The short, sexy style of face-framing pincurls, popularized by Italian screen siren Gina Lollabrigida, became known as the ‘Italian cut’ when American ladies copied the cropped locks. Italian-style stand up collars were in vogue, and long hair would have constantly brushed against the upturned collar, pushing it down to a less-fashionable state. Short hair was a much better fit.
Also dubbed the ‘Italian boy’ cut because of its boyish style, this short style veered sharply from the smooth coifs of the day. While more conservative ladies permed their hair into the tightly-curled poodle cut, others were making pincurl (or spitcurl) perms for a loose, sexy style. The spitcurl, incidentally, earned that name because the woman usually dampened her hair with a little bit of saliva as a setting lotion, curling the hair around her finger and securing it with a bobby pin.
Rebellious teens sheared their prissy ponytails and cut their hair into the flirty fashion. Danger lurked behind the messy bed-head of the tousled curls, shouting 'bad girl!' to anybody who cared. But being bad never looked better.