My sister is a cellist and has recently got involved in a gig that requires her to dress as an Edwardian lady. Problem: What to do with her hair? She doesn’t have the waist-length hair that our grandmother and great-grandmothers had to play around with. Most fashionable Edwardian women used their voluminous tresses to do complex updo that involved piling it up towards the front of the head. But most modern women only have hair that touches their shoulders a best, and so it is necessary to come up with an alternate solution.
For those of you who don’t want to wear a wig or go to the trouble of using hair extensions, here are some simple things you can do with your hair to give it that old-fashioned look.
1. If your hair is doesn’t actually touch your shoulders, you will need to grow it out. Try to achieve a length that is at least one inch past your shoulders.
2. For those of you with thick luxuriant tresses that stand up to any kind of treatment, you can skip this part. However, if you have hard-to-manage silky hair read on. For this body-challenged hair, there are a couple of things you need to do BEFORE you attempt to style it:
a. After washing and drying it, bend from the waist so that your hair flops towards the floor. Brush it out by brushing down towards the floor until all the tangles have disappeared.
b. Then straighten and flip the hair up to its usual position, brushing UP to keep the body.
c. If the hair is bone dry by this point, stick your hand under the faucet and gently wet your hair
3. To style, first make your hair into a low ponytail, one that starts from the nape of your neck.
4. Roll the hair into a cushion, but rolling the ends of the hair UNDERNEATH.
5. Check to be sure that you have all the hair in the cushion, then secure with a jaw.
6. Check in the mirror to be sure that your hair neatly covers the back part of your head.
7. If there are any unsightly parts, take a comb and hand mirror, and stand with your back to your vanity mirror so that you can see the unsightly part. Use the comb to gently neaten your hair so that any unsightly part is covered and your hair has a finished look from the back. (Of course, 100 years ago, a lady’s maid would have done this job for you. If you can’t get it right, then don’t be shy about asking someone to help you.)
9. If you don’t want to spend a fortune replacing lost barrettes and hair combs, you are better off with a jaw. I use jaws because if I don’t get something that actually clamps my hair with a really forceful grip, it will fall out. That is why I don’t use barrettes, hair combs, cascades or anything like that. I like FrenchLuxe jaws because you can get them in tortoiseshell and other pretty colors. For the website, click here:
10. Good luck, and please send me your pictures!
Top image is taken from a website called In Timely Fashion. It gives excellent instructions for doing Edwardian hairstyles. However, all the models have very long hair.
Bottom picture shows author wearing hairstyle that looks Edwardian by means of a jaw.
–Cynthia Haggard writes short stories, novels and poetry. During the day, she is a medical writer and owns her own business. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. For more about her medical writing services, go to clarifyingconcepts. (c) 2009. All rights reserved.