Minsk beauty salons of Soviet period

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Minsk beauty salons of Soviet period

The first Hairdressing World Championship was held in Paris in 1947. It was the time when the first beauty salons appeared in Minsk. Back then, the city was just beginning its recovery after WWII.

The first hairdresser’s opened in Nezavisimosti Square, the second one appeared close to the Pobeda cinema, and the third one was located near the railway station. Those buildings were wooden, without hot and cold running water. After the war, people weren’t ready to sacrifice a lot for beauty.

Elena Dovgalyuk, manager at a beauty salon:
The war brought much damage to the  hairdressing industry, because many professional hairdressers died. Clients preferred foreign hairdressers, that’s why a lot of our professionals pretended to be from abroad. Thus, Nikolai became Nicolas.

Later, in 1960, all hairdresser’s salons were united into one hairdressing organization, which was called “Chyrvonaya Zorka” (a red star).

In the 1960s, the first beauty salon was opened in Minsk in Surganova Street. Later, hairdresser’s No.30 in today’s Lenina Street became the beauty salon “Mechta” (a dream). The best hairdressers worked there. Clients had to queue from 6 a.m. Sometimes, hairdressers had to escape from work through the window at 1 a.m. Working conditions weren’t good enough.

Elena Dovgalyuk, beauty salon manager:
In the 1960s-1970s, we had some difficulties with hair products. For example, hairspray was hand-made.

Besides, there was a lack of instruments. Hand-made scissors, iron hairbrushes and razors were usual things.


Hand-made comb

In the 1970s, a hairdressing laboratory was opened in Minsk. Stylists designed new haircuts and hairstyles for the whole country, based on the trends from the West. Galina Smolyak participated in the work of the laboratory from the very beginning. One of her famous clients was cosmonaut Pyotr Klimuk.


Pyotr Klimuk

Galina Smolyak, beauty salon manager:
Every innovation that we introduced had its own name. All the haircuts were of the specific length. We wanted the names of the haircuts to match the hairstyles and haircuts.


Galina Smolyak

“Yulia”, “Style”, “Chic”, “Oktyabrina”, “Boston” were the names of the haircutsthat were popular in Minsk in the Soviet period.

Galina Smolyak, beauty salon manager:
Asymmetrical haircuts were stylish, though some people couldn’t understand it. They thought that the hairdresser forgot to cut hair on the other side.

Elena Dovgalyuk, beauty salon manager:
Back then, women preferred such haircuts as “Sesson”, “Garson”, and “Pazh”. Backcombing hairstyles were extremely popular.


Elena Dovgalyuk

However, the choice of hair colors appeared a bit problematic. Women usually dyed their hair blonde or sometimes black.

Elena Dovgalyuk, beauty salon manager:
We bought perhydrol and ammonia and mixed it with liquid soap. That’s how we did it.

Today, these methods make people smile. Nevertheless, women were always ready to do everything in order to look pretty.


Muza haircut


Yuliya hairdressers


Temp haircut


Retro photo. Beauty salon