How to do an 1870’s hair style for long hair

I saw an article from an 1871 magazine (don’t recall which one now) that had a hair style I liked. 1871 hair how to b I photographed the pages so I could try to copy it.  I hoped to wear it on my outing today so yesterday, I did a test run. The title was “hair dressing for young ladies 1871” and is a style for long hair.1871 hair how to a

I include the text for those of you interested…1871 hair how to dThe directions say to part the hair from front to back…SAM_0004

…and ear to ear.SAM_0005

“On each side of the middle parting divide the front hair into two parts.” With some fiddling, I decided that they meant to take the two front sections and further divide them like this…SAM_0006

The top/front section is to be crimped.  I don’t have a crimping iron so I didn’t for the test run.  For the real run I thought I would braid this section wet and when it is dry it will look crimped. Later, you will see why decided not to do this step.

Moving along…. The top/front/crimped section gets pulled back and the bottom/front section is lifted up over the crimped section like in drawing (a).1871 hair how to bYou will have to do some clipping and pinning to get it to stay there.SAM_2962Note: I have done to the right side of my head what the original drawings show on the left (and vise versa)…I blame that on the mirror effect.

Leave the pins in but take out the clip and twist the two strands together for about an inch.

SAM_2965Gather the rest of the two strands up together with the back section of hair and braid it.  The braid should start low at the nape of the neck. (For ladies with thinner hair, you may need to work in sections of fake hair to make the braid thicker.)SAM_2967Repeat the same steps for the front section on the other side.  You will not need to do the twisting part. We are ready for the rest of the instructions.1871 hair how to fInstead of braiding the hair low at the nape of the neck, you need to pull it up higher, closer to the pins for the front piece.1871 hair how to eUse a string or elastic to hold it in place. SAM_2968Braid.SAM_2969


Once the braid is finished, remove the elastic near the scalp.

This is where I changed up the instructions a bit.  It seemed from the way my hair was behaving that it would be easier to get every thing in place and laying nicely if I reversed the order the braids were pinned down.  I started with the braid that is set higher on the head.  It goes across the top like a head band.SAM_2971The braid is pinned in place with the end hidden in the layers of the front section on the opposite side.  In the photo below, the very top left corner shows the braid with the braid-end hidden.  The other braid is still hanging down my back.SAM_2974The lower braid is wrapped along the nape of the neck and pinned with the ends hidden in the folds of hair on the opposite side.SAM_2978Keep pinning for security and to make sure things look tidy.  With the weight of my hair, I prefer the pins that look like a coil. Most folks should manage okay with regular bobby pins.SAM_2976The above picture still looked a bit messy so I tucked and pinned until I was happy.SAM_2977Not bad.  The next thing to do was try the hair with the hat.  Lord knows how many times I have had to redo a hair style because it made my hat sit funny.  SAM_2980The back of the crown sits nicely over and up against the braid at the top of my head and the braid will provide the perfect anchor for the hat pin.

The front of the hair is not visible under the hat and this is why I decided to skip the crimping step for now.  If I go somewhere where the hat will be removed, I will crimp/wet braid.SAM_2982I wore the hair style all day.  It held up while I helped Hubby clean carpet and upholstery and while I cut out my next project.SAM_2983I actually kinda like the look of it and may consider it for modern wear.  SAM_2975I need my hair up at work because it is too hot there to wear my hair down.  This may give me a different “look” without looking completely freakish.

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