I’ve been writing about writing. If you’ve been wanting to create your own site to write about what you make and do, read it at Folksy.

barber’s chair

One of those best-kept local secrets emerged this winter. A brilliant hairdresser in my village, who not only is related to dear friends, but has been cutting my own mother’s hair for many years. I was completely oblivious, and worse, I’d been missing much more than fine haircuts. On a cold night I took one of my long-haired children to be beautifully shorn, and talked with Lutine about her exquisite collection of tried & trues.

salon chair

Lutine’s pair of vintage barber’s chairs are Belmonts, icons of 1950’s style. One craves a haircut (or a head massage) just looking at them. Dentists take note. They’re in gorgeous condition, built to last, and they have a fascinating object attached to them.

salon chair with dogs

Not the dog. Though every hairdresser and barber ought to have such a fine example.

salon chair with barber's strop

The barber’s strop. The long piece of leather hanging off the arm rest, there. A razor strop is used for honing a blade, particularly a straight razor, which requires alignment between uses. Very cinematic, stropping. In Treats from the Edwardian Country House I’m quite certain Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall receives a proper shave with straight razor, hot cloths, fine oils.

salon chair with sleeping dog

More glorious tried & true’s from Lutine’s Salon very soon. (Now, in fact.)