The Archivist: A beauty parlor for men

On April 8, 1934, The Oklahoman announced an alternative for men’s grooming — instead of going to a barber for the basic haircut and shave — an “emporium dedicated to the glorification of males” would make amenities available to men that were previously available only by going to a women’s beauty parlor.

Man’s battle against the sagging chin is all but over in Oklahoma City. A beauty parlor, exclusively for men, will be opened here in the near future, it was announced this week.

Those tanned and weather-beaten faces our pioneer forefathers turned to the howling north winds were all right in their day. But the day has passed. Oklahoma City’s male population of today has succumbed to the lure of the pan beautiful.

As a matter of fact, the thing has been going on surreptitiously for lo these many months. That’s what started the venture in the first place, the fact that various and sundry males were sneaking in a facial or a permanent unbeknown to their homely fellowmen.

Mrs. Arthur Rausch, the woman who is going to make our city safe for the comely male contour, got the idea after she found that her beauty business was slowly but surely going male. “If,” thought Mrs. Rausch, “the men folks stand in need of a beautician’s tender mercies, why not give the boys a shop of their own.”

The way it was at that time, the men would have to dive for the door every time any women acquaintances came into the beauty shop. Now there will be no women coming into Mrs. Rausch’s shop. She says she has definitely and finally cut the ladies from her customer list. If there are to be any permanents or fingerwaves applied in that shop they’ll be applied to the hair of Mr. John Citizen.

Incidentally, it might be well to note at this juncture that a “facial” isn’t going to be a facial in the men’s beauty shop. They will be “massages.” Men are funny that way.

The new shop which will be opened in a downtown office building will offer all the services that any up to date beauty shop offers, according to Mrs. Rausch. “It will be a cozy place where the men folk can drop in and feel perfectly at home.”

Of course, the business won’t be devoted entirely to direct beautification. There’s the business of saving falling hair and dying the hair that’s saved. That, in itself, is a big item, according to Mrs. Rausch. Graying hair and eyebrows give that patriarchal look but modern business isn’t run along patriarchal lines, says Mrs. Rausch.

“There’s no reason why a man shouldn’t want to be as well groomed as a woman. These parlors have gone over big in the east.”

Incidentally the term “beauty parlor” is another of the terms to be barred in our men’s shop. It will be known as a “Grooming Shop.”

A week later The Oklahoman carried this item in the “Shop with Georgiana” column:

Men: “You’re gonna’ lose your girl” if you don’t hurry to that New MEN’S GROOMING SHOPPE. For boys in the teen age, too. Be well groomed by an expert, Miss Dolly Rausch, 1121 Hales Building.

Mrs. Rausch’s business must have been a success. Her obituary from January 1980 said she was a retired beauty operator.

If you would like to contact Mary Phillips about The Archivist, email her at [email protected]

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