Article about Hairstyles from Delineator Magazine, June 1881

Notwithstanding the rebellion of the hair-dressers, simplicity reigns today over the tresses of the fashionable belle. But this is studied simplicity, and therefore just the kind of simplicity the world most admires. Few are the women with features so perfectly outlined as to permit them to simply draw the hair off the forehead and twist it in a loose coil at the back. No, the average face demands graceful waves, coquettish curls and a disposition of the back hair that will either add to the apparent height or else give the desired oval or round shape to the face. And to get this just right, the woman who wants her hair becomingly arranged must study her features well in the looking-glass and then practice the placing of the plaits or the soft twist.

Puff are so soft and airy-looking that many ladies still wear them on full-dress occasions; but they do not then surmount anything else, but constitute the entire arrangement. The hair is creped in front, and then the back hair is drawn high on the head and several finger-puffs formed of it. An ornamental pin, a comb of Rhine pebbles, or a lace butterfly is usually placed on one side.

Short, soft curls are gradually creeping in among the Grecian coils, and on young people look very pretty and suitable. Two or three are at one side, or else peeps out from the center and another from each side. The latter method, however, has the disadvantage of looking formal.

A style to be commended as becoming to thin faces, consists in waving the front hair and letting some tiny locks fall low on the forehead. The back hair is then divided in two portions at the nape of the neck; each of these is slightly twisted, and they are wound, in opposing directions, around the head to meet on top and to be fastened with an ornamental pin. The novelty of this will be likely to make it popular.

Waved front-pieces, for fastening on the hair, seem to have reached perfection. They are natural-looking, light and cleanly. The necessity of wearing something like a bow or pin to conceal their termination is obviated by some crimped hair being drawn back, so that no portion of the lace foundation shows. Crimping the hair undoubtedly breaks it, and so many welcome these additional crimps, which are no trouble at all. A blessing, doubtless, to the busy woman of society or the housekeeper who does not feel like "putting up" crimps when she is ready to lay her tired head on the longed-for pillow.


If your hair is down to your shoulders, comb it up and arrange it in a French twist, fastening it on top with a fancy comb or a ribbon bow.


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Photos from

The Costume Gallery Collection 2000

An excellent example of the spiral bun mentioned in the article. Her bangs are in a soft curl accented by a kind of small bow. This photo was taken by a studio in Toronto, Canada.


Parting the hair into sections then pulling it high up on the head created this style. The bun is sectioned and not in a spiral style. This photo was taken in Ireland.

This lady provides an example of the soft curls on the side of the face. This photo has a date of origin on the back of January 1, 1882 in Philadelphia, PA.

An excellent example of crimped hair. Notice the fine curls on the tips.

The Victorian Photograph Album.  This is a wonderful book decorated in Victorian style to put your photos in.   Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey   American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs   Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900 An Ounce of Preservation : A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs

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