Hair Styles have never remained the same, yet sometimes they have
repeated decades later. Most hair style activity was related to a woman
trying to look proper and respectable, while at the same time putting
her into a position where she could appeal to romantic prospects. In
the early years, there were so many restrictions that even the act of
coloring the cheeks could send her neighbors all aghast, with rumors and
whisperings about her behavior. The only way to truly stand out,
without excessive complaints was to choose a hair style that enhanced
her natural beauty.
Long hair was always considered the epitome of femininity and health. But it could be hard to manage, and could make a woman look like just a bush lady, if she didn't do something with it. Long hair was considered a woman's treasure and often referred to as her crown of glory. Little girls started young, never cutting their hair, and maintaining long locks, but there was a lot maintenance involved. You could wash frequently, but if you didn't give your flowing tresses their daily brushing, the scalp oils would not distribute evenly, and you would wind up with a bramble bush.
Because you had to work around the home, you needed to keep the hair out of the way in a hurry, so keeping them in braids, which could then be hung out of harm's way behind the back was a practical solution. Little girls always wanted to emulate the adults, but at various times they were required to wear hair additions that made it perfectly clear they were little girls. Daddy did not want some romantic buck chasing after his little girls too often, so the girls of the turn of the nineteenth century wore huge bows, which made them look very cute, but at the same time sent out a strong warning, that they were young, that someone cared for them, and don't mess around or there might be an angry father hanging around by the bushes.
When the outlandishly lavish rich of the Louis the XVI years annoyed the
populace excessively, there was a revolution, a lot of wealthy and
pompous lords and ladies got their heads chopped off. It wasn't just
removing the heads, it was removing the styled hair and powdered wigs.
The period was followed by austerity, even as the French distanced
themselves from the nobility as the decades went by. But Queen
Victoria was strongly influenced by the French, and when she lost her
happiness, with the loss of her beloved husband, she went into a long
period of mourning. She influenced her court, her people, and the
influence extended all the way across the sea and around the world. The
austere hairstyles and dark clothing of the 1840s to 1860s was
influenced by the unhappy Queen. It wasn't until people realized that
they needed some happiness in their lives, that actresses and other
female performers demonstrated first, that so much more could be
accomplished with hair styles.
Despite the reputation that actresses maintained, they led the way into a new century where women could gradually abandon their imitation of the Queen's mourning, and add life and gaiety to their appearance. It looked so much better on the photographs. They went wild in the 1920s with flapper cuts and flapper dances and carried it through into the 1930s, where with the coming threat of war on the horizon as 1939 rolled into view, a serious note once more crept into the lives of women. The War years saw some happiness which Hollywood injected, but there was a lot of seriousness and standardization in the hair as women sought for stability and security. Only by the end of the war, with the influx of baby boomers, and the popular music scene, did hairstyles shoot off the scale. Anything and everything was possible.