How I do my Gibson Girl hair for everyday wear.

Most of us costumers know we can spend hours on the hair alone.  The rats, the wigs, the hair pieces, ribbons and bows…all so it can be covered with a poke bonnet!  The more of your own hair you have to use, the nicer (and more authentic) the look and the less likely it will end up on the floor of your car before you even get to your event.  That is why I decided to grow my hair out.

As a teen, I had hair to my waist but over the years it got shorter and shorter.  At first it was to be stylish but later on it became shorter so I’d be drawing attention to my eyes and not my double chin.  Hair acts as a frame…long hair looks great on a face that is lovely top to bottom.  But, when the bottom half of your face plumps or wrinkles up it is best to focus on the eyes…or so I’ve heard.

When I decided to grow my hair long, I knew I’d have to wear it up most of the time to keep from looking older and fatter and to keep from roasting alive at work (work is kept hotter than all other places I go because the seniors living there find normal temperatures cold.)  I wanted a style that  suited my Victorian interests, gave my face hight not width and didn’t take all day to do or to maintain.  Thus the tamed down Gibson Girl was “invented”.  I posted a photo previously.  Today I will show you how to do it.

Disclaimer:  I have very thick and wavy hair.  This works for me but I wont claim it will work for any one else.

Start with the hair down and combed out.  Warning…you are about to see me hair down and no make up…yeee gads!

eeeeeek! Anyway, my hair is now past my shoulders.

The next step is to take a brush and pull the front (sides and top) up to the top of the head.

This view is not getting any better!

Hold that front hair on top of your head and push it a bit forward to that it is not tight to the scalp.

Just like that....


Put in a pretty barrette.

Then you need to…

brush the rest of the hair up for a high pony tail.

Why is it doing your hair and taking photographs will cause “goofy face syndrome”?

Once the hair is bundled up….

put an elastic on the pony tail.

The next bit is a bit tricky to explain but here goes.  Make a gap in the hair between the elastic and your head.

My thumb is coming through the hair making a hole.

Coming from underneath, push the tail back through the hole.

It is a bit hard to see but my hand is pushing the tail up through the hole I made in the hair.

The next step is to…

pull sideways on the tail to tighten the elastic and pull up to make sure the elastic is high up enough on the head.

Then you need to…

tuck the loose ends of the pony tail back through the hole to make a smooth bun. Pin the ends so they stay in and hidden.

I originally thought of cropping this photograph to remove the mirror image of myself but it was just too funny….I had to share!

We are in the home stretch now.

Slide your finger into the hair and gently tug out the parts that may have gotten to tight to the head. Go all around the face in this manner.

Next comes the finishing touches.

I check the whole effect. If the bun or barrette have moved down like they have here I need to fix it.

I wanted the top fuller so…

I pushed the barrette forward with one hand and put bobby pins in behind it to keep it from sliding back again. Now the hair has more height on top.

Sometimes if it is humid

the hair at my hair-line gets fuzzy.

To fix that I dampen the hair and wrap it around my finger to create

kiss curls.

A little hair spray and make up and you get this.

That's better!

And for the side view….

Cameras and mirrors everywhere....

For an 1890-1900s outfit, I would want much BIGGER hair but for everyday purposes this works.  And it only takes me about 3 minutes to do.

10 thoughts on “How I do my Gibson Girl hair for everyday wear.

  1. Shirley A Victorian says:

    Curls,curls,curls. Wish it was that easy for us with long poker straight hair. I think we should try 1970’s. That would be easy for me. Just stand up in the morning and shake,then every hair falls in place. I also have an easy time with 1850’s,nice and tight and slicked back. Can’t wait for May.

    • 1970s…ick! How about 1980s with big hair…I can do that without trying! I’ve been practicing 1850s and my hair is not long enough and there is far to much poof. I may have to (ick) oil it down. I’m excited for May too! Hope Lady K will join us!

  2. prttynpnk says:

    It’s a lovely style- this is always how I pictured my hair when it was longer- lovely, romantic and slightly imposing- in truth it was probably more mop-head than romantic on me!

  3. Adi says:

    Oooooh! Can’t wait to try this!

  4. Ashley says:

    Thanks so much for this! It’s perfect for everyday! I have long super straight hair and I hate just doing a ponytail or leaving it loose can’t wait to practice this!

  5. Verna says:

    That was just great! I have wanted this look for so long, but it looked so hard. You made it look so easy. Thank you l will get right to it.

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