A Eugene Wave will make you brave, 1939

Britain had been preparing for conflict long before the actual declaration of war on 3rd September 1939. The government had started building warships from 1938, but a lot of thought was also given to how life would best work on the home front. It was clear that this war would be all-consuming, and so things like how food would be rationed, and whether evacuations from the larger cities would be needed were all considered. Right from the start, bombardment by the Luftwaffe was considered to be a threat which could begin at any time, and the Blitz of the UK began a year after the war started, in September 1940.

What’s interesting about this advert, for a “Eugene Wave” home perm, from only a few weeks into the war, is that it references the “midnight alarms” that were anticipated, as well as women’s “war-time jobs”  that were immediately called for. The Eugene Wave was marketed as a way to continue your preparations for war on a personal appearance level.

Manchester Evening News, 25th October, 1939

Manchester Evening News, 25th October, 1939


“Midnight alarms are apt to catch you unawares and the wan light of dawn has no mercy. The rush and fatigue of your war-time job calls for special attention to your beauty. Now is the time to treat yourself to a Eugene Permanent Wave, the really permanent wave, which keeps its charming natural “shape” under the most difficult conditions.”

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