Bad Hair Day

How to cut curl and care for your hairHow to Cut, Curl, and Care for Your Hair

Submitter: One of our student workers [in a university library] found this gem while shelf reading and brought it to us to enjoy. It’s horribly out of date and it looks like it was only checked out once (in 1986). The illustrator is fond of only filling in features for half of the face, which is a little creepy looking, and the illustrations don’t really tell the reader what the style is supposed to look like. They frequently suggest using “magic tape” to determine where to cut, and if you don’t have the magic tape they recommend masking tape or something similar. This sounds like a recipe for disaster. I think our students could probably find some decent YouTube videos to help them cut or style their hair.

Holly: Ooooh, I love hair books from the 80s! And I have to say, I never considered masking tape for cutting my own bangs, but that’s kind of genius. (In a painful-when-you-peel-it-off kind of way…maybe that’s what is magical about the magic tape? It doesn’t pull your remaining hair out by the roots when you pull it off?) This is a weeding double-whammy with its spiral binding.

shape variation

off the face one length shoulder cut

cutting curly or straight hair

The Eaton cut


  1. The illustrations are bloody awful….and not everyone wants to look like they’ve been in a Duran Duran video….

  2. You would think cutting above, not below, the tape would be better. That way most of the hair you’re cutting off is still stuck to the tape and not all over the floor.

    1. I used masking tape sometimes, and that’s exactly how you did it–you cut just above it, so it kept a straight line, kept some of the hair from falling on the floor, and kept you from having to peel the tape off of hair that was still attached to your head.

  3. The only way I can make my bangs go somewhat straight is by soaking them first. How will the tape even stick to them?

  4. So first: “magic tape” is I would assume a way of referring to scotch tape without SAYING scotch tape. Scotch still uses the word “magic” on the packaging sometimes.

    1. Magic tape was a real product. It was for hair styling, and it was pink. Not as sticky as masking type, but you could hold hair in place for trimming, or use it to hold pin curls in place. I don’t remember if it was from 3M or not.

  5. Yes, it’s an awful library book, but, as in any 80’s awful books, the real awfulness is in the 80’s. The only really great thing about the 80’s were the toys!

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