RETRO FASHION TUESDAYS: Did I wear that? Switches, Falls and Hair Pieces of the Sixties

Yes, that is me in all my 15 year old glory from my yearbook picture in freshman year at Tustin High. Gawd, I was young and goofy looking - and thin.

In 1966, during my freshman year of high school, there was a hair fashion fad that was probably the first use of "hair extensions" for the general population. All of a sudden girls with short hair or thin hair were showing up with thick buns and long trailing ponytails overnight! How did we manage to do this? By a nifty little thing called a "switch".

The switch was, for most of us, a bundle of synthetic "hair" that had been matched to your hair color at the local department store or beauty salon. There was a knot at the top and then a long flowing pony tail of wondrous long "hair" which you then manipulated into all sorts of fancy "up dos"!

As you can see from the photo above, the prevailing style was to create a bun on top of your head, with a bit of the "hair" left to flow enticingly over your shoulder. You also had the option of leaving out the free flowing strand to appear more sophisticated - ala Audrey Hepburn.

For me this was a boon to my beauty regimen because my own hair was somewhat thin, baby fine and had a tendency to split ends. A fact I didn't help because I ironed my hair to get the fashionable "straight" look of the era. I suffered many a bad hair day in my teens and twenties! Probably why I came to love hats so much.

I'm sure Hollywood had been using these little tricks for years, but for the common folk wigs were rare, let alone the various hair styling utilities that are available today. Shortly after high school I remember buying a "fall" - a hair appliance that was sort of half a wig where you attached it to your own hair via a comb in the front, brushed your own bangs or hair at the crown over it and added length and fullness to your hair style.

Now you can get weaves, colored extensions to "pop" your hair, and a multitude of hair pieces that can change your look in a minute. Oh, what I wouldn't have given for a few more of these and a pair of contact lenses!

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