Old Photos Show the Spectacle of Victorian Women’s Hairstyles, 1870s-1900s

The 19th century was an interesting time for hair and fashion in general. Many cultural changes were taking place, and Europe and America alike saw several integral style periods, all of which gave rise to hairstyles of their own.

Women living during the Victorian era opted for more sober and subdued styles, in contrast to the trends that preceded that time. Earlier women used to go for elaborate hairstyles, extravagance and pomp were the main attractions of the time.

During the Victorian era, women wanted their hair to be healthy, shiny, soft and smooth. This enabled her to style it as well as keep it simple and effortless. Hairstyles were a symbol of elegance and dignity.

Women applied oil to smooth their hair and added large curls or small ringlets. Fringe was not uncommon; However, even these were not very attractive. They were simply cut and styled. Back in the day, women used to put hair nets in their hair to prevent them from breaking.

It is important to understand that most women of this era had long hair. This gave them something to work with when rolling or plaiting hair in different styles.

However, like the women of today, not everyone had thick and luxurious hair. For this reason many women use fake hair.

Fake hair comes in a variety of forms, including invisible tufts, combed tufts, plaits, ringlets, and pads. For a perfect match, many women created pieces of their own hair—also known as "mies"—from the hair left in their hairbrushes.

Queen Victoria was a fashion icon in her own right. In the early years of his reign, he inspired the "Apollo loop" in which a plain or coiled plait of false hair was attached onto strands to form an attractive loop worn vertically on the top of the head. But the use of elaborate wigs gave way to a cleaner, gentler look.

The Victorian period of fashion was about living more simply than in previous eras. Hairstyles eventually became more natural and coiffed with hair in the middle, pulled into a bun or coil with hair allowed to hang loose on the sides of the head.

Hairstyles reflect the aspirations and social changes that took place within society during this era. The Industrial Revolution saw the rise of the middle class and brought new fashions for clothing and hair.

By the 1850s women wore hairstyles incorporating hairpieces purchased from the new department stores. Additionally, women began to use soap to clean their hair, but this action stripped away the oils, leaving the hair rough and dry. Vegetable oils and even grease are included in products to restore hair's shine.

In the late 19th century, the Marcel Wave became a popular hairstyle invented by Marcel Gretau's "curling iron" which enabled a more natural-looking wave to be created as opposed to a curl.

Victorians associated hair with life and love, so it was traditional for women to include lockets of hair in mourning jewelry after a loved one passed away.

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