Hairstyle Trend that may not Return

Sometimes a fashion trend develops and gets well beyond what we could expect to be a practical item. But is does happen as you can see.

During the 1700s in Europe, originating mainly from France, members of royal courts and high society enjoyed makeup, clothing, and hairstyles that took hours and hours to apply, construct, and maintain.

Example of the exaggerated hairstyle that was in fashion in France during the late 1700s.

Powdered hairstyles were just one element of formal court dress, which included elaborate hooped dresses with boned bodices and long trains for women complemented by (in France, at least) bright, dark pink rounds of rouge on the cheeks (a status symbol), and swords and silk coats for men. Fashionable women would have to set aside significant portions of their day to have their hair styled, and important hairstylists would be not only booked solid, but supported by a whole team of assistants.

By 1770, powdered hair was mandatory in court. Nobody dared to show their faces without it.

Marie Antionette about 1775

To have her hair powdered, a woman (or a man) would sit in her dressing room, draped with a large cape. Her hairdresser would then blow powder into her hair, apply a substance called pomatum to the hair to fix it.

The large sculptures of hair that were arranged on women’s heads would be supported and held together using wire, tow, wool, and pads, and would be decorated with anything from precious jewels and metals to large plumes.

Items that were added to create the hairstyle.

These hairstyles even featured detailed figurines ranging from babies and nurses to ships and buildings (indicating something that was happening to someone, like having a baby, or cashing in on something that was in vogue, such as the American Revolution).

Statue of Marie Antionette about 1781 shows the many items in her hair.

With all the difficulties associated with this fashion, it can be assumed that this type of hairstyle may never return to a salon near you.

Statue with mirror behind shows the many items including feathers and a large rosette.

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