December 16, 2009

Christmas Figure Eight

This is the style I wore to our Christmas choir concert. It is really simple: just a regular figure eight with an extra curl. Caroline Bingley wears something like it in "Pride and Prejudice." This is perfect for a semi-formal Christmas party. Don't use a ponytail holder because it will show.

Flowers cover up any bobby-pinning mistakes. These flowers are clips from Claire's Icing (great hair accessory and earring source!) that were extremely cheap and look really cute. I recommend taking a trip to that store soon. It is in almost every mall.

October 30, 2009

1940's/Victorian/ Edwardian do

This is the classic "rolled" style seen in every WWII movie ever made. Women used rolls of cloth (or today, styrofoam or foam) under their hair to make the sausage-like rolls. I didn't use anything because my hair is think, but you might want to consider rollers if you have thin hair. This style was stolen from the mid to late Victorian era and the Edwardian era (1901-1910). In the 1800's, it would have been an easy home-day do, not a party do. Towards the turn of the century it became more popular out of the home, but still not at parties, unless you left a few curls hanging out and attached some flowers and diamonds. Diamonds make everything better.

I cheated and used octopus clips to hold the bun at the bottom because my hair was too heavy to be held by hair pins. If you have thin or short hair this will not be a problem. If you have long thick hair and will be wearing this do to a party, you could cover the clips with flowers or ribbons.

October 15, 2009

Lovely French Braid

Here is a great style Sami from my Freshman Foundations Course made. She said it doesn't take long to make, but I know it would take me hours. I thought it was just beautiful and could work for any occasion, especially a Renaissance Faire or toga party. It would also work with any length of hair.

(Photos by Sami.)

September 22, 2009

Twist for very long straight hair

This is a style my friend Anna made that is perfect for long straight hair. I don't know exactly how she made it, but the pictures should be pretty self-explanatory. It looks to me like a figure eight with the extra hair hanging out at the bottom but I have a feeling that it is more complicated. It may be a figure eight wrapped into itself.

September 7, 2009

Embellished Turban

Here is a turban made of a coral silk scrap found in the remnants section of the fabric store. The fabric was less than three dollars for an amazing iridescent quality Dupiani silk. For little extras like turbans, never buy fabric from a bolt. You can always find a cute cheap remnant.

I added a long strand of black and blue pearls, two peacock feather earrings, and the abalone pendant from a necklace for trimmings, and held everything in place with bobby pins. The fabric was basically wrapped around my head twice and pinned closed in back under the bun. Some rose glass earrings and curls completed the look.

Basically, you can use any old jewelry, brooches, feathers, and ribbons to embellish a turban. You never have to buy anything special. You could even pin on a clump of fake grapes or a fake bird for a more early Victorian touch.

August 30, 2009

Blog Neglect

I have been settling in to college life and so have had little time to devote to hairstyles. When I have a bit more free time, I will start some new posts. I have some pictures of an embellished Regency turban that I'll post soon.

June 6, 2009

Regency/Victorian do with feathers: "Mary Crawford"

I realized I had never posted a do with feathers before, so here is one. Feathers were enormously popular throughout the 1800's and can be used in many ways. Here is my version with a high "figure 8" twist (not a bun) and a curl. It's the perfect do for when you are playing a flirt or snob, like Mary Crawford from "Mansfield Park." I cut the hair by my ears so it would curl better, but you don't have to do this. You can do without curls by the ears.

May 18, 2009

Regency Demi-Turban

Here is one of those Regency styles that was definitely borrowed from the Orient. It is the demi-turban, which is basically a swatch of cloth wrapped around the head and tied in place. It works best with a high bun.

Unlike the turban, which covers the whole head, the demi-turban leaves the top of the head uncovered so a mass of curls or an intricately twisted bun can peep through. It was more popular among young women, and the turban was more popular among older women.

Here is my demi-turban (I could have embellished it with feathers and beads but was in a hurry) and a demi-turban from a ~1800 magazine picture. You can see the lady's bun through the swirls of fabric on top.

May 3, 2009

A La Greque: "Marianne Dashwood"

This is the favorite style of Marianne Dashwood and works great for people who have naturally curly hair and don't have to curl it. You can make A La Greque in many ways, but the signature of this style is the band around the head and bun. Any coiffure with this Greek style band is A La Greque, and you can embellish with jewels, flowers, or a gold brocade band.

With this style, you definitely need the front curls around the forehead and ears. If you have curly hair, you can get away with a much less structured bun in the back and let the curles fall out all over the place.

Always make sure your hair is clean for this style, because clean hair has more body and poof.

Here, too is a picture of Marianne Dashwood with A La Greque.

Here are some directions:

~curl your hair (if you only want to leave a few curls out as i did, don't curl all your hair)

~put it is a loose ponytail and then make a very loose bun, only twisting the curled hair into the bun a little bit so it hangs free (if you have naturally curled hair, you can skip the bun and just pin it in a messy mass to the back of your head)

~take a long ribbon or piece of cloth and wrap it around your head as follows : starting under the bun with equal lengths on either side, cross over the bun to bottom again, then bring over head and back down to bun where you can pin it or tie it in a bow. Be sure to pin the part on your head in place.

~now curl any bangs or whispies by your ears or at the base of your neck.

C'est fini!

Late Regency/Early Victorian style: "Little Dorritt"

This is an exquisitely simple do that works for all types of hair. It is so elegant and delicate. This style was worn in both the Regency and early Victorian eras, and then again in the very late Victorian era. You can use any type of hair comb in it. I used an oriental comb, but a silver one would be more period.

~make a center part and separate the front hair around the face from the rest of the hair
~put the rest of the hair in a pony tail and twist it into a bun
~take the front hair you separated and wrap it around under the bun and around the bun
~pin in place and add a hair comb or flower
~if you have short hairs by your ears, make sure they hang down in front of the ears.

Simplicity itself!

Note: This is definitely not a ballroom style. It is for home and everyday wear.

May 1, 2009

Wealthy Victorian Style: "Blanche Ingram"

Here is a style straight out of a Jane Eyre movie. It is the kind of do' worn by Miss Ingram, the inimitable snob. It takes quite a while to make, but is perfect for a Victorian garden party, etc...

~make a high ponytail and leave out a section of hair at the base of the neck to curl
~separate 4 strands of hair from the ponytail
~braid two strands and leave the others to curl
~make the bun and loop the braids so their ends can be tucked into the bun
~now take the 2 sections saved for curling (preferably one on each side of the bun) and curl them
~curl the hair you left out at the base of your neck
~and tie a ribbon around the bun to hide stray hairs.

The curl at the base of the neck is optional, and looks better if you have longer hair to curl

If you have little short hairs by your ears, you can curl them as I did and stick them to your cheeks with hair spray (the Victorians would probably have used grease).

April 19, 2009

Roman Wedding Hairstyle

Here is a lovely style taken from a sculpture of a Roman bride. I wore it to my Roman themed b-day party. It seems tough, but really takes much less than half and hour.

To spice it up like I did with golden beads and pearls, you need to sew or glue beads to the ends of bobby pins so they dangle when you stick them into your bun. These take a long time to make. It took me two hours to make nine of them.

~make a high ponytail (the higher the better)
~separate two sections of hair, one for the braid and one for the curls
~wrap the bun and pin in place
~braid one strand of separated hair and pin to the top of your head like a crown
~curl the other strands of hair you left out
~if you have bangs, curl them, if you have decorated pins, put them in your bun.

I have also attached a picture of the original Roman do. You can't see all of it in the photo, and the statue has curly hair which I don't. If you have curly hair, You can skip the braid and make the twist around the head that the statue sports.

Since people in the Regency borrowed their styles from ancient Rome and Greece, this can also double as a Regency style. To make it more Regency-ish, you could have the curls come out of the side of the bun and not the back. You could also wrap a ribbon around the bun.

April 13, 2009

Advice on Buns

I am a ballerina, so I have been making buns for about 10 years. I think I can safely say I have perfected the art. but many people, including some of my fellow dancers, still don't understand how to make a really becoming bun. Here are my tips:

Make all buns pretty loose. If they are tightly wound they stick out from the head like a doorknob. A loose bun that is pinned close to the head and looks like a part of the head is far better looking. a tight bun makes you look like you have an embolism on the back of your head.

Now I will break the rule I just laid out: Regency and Victorian buns, especially early Regency and Victorian, should slightly resemble doorknobs. Late Regency buns can be flatter to the head.

Use long hair pins to make buns, not little bobby pins. They are more stable and becoming. You can find long hair pins online at ballet supply stores.

If you are going to make a tight bun, don't have it in for too long. Tight buns put a lot of stress on hair follicles and can cause hair to fall out. I am only 18 and I already have thinning hair because of ballet buns.

If you have really thin hair, buns will only make your hair look even thinner.

Braided buns are pretty, but the beginning of the braid often makes a great bump right in the middle of the bun. To avoid this, braid the first part of the braid tightly, and the last part loosely.

Well, there is my bun advice. I submit it for you criticism. If you have another bun trick that you think makes buns more elegant, send me an email about it. And if nothing else, do something with your bun, like put a flower in it or two braids going into it. Buns have for centuries been a symbol of elegance; let them be so now too!

April 12, 2009

New styles to come!

I have long yearned to do Elizabethan styles, but one of the prerequisites for these do's is a snood. You can buy one of any color online pretty cheap, which I will soon do and then I will be able to create some authentic early late Renaissance English styles. 'Til then, it will just be Victorian and Roman (I've got a lovely Roman wedding do coming up, and some early and late Victorian styles) and maybe a demonstration of A La Greque.

Keep watching! I'll be posting stuff soon.

April 1, 2009

Modernized Regency Style: "Eleanor Dashwood"

Because this is not frilly, yet shows a care for personal appearance, I call it the "Eleanor Dashwood." It is based on Hattie Morahan's London ballroom style in the newest "Sense and Sensibility." She undoubtedly had hair pieces to make her style larger and more elegant, but we non-movie stars must make do with our regular hair. The open twists are, I think, especially becoming, and the bun should be loose and high on the head to give the illusion of a crown on the back of the head.

This is a perfect do for a formal or prom too. It is not too old-fashioned looking.

~ make 6 large twists of hair and pin them in place (under where the bun will be) with crossing bobby pins
~make a very loose bun and pin it in place to cover the pins (don't use a ponytail holder to start the bun as this will show and make the do look 'cheap'. Just twist the hair without a band.)

You can wrap a ribbon around the bun, but I recommend leaving it plain so the elegance of the style and not the gaudiness of your decorations catches people's eyes.

March 29, 2009

Classic Regency Style: "Jane Bennet"

Regency styles are probably my favorite. Here is a simple one for any length or type of hair. It is understated yet sweet, so I call it the "Jane Bennet."

~ make a ponytail and wrap most of in into a bun, leaving some out to poke out of the middle of the bun (you can twist or braid the bun)
~ separate the hair you left out in to 2 or 3 strands and curl it (for extra pizazz, braid one of the strands and wrap it around the bun)
~ separate all the short front hair (I call them whispies) into little bunches and curl it

Voila! Here is the simplest Regency do you can make.

March 13, 2009

Gibson Girl

The Gibson Girl style is one of the oddest and most ridiculous looking to modern viewers. However, it does lend the wearer a sophisticated look thanks to the inches it adds to a woman's head.

The pictures here are of me in a recent Gibson Girl do, and a pic of my mother and me many years ago. She is sporting a classic Gibson Girl poof, and I am wearing the style of little girls in the period: a braid with an enormous bow. Our clothes are circa 1908 reproductions.

Women of the period often used rolls around their heads under their hair to make the unmistakable poof. But we didn't do this. Teasing the hair also achieves the desired result, but if you have hair thick or coarse enough, it will poof on its own.

Directions: (without roller or teasing)
~bend forward so your hair hangs strait down to the floor
~gather it into a very loose ponytail on top of you head and stand up
~twist this hair into a bun on top of your head, making sure is is not so tight you loose the poof
~pin in place and then, if poof is not big enough, pull hair out of bun a little to create bigger poof

This works for any length of hair, and you just have to modify it for thin hair. To add rollers or tease, part your hair so it falls evenly around your head like a mop and apply rollers around your head to hold you hair in place here. Then wrap the hair back over the rollers to create bun. Do the same to tease.

This style takes a bit of practice and my directions may be no use at all. Just study pictures and go from there.

March 12, 2009

"Lucrezia Borgia" : elegance mixed with poison

Here is a style for any hair type, although your hair has to be at least to your shoulder blades to do this one.

It is an Italian Renaissance do that can be modified to accommodate hair length. You can use ribbons or not. I find it difficult to braid ribbons into my hair because for the first few inches, they want to fall out of the braid. After that, the tightness of the braid holds them in.

~part hair in the middle or to the side (I did side. It is more flattering) and make two small braids with front hair (ribbons optional)
~split hair down back to make two braids over your shoulders. Put the small braids in the back strand of the big braid and make sure this back strand goes underneath the others as you start braiding
~secure both braids with bands at bottom
~bring braids to back of head and cross them over, bringing the ends to the top of your head
~fold the ends over underneath the braids
~secure in place with hair pins (making sure your hairbands don't show like mine do here!)

Modifications: If your hair is too long to do this, you can cross the braids over and then spiral them into a bun in the middle back of your head. If you can't do ribbons, you can attach pearls or beads to bobby pins with string and secure these in your do so they hang free and sparkle in the sunlight.

Now you're ready to dazzle all the knights at the Renn Faire!

March 10, 2009

Timeless Twist : "A La Parisienne"

This style I find particularly difficult, even though my hair is normally pliant and obedient. I have tried for years to do a French Twist and for years have failed miserably. My early attempts ended up looking like hedgehogs clinging to the back of my head: just a sagging mass of hair pins and unbrushed locks. But I finally conquered the twist, and here is the final attempt. Please pardon the blurry pictures; I was teaching myself how to take successful pictures of myself.

Since this semi-triumph, I have never again tried to do a twist. I worked this particular urge out of my system and now have no wish to do more. I also have no real idea how I did this, but I think it was a little like this:

~wrap your hair loosely around your non-dominant hand at the base of your head (hand should have thumb facing away from you and pinkie finger touching head)
~turn hand with hair so finger tips touch the head
~wrap this hair bundle (carefully extricating your hand) in towards your head so you have a horizontal roll against your head
~turn this roll perpendicular and tuck in the sagging hair at the bottom
~hold in place with claw or octopus clips and then pin with hair pins and remove clips.

Adding flowers to your do will help hide any saggy areas or stray pieces of hair. Good luck!(Note: this do is easier if you have curly or coarse hair that will stick to itself a bit. Fine hair tends to fall out all over the place.)

March 9, 2009

Welcome to the World of Old-Fashioned hair!

The purpose of this blog is to encourage all women (and perhaps a few men with long hair!) to embrace the hairstyles of the past and not be afraid to return to those old romantic days of ringlets and braided buns. So heat up your curling irons, exercise your hairbrush arms, and let the styling begin!