Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The First Ever Welsh Hairstyle

Nobody ever believes me when I say there once existed a group of people who invented Welsh hairstyles. Well here's the evidence! (see pic)

Club Artistic des Coiffeures (er, CAC) was a society of Welsh hair stylists and salon owners who formed circa 1968. Their aim was to create new hairstyles suitable for the women of Wales or as they put it themselves: "a style specially created for you and not just a copy of a London or Paris hairstyle".

So what exactly constituted a Welsh hairdo? Well these upstart hairdressing visionaries believed they were faced with one fundamental challenge - the Welsh weather. Our adverse climate (as they saw it) of blustery winds, salty sea air and incessant rain wreaked havoc with your average Welsh head.

In the autumn of 1968 they came up with an answer to this problem and christened it The Cariad. It was low at the front, with ringlets or kiss curls cascading down the sides. The low crown was brushed to give extra elevation. This, believed the eight founder members of Club Artistic des Coiffeures, would combat the severest of weather conditions. It was billed as: 'the first ever Welsh hairstyle'.

And it proved to be a modest success - so much so that our intrepid hairstylists decided to launch their second creation The Croeso. Like its predecessor it was principally designed to give body and hold and, most importantly of all, to retain its shape during inclement weather. Scope was given for individual taste of course and if required hair pieces could even be added.

How The Croeso faired, I confess, I have no idea. Nor sadly do I know what became of Club Artistic des Coiffeures. But their aim to create uniquely Welsh hairdos and make Cardiff the centre of fashionable new hair designs is one of the great forgotten stories of twentieth century Welsh popular culture.

©Anthony Brockway 2006


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