Do you remember Laurie Thomas hairdresser?

Bouffants and Brylcreem: Black Country Living Museum is looking for object donations for their 1950s barbers and hair salon


As part of their ambitious BCLM: Forging Ahead development, Black Country Living Museum (BCLM) is recreating Laurie Thomas hairdressers – a much-loved barbers and hair salon based in Tipton that was established in 1904 and is still running today.

Opened by Joseph Thomas and taken over by his son, Laurence Arden Roland Thomas, known to many as ‘Laurie’, the shop was well known within the local community. The family tradition has been carried on, with Laurie’s grandson running a traditional barbers on the same premises until very recently.

The Museum’s recreation will be set in 1956, telling stories of the rise of popular fashions and the changing role of women in society.

The 1950s would have seen the hairdressers rolling out traditional male styles such a crew cuts, alongside the trendy duck’s anatomy cuts that gave the 50s teddy boys their iconic look. For women, the post-war period saw new styles emerge based around shorter hair than had been common before the war, with style icons like Lucille Ball and Jackie Kennedy influencing the fashionable cuts of the day.

To achieve these incredible styles, hairdressers and barbers, like Laurie and his family, would have used various techniques, made possible by the products and hairstyling equipment that was available at the time. Products like Brylcreem, Silvirkrin hairspray and Marmie perming solution would have been a staple in every salon, with Laurie’s being no exception!

This is where BCLM needs your help. In order to accurately recreate the salon, the Museum is looking for donations relating to hairstyling in the 1950s. Perhaps you, or someone you know, was a hairdresser or barber around this time and may still have a pot of 1950s Brylcreem in the cabinet or original equipment to share with us?

If you think you might have items to donate, please get in touch with our collections team via email at [email protected]