Children's Victorian Hairstyles

Updated February 23, 2018

The Victorian era spans from 1837 to 1901. Children's Victorian hairstyles at this point in history were characterised by the elaborate, flowing, elegantly curled and adorned hair of Victorian girls and the simple plaited, oiled hairstyles of young Victorian boys. Victorians favoured flamboyant hairstyles for women and girls and often employed hairdressers to create fashionable tresses for both children and adults. Hair ornamentation in children's Victorian hairstyles was also highly favourable, with the introduction of pearls, flowers, lace and ribbon.

Young Victorian Girls

Young Victorian girls often wore long, curled hairstyles referred to as "barley curls" or "sugar curls," which were essentially elongated curls that hung loosely about the head and shoulders. Young girls often had their hair secured with ribbons and lace designed to match their dresses.

Older Victorian Girls

Older Victorian girls were also conscious of matching their elaborate hairstyles to the most popular dress styles of the day. Flowing gowns and dresses that featured bustles were matched with hairstyles that featured bundles of small curls nestled at the back of the neck, often secured with a matching ribbon. Longhair "sausage curls," or thick ringlets, were favoured by older girls, and crimped curls, "bustle buns" (gathered curls at the back of the neck), coiled chignon, pompadours and French twists were other favourites.

Hair Adornments

Victorian girls often favoured small hats and fresh flowers in their elaborate hairstyles. Roses, petunias and forget-me-nots were often used to "decorate" glamorous Victorian children's hairstyles for girls. Ribbons, lace and even feathers were also favoured by Victorian girls of all ages.

Young Victorian Boys

The Victorians were not adamant about gender distinction among children, and young Victorian boys often sported hairstyles that were similar to Victorian girls, minus the ribbon, lace and floral trappings. Long, curly hair was fashionable for young Victorian boys, though was often kept shorter than that of Victorian girls.

Older Victorian boys

While some older Victorian boys continued to wear curly tresses into their teens, many opted for the traditional hairstyles of Victorian men, which featured hair parted on one side and combed flat with hair oil. Sideburns were also popular with older Victorian boys.

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About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.