How to do hairstyles from the 1800s

Written by brandon getty
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How to do hairstyles from the 1800s
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Men's hairstyles in the 1800s were relatively simple and do not vary much from today's traditional cuts. Women's hairstyles in the 1800s were generally very long. Society deemed long hair a mark and declaration of femininity, and long tresses were often adorned with thick braids or ringlet curls. Styling products included a variety of pomades, waxes and lotions. Because of the relative simplicity of styling tools and lack of electricity, complex styles were not possible, and women today can recreate common styles from the 1800s.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Hair extensions (optional)
  • Gel or light pomade
  • Ponytail holder
  • Hair clips
  • Curling iron
  • Hairspray
  • Curling spray (optional)

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Clip in hair extensions if necessary. If you have long to very long hair (to the middle of your back or waist), you may not need to use extensions.

  2. 2

    Images of hairstyles from the 19th century are available online at such websites as Fashion Era. Select a hairstyle that you wish to create. Most involve high buns in the back and ringlet curled fringe in the front.

  3. 3

    Brush your hair (and/or extensions), so it falls loosely behind you. Separate your hair into two sections: hair that will be used to form a high bun and hair that will be used for front and side curls. Apply a light coat of gel or pomade to the section to be used for the bun.

  4. 4

    Form a high bun by starting a ponytail near the crown of your head. Secure the ponytail with a ponytail holder. Coil your hair around the ponytail. Make sure coils are neat, tight and precise to ensure a sleek and polished look. Secure the bun to the holder with a hair clip.

  5. 5

    Part the front section of your hair in the middle, ensuring that each side is of equal length. Starting on one side, use your curling iron to create ringlet curls. Move to the other side when finished. If done correctly, they will appear to cascade down the sides of your face.

  6. 6

    Tuck any loose tufts or strands of hair into your bun and secure with a hair clip or make them into curls if you wish. Hairstyles of the 1800s were neat and meticulously cared for, so make sure that you look after the details of your style.

  7. 7

    Spritz a light-holding hairspray over your style to preserve it. To keep your curls in order, you may wish to apply a bit of curling spray to them.

Tips and warnings

  • The ponytail can be split into two and braided for a more intricate bun. Also, you can split the front section of your hair to allow for fringe and cascading side curls.
  • Do not use your curling iron near an open toilet, bathtub or wet counter top. This is a dangerous electrical hazard.

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