The women who lived during the Victorian era opted for more sober and subdue styles, in contrast to the trends prior to that time. The women earlier would go in for elaborate hair styles, extravagance and pomp were the highlights of that time. The women, during the Victorian era liked their hair to be healthy, glossy, soft and smooth.
This enabled them to style it as well as keep it simple and uncomplicated. The hair styles symbolised elegance and dignity. The women oiled their hair to smoothen it and added big curls or tiny ringlets. Fringes were not uncommon; however, these were also not very flashy. They were simply cut and styled. During the day, women used to don hairnets to keep the hair from coming undone. Below were some of the typical Victorian hairdos.
Either that or the curls used to be held together with clips or combs, often made of ivory. Bows were also used in the hair. The most important requirement was that it should be neat without a single hair out of place. Any stray hair outside the bun or plait was frowned upon. The men also kept their hair neat and short, often dabbing it with mascaras oil. They also usually sported moustaches, beards or sideburns.
The trend of having one’s hair styled by professional hair stylists arose during the Victorian era and gained popularity in a short span of time. French hairdos with parting from the centre were liked. Flowers began to be used extensively in hairstyles to add colour and beauty. They were first used by the Empress of Austria, Elizabeth. The children had barely curls, more popularly known as sugar curls.
Then came the trend of knotting a chignon at the nape or a little higher along with a few curls next to it. Hats never lost their charm. Ribbons, plumes and flowers were the favorite accessories.
Next came the trend of leaving one’s hair open, mostly at the back of one’s head. It created a pretty picture and the naturalness that came with it was very desirable. Ringlets and huge curls were still popular. In addition, thanks to the multitude of invention and innovations, crimping was invented. It created waves when the hair was turned up using a hot iron.
The next hairstyle that gained popularity was the Marcel wave. This was also created with the use of the crimping iron. The hair around one’s head was curled. Pompadours became famous soon after that wherein hair was swept back. To add thickness and height, fake hair pieces started being used.
The Titus style took over after the Marcel style. In this style, hair was cropped short and curled and then adorned with jewels, flowers, etc. Thus, although the styles were simple and easy to create, the women of Victorian era did not compromise beauty and elegance for simplicity.