The electrical hairdryer celebrates its 130th birthday since its creation. So it’s time to go and visit Herr Zopf’s Friseurmuseum in Neu-Ulm, Germany, where more than 12,000 exhibits from ancient antiquity through to the modern era are carefully housed and displayed.
This extraordinary hairdressing museum is therefore the largest of its kind in the world and is currently well on its way to finding itself in the Guinness Book of World Records.
One of the first hairdryers dates from 1912-14 and was operated with electricity and gas, functioning in a similar way to an earlier product that was brought onto the market by the Sanitas company in 1899 and trademarked 10 years later under the name Fön. “An adventurous machine with breathtaking blow – the first dryers got to 90 degrees, so weren’t t for the faint hearted,” explains Harald Gloning, Curator of the museum.
Why the hairdryer has been so successful and has remained on the market to this day is definitely due to the fact that shortly after its development, the hairdryer was used not only for drying hair, but also for styling. It has therefore significantly influenced hair trends from its invention right up until the present day.
Numerous exhibits in Herr Zopf’s Friseurmuseum which go back to ancient times prove that each era was shaped by a certain ideal of beauty, which was particularly important among women. Throughout the era of emancipation, the bob – style of course with a hairdryer – became the fashion hairstyle among women in the 1920s.Then by the 1950s, men had also discovered the advantages of the hairdryer when it came to re-styling the quiff à la James Dean and Elvis. In the 70s, Farah Fawcett coined the epitome of the blow-dry with her iconic ‘flick’ style.
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