SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Arnold F. Willat, who developed the first cold permanent wave equipment, is dead at 102.
The Detroit-born electrical engineer, who died Monday, boasted in 1952 that he would pay $1,000 to the first woman whose hair he could not curl. A newspaper story at the time said no one collected.
At the age of 95, he was named to the Cosmetology Hall of Fame.
Willat manufactured and sold his own solutions and equipment for permanent waves for 50 years. Only last year, his Willat Co. of San Francisco discontinued manufacture of the cold wave solutions. Willat curl papers and dispensers are still found in beauty shops.
One of the nation's early electrical engineers, with a degree from Georgia Tech in 1907, Willat traveled the East Coast after graduation and then moved to San Francisco with his wife in 1913.