Saturday, 19 July 2014

How to do a very simple 18th century hairstyle

I took a bit of a break from sewing the wedding gown on Thursday. Some of the summer workers wanted to hear about 18th century hair and fashion, since we are invited to a Venetian ball in early August. I of course decided to dress up and bring my dresses with me. It was a hot day and I was really tired so I didn't feel like wearing a wig, or doing some advanced styling of my own hair. I've also managed to loose my small cap, so I needed to do something about the hair.

I decided to do a quick ca 1770 pouf. The pouf is a hairstyle where you want to go as high as possible. Of course doing a high pouf requires a lot of hair, and some structure to pile the hair to.
Fashion plate ca 1770, from
Not all poufs were this high though, there are quite a few paintings showing lower, and more restrained poufs.
In order to create a simple pouf I used hairpins, three bump-its and a hairbrush. I never got around to taking pictures of the finished result, but here is when I tried to redo the pouf earlier today. As usual I have just used the selfie angle on my mobile, so the photo quality is dreadful, but I hope you can see what I did at least.
 This is my hair in its natural state. It falls to a bit below my shoulders. My hair is very fine, but there's a lot of it. On Thursday my hair was newly washed and it had more volume, which made the end result look better. Today when I did it I hadn't been washed, the same day so it was flatter and a bit greasy, which meant that the end result wasn't quite as poofy.

Step 1 - I plugged in my curling iron.

Step 2 - I combed all the hair down over my face, making sure that I didn't get a visible parting at the center of the head.

Step 3 - I placed the three bump-its on the top of the head. I have one larger and two smaller bump-its, and I placed the largest one in the middle. It's of course possible to use something else than bump-its, before I bought them I had a nylon sock filled with scap fabrics that I used, and of course you can use a proper hair rat. I like the bump-its because they don't need to be pinned in place and they are so light that I hardly feel them.

Step 4 - I combed the hair back over the bump-its and pinned it in place. If I had had someone to help me I would have curled some of the longer strands of hair and pinned them up towards the bump-its, now I just pinned everything except one strand of hair, up unto the crown of the hair so I got a smooth eggshaped hairstyle.

Step 5 - I used the curling iron to get one curl that hung down the neck. The whole process of getting the hair in position didn't take longer than it took the curling iron to heat up. I also looked for what I had around and added a feather up on the top. I'm not totally happy here with how flat the sides look, but if I make sure that I  have newly washed hair it will automatically have more volume.

Finish it all off with hairspray.

If you want to have more volume, and depending on your hair, it can definitely help to tease the hair before it's pinned up, but this was a hairstyle that I wanted to make in less than 10 minutes, and don't spend hours afterwards to untangle the hair.

Then of course if you want it more glamorous it's just to add loose hair, pearls, feather and basically as much as you can on top.

And for those of you with shorter hair I give you this picture of the Leigh family, where the two older girls definitely have short hair, almost like a long pixie cut.

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