Sunday, August 15, 2010


Victorian Hairstyles

During the Victorian era, having one's hair styled by a hairdresser became popular. French hairstyles that were parted in the middle became trendy, while adorning one's head with flowers also gained stead. Austrian empress Elizabeth was the first to place flowers in her hair, and she soon started a widespread trend. "Barley curls" or "sugar curls" were long drop curls worn by children throughout the century. In the early 1840's, women took to wearing these curls alongside a coiled chignon, which was situated at the back of the head. Women continued to wear hats during this era. Fine milliners created fanciful styles decorated with plumes and ribbons. During the 1870s, the hair at the back of the head was occasionally allowed to hang loose, long and full, a lovely natural look that was featured in many pre-Raphaelite portraits. Sometimes the hair was seen in ringlets, and sometimes in large loops. In 1872, an important invention in hairstyling was invented: crimping. Crimping allowed for a "turned up hairstyle" in which the hair was pulled over a hot iron, resulting in an attractive wave. The "Marcel wave" was a new style created by the hot iron, and consisted of loose waves arranged around the head. By the end of the 1880s, pompadours were worn. This was a style in which the hair was swept up high from the forehead. Often, fake hair pieces were used to add height and depth. In addition, the "titus" hairstyle became popular from the 1880s. This hairstyle involved cutting the hair very close around the head. The hair was then curled, and styled with various ornaments including flowers. By the "Gay Nineties", high hairstyles had almost disappeared from the landscape of fashion trends. The look of the "Gibson Girl" was much more natural. A bun swept loosely on the head became the crowning feature of young Victorian girls. The "psyche knot" was especially prominent. This was basically hair pulled back from the forehead and knotted on the top of the head. Small coiffures, pompadours, and French twists were also worn, along with hair ornaments.

To create a Victorian hairstyle, try a natural, long style. Begin by curling your hair in natural waves, either with a curling iron or by setting your hair in curlers the evening before. Pull your front strands to the lower back of your head and fasten with a pin.

Edwardian Hairstyles

During the Edwardian era, hairstyles were often full and somewhat "poufy." Ladies who had the luxury of a maid or attendant could achieve this look. The maid would wind her hair around balls of padding, which were called "rats." This sort of hairstyle was often accompanied by large Edwardian hats which were kept in place by jewelled hatpins and decorated with elaborate trimmings like ostrich feathers. Another important invention in hairstyling was made: permanent curling. Women could now have curly hair that would hold for months. The "Roaring Twenties" saw the emergence of a drastic new style: the Flapper style. Women wore their hair shockingly short in a bob haircut. As fashions tended away from the corsets and formality of the earlier era, so hairstyles followed this trend towards a more natural look. As the Edwardian era ended, new technology in movies made trends in hairstyles much more accessible to the general public. As such, actresses such as Clara Bow, who sported an early flapper cut, and singer Josephine Baker, whose exotic looks were closely watched and mimicked, brought their signature hairstyles into mainstream culture.

To create an authentic late Edwardian look, try a Flapper bob. Keep your hair bouncy and natural by avoiding heavy gels, mousses or styling aids. Or slick back your hair with hair gel for a more formal, bold look. If your hair is long, apply gel, pull the hair back and twist it into a bun. Pin the bun at the base of your neck. Place a glittery headband on your head, adjusting for comfort. Insert a feather into the left side of the headband, securing the feather with hairpins.

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