15 Delightful Hairdos History Has Forgotten

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istock

Whether you wear your locks long or short, straight or curly, or business in the front and party in the back, chances are good that you’ve fallen victim to at least one short-lived hairstyle trend. And it may happen again, because whatever coiffure is totally on-trend today could be completely unfortunate tomorrow. Just ask these 15 hairdos that became hair-don’ts.

1. THE BEDFORD CROP

Englishmen’s hair got political in 1795, when a newly imposed hair powder tax—coupled with a flour shortage—resulted in men rejecting the typical trend toward powdered wigs. With the Duke of Bedford as their leader, men opted to go the au naturale route when it came to their roots, keeping their hair cropped short with a bit of wax used to create a side part. No powder required.

2. TITUS CUT

Portrait of a Young Girl by Baron Narcisse Guerin

Men weren’t the only ones making a statement with their hairstyles in 1795. The Titus cut arrived that year and made history as the first popular female short cut. But the super-cropped style, which was brushed upward to leave the neck exposed, was about more than just looking good - the trend was a response to the French Revolution practice of an executioner cutting off one’s hair before sending him or her to the guillotine.

3. THE MARCEL WAVE

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A precursor to the perm, the Marcel wave is named for French hairstylist François Marcel, who invented the process for this crimped style in 1872. Created with the help of heated curling irons, the wave remained popular for more than five decades.

4. THE VICTORIAN UPDO

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Women in the mid- to late-1800s grew their hair long but opted to wear it swept up—typically with a little pouf and some curls to cover the forehead—so that it didn’t interfere with their ever-important daily chores around the house.

5. SAUSAGE CURLS

Portrait of Marie-Louise, the first Queen of the Belgians, via Wikimedia Commons

“The tighter the curl the more stylish the girl” seemed to be the motto in the late 1830s, when sausage curls became all the rage. But their reign didn’t end with the Early Victorian period (at least not permanently). Actress Mary Pickford—the first “America’s Sweetheart,” a.k.a. “The girl with the curls”—brought a slightly softer style back in the early 1900s.

6. THE GIBSON GIRL

In the earliest part of the 20th century, the feminine ideal became more independent and strong, and the hairstyles changed with it. Piled on top of the head with some tendrils hanging down, the Gibson girl’s effect was much looser than that of the Victorian era’s dominant styles, perhaps as a metaphor that the times were changing.

7. THE MERRY WIDOW

The Merry Widow in question was an enormous, plumed hat that replaced the need for much in the way of hairstyling (and made for one heck of a big-haired look). Prevalent during the Edwardian days, the look came into fashion in 1907 following the immense popularity of a London staging of the operetta of the same name.

8. THE POMPADOUR

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Pop stars may have rocked the style back into popularity in the late 1950s, but the pompadour has been around since the 18th century, when it was named for Madame de Pompadour, King Louis XV’s mistress. In the early 1900s, women resorted to all sorts of drastic measures to enhance the height of this vertically-aspirational style, from ratting their hair to inserting rolls of padding.

9. THE LOW POMPADOUR

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While the true pompadour was often reserved for more formal occasions, the low pompadour—in which hair was rolled over a crescent-shaped pad in order to create a serious front pouf—was easier to maintain and, therefore, suitable for daily wear.

10. THE BOUFFANT

Big hair was a big thing for women of the 1960s and 1970s when the bouffant—a style intent on achieving both height and volume, which had previously been popular in the 18th century—was resurrected. Though this teased hair trend could be taken to dizzying heights, the 20th century version was usually restrained and tasteful.

11. THE BEEHIVE

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An offshoot of the bouffant, the beehive remains an enduring symbol of the swinging sixties, when the sky was truly the limit for women’s hair. A stylist created the piled look—which rises in a rounded fashion at the back of the head—in response to a request from a beauty magazine to create a do that would define the decade. Mission accomplished.

12. DUCKTAIL

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If you wanted to be a bad boy in the 1950s, a black leather jacket and a ducktail was all that was needed. The style required that one’s hair be left long enough around the neck that its wearer could continually comb it inward with lots of hair grease, the end result resembling a duck’s backside. (That was a good thing.)

13. POUF

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Marie Antoinette was all about excess, so it’s not surprising that she kicked off several of history’s wildest hairdos. After she wore a towering look to her husband’s coronation, France’s women found themselves in an arms race to see who could create the tallest mountain of hair. Some looks stretched three feet above the women’s heads and were further adorned with everything from feathers to birdcages.

14. THE VICTORY ROLL

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During the 1940s, many of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars sported the victory roll, a look in which their hair was fashioned into large hollow rolls that were pinned to the top of their heads. The look faded in popularity after World War II, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a little retro style.

15. AGGRAVATORS

During the mid-19th century, many fashionable men wore “aggravators,” small, tightly-wound curls that were swept from their foreheads over to the corners of their eyes. This look was also known by the funnier (but probably less accurate) name “the love lock.”

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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11 Fascinating Facts About Tamagotchi

Tamagotchi is the toy that launched a thousand digital pet competitors.
Tamagotchi is the toy that launched a thousand digital pet competitors.
Chesnot/Getty Images News

They blooped and beeped and ate, played, and pooped, and, for ‘90s kids, the egg-shaped Tamagotchi toys were magic. They taught the responsibility of tending to a “pet,” even though their shrill sounds were annoying to parents and teachers and school administrators. Nearly-real funerals were held for expired Tamagotchi, and they’ve even been immortalized in a museum (of sorts). Here are 11 things you should know about the keychain toy that was once stashed in every kid’s backpack.

1. The idea for the Tamagotchi came from a female office worker at Bandai.

Aki Maita was a 30-year-old “office lady” at the Japanese toy company Bandai when inspiration struck. She wanted to create a pet for kids—one that wouldn't bark or meow, make a mess in the house, or lead to large vet bills, according to Culture Trip. Maita took her idea to Akihiro Yokoi, a toy designer at another company, and the duo came up with a name and backstory for their toy: Tamagotchis were aliens, and their egg served as protection from the Earth’s atmosphere. They gave prototype Tamagotchis to high school girls in Shibuya, and tweaked and honed the design of the toy based on their feedback.

2. The name Tamagotchi is a blend of two Japanese words.

The name Tamagotchi is a mashup between the Japanese words tamago and tomodachi, or egg and friend, according to Culture Trip. (Other sources have the name meaning "cute little egg" or "loveable egg.")

3. Tamagotchis were released in Japan in 1996.

A picture of a tamagotchi toy.
Tamagotchis came from a faraway planet called "Planet Tamagotchi."
Museum Rotterdam, Wikimedia Commons//CC BY-SA 3.0

Bandai released the Tamagotchi in Japan in November 1996. The tiny plastic keychain egg was equipped with a monochrome LCD screen that contained a “digital pet,” which hatched from an egg and grew quickly from there—one day for a Tamagotchi was equivalent to one year for a human. Their owners used three buttons to feed, discipline, play with, give medicine to, and clean up after their digital pet. It would make its demands known at all hours of the day through bloops and bleeps, and owners would have to feed it or bathe it or entertain it.

Owners that successfully raised their Tamagotchi to adulthood would get one of seven characters, depending on how they'd raised it; owners that were less attentive faced a sadder scenario. “Leave one unattended for a few hours and you'll return to find that it has pooped on the floor or, worse, died,” Wired wrote. The digital pets would eventually die of old age at around the 28-day mark, and owners could start fresh with a new Tamagotchi.

4. Tamagotchis were an immediate hit.

The toys were a huge success—4 million units were reportedly sold in Japan during their first four months on shelves. By 1997, Tamagotchis had made their way to the United States. They sold for $17.99, or around $29 in today's dollars. One (adult) reviewer noted that while he was "drawn in by [the Tamagotchi's] cleverness," after several days with the toy, "the thrill faded quickly. I'm betting the Tamagotchi will be the Pet Rock of the 1990s—overwhelmingly popular for a few months, and then abandoned in the fickle rush to some even cuter toy."

The toy was, in fact, overwhelmingly popular: By June 1997, 10 million of the toys had been shipped around the world. And according to a 2017 NME article, a whopping 82 million Tamagotchi had been sold since their release into the market in 1997.

5. Aki Maita and Akihiro Yokoi won an award for inventing the Tamagotchi.

In 1997, the duo won an Ig Nobel Prize in economics, a satiric prize that’s nonetheless presented by Nobel laureates at Harvard, for "diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets" by creating the Tamagotchi.

6. Tamagotchis weren't popular with teachers.

Some who grew up with Tamagotchi remember sneaking the toys into school in their book bags. The toys were eventually banned in some schools because they were too distracting and, in some cases, upsetting for students. In a 1997 Baltimore Sun article titled “The Tamagotchi Generation,” Andrew Ratner wrote that the principal at his son’s elementary school sent out a memo forbidding the toys “because some pupils got so despondent after their Tamagotchis died that they needed consoling, even care from the school nurse.”

7. One pet cemetery served as a burial ground for expired Tamagotchi.

Terry Squires set aside a small portion of his pet cemetery in southern England for dead Tamagotchi. He told CNN in 1998 that he had performed burials for Tamagotchi owners from Germany, Switzerland, France, the United States, and Canada, all of whom ostensibly shipped their dead by postal mail. CNN noted that "After the Tamagotchis are placed in their coffins, they are buried as mourners look on, their final resting places topped with flowers."

8. There were many copycat Tamagotchi.

The success of the Tamagotchi resulted in both spin-offs and copycat toys, leading PC Mag to dub the late ’90s “The Golden Age of Virtual Pets.” There was the Digimon, a Tamagotchi spin-off by Bandai that featured monsters and was marketed to boys. (There were also Tamagotchi video games.) And in 1997, Tiger Electronics launched Giga Pets, which featured real animals (and, later, dinosaurs and fictional pets from TV shows). According to PC Mag, Giga Pets were very popular in the United States but “never held the same mystique as the original Tamagotchi units.” Toymaker Playmates's Nano Pets were also a huge success, though PC Mag noted they were “some of the least satisfying to take care of."

9. Rare Tamagotchis can be worth a lot of money.

According to Business Insider, most vintage Tamagotchis won't fetch big bucks on the secondary market. (On eBay, most are priced at around $50.) The exception are rare editions like “Yasashii Blue” and “Tamagotchi Ocean,” which go for $300 to $450 on eBay. As Complex notes, "There were over 40 versions (lines) of Tamagotchi released, and each line featured a variety of colors and variations ... yours would have to be one of the rarest models to be worth the effort of resale."

10. A new generation of Tamagotchis were released in 2017 for the toy's 20th anniversary.

The 2017 re-release of the Tamagotchi in its packaging.
Bandai came to the aid of nostalgic '90s kids when it re-released a version of the original Tamagotchis for the toy's 20th anniversary.
Chesnot/Getty Images

In November 2017, Bandai released a 20th anniversary Tamagotchi that, according to a press release [PDF], was "a first-of-its-kind-anywhere exact replica of the original Tamagotchi handheld digital pet launched ... in 1996." However, as The Verge reported, the toys weren't an exact replica: "They're about half the size, the LCD display is square rather than rectangle, and those helpful icons on the top and bottom of the screen seem to be gone now." In 2019, new Tamagotchis were released; they were larger than the originals, featured full-color displays, and retailed for $60.

11. The original Tamagotchi’s sound has been immortalized in a virtual museum.

The Museum of Endangered Sounds is a website that seeks to immortalize the digital sounds that become extinct as we hurtle through the evolution of technology. “The crackle of a dial-up modem. The metallic clack of a 3.5-inch floppy slotting into a Macintosh disk drive. The squeal of the newborn Tamagotchi. They are vintage sounds that no oldies station is ever going to touch,” The Washington Post wrote in a 2012 profile of the museum. So, yes, the sound of that little Tamagotchi is forever preserved, should it someday, very sadly, cease to exist completely.