Also known as the spit curl, or the croche couer – ‘heartbreaker’ in French – these flat, lacquered curls added cartoonish femininity to the otherwise androgynous fashionable crops of the 1920s. The look also allowed women to show off their hair in an era when hats had to be worn in public – a peekaboo curl poking out from the perimeter of a cloche hat on either side, slicked to the cheeks, provides just a wink of what lies beneath. Dancer Josephine Baker popularised the trend, wearing them with a vinyl shine finish, while Betty Boop brought them to the mainstream – much to the contention of singer Helen Kane, who claimed her image, and hair, were exploited as the inspiration for the cartoon sex symbol.

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