While women in the 19th century traditionally kept their hair long, it was rarely worn down. Most women (especially those in the upper class) styled their hair into an elaborate updo. Hair styles most often followed the trends in women’s clothing, and while both dresses and updos began simple and low, they soon became quite extravagant. As dresses grew with hoops and crinolines, hairstyles soon required false pieces and padding to create more volume and easier styling. “Ratts” were made from loose hair collected in a woman’s hair receive; these would be used as padding to fluff out the sides and top of the hair. A woman’s hair silhouette and shape were very important for the overall look, and hair volume should aim to be the same size as one’s waist. The more elaborate the styling and accessories, the more status (and indicated wealth) could be applied to the wearer. These elegant looks were often completed with intricate ribbons, hats, or jewels.
Below are photos of the most elegant updo's in the museums photograph collection.
| HRM Duchess of Cornwall and York.|
Henry Morgan & Co Studio, Montreal, QC.
Miss Julia MacMillan (MacRae)
|Elizabeth MacRae (Mrs Ian Scott)|
W Notman & Son Studio, Montreal, QC.
“Everywhere you go your
hair is noticed most critically. It tells the world what you are. If you wear
your hair becomingly and always have it beautifully clean and well-kept, it
adds more than anything else to your attractiveness. Beautiful hair is not a matter
of luck, it is simply a matter of care.
|"Your Hair Should be Dressed so as to Emphasize Your Best Lines and Reduce your Worst Ones"|