Monday, 30 November -0001

How to Create a Victorian Inspired Updo

Each month Sarah Dunn, owner of Sarah's Doo-Wop Dos will show you how to create a look from a different era. We're starting with the Victorian and working our way through!

Written by Sarah Dunn
Hair-Mar06-06-176Victorian women considered their hair their crowning glory so why not add a little Victorian elegance to your look.

Vintage hair styling requires several things; patience, nimble fingers and a few select styling products. In my line of work as a freelance vintage hair stylist, make-up artist and owner of Sarah's Doo-Wop Dos, I regularly create many different looks from different eras for my customers, so the tips I'm sharing in this article are thoroughly tried and tested!

Step 1: Start by curling your hair. You will want to use a small barrelled curling tong to create a really tight, ringlet style curl. Victorian women grew their hair very long, meaning they could do a lot with it and so styles tended to be big and intricate. In stark contrast to our sleek, modern styles, hair was pulled back and worn up. Women would rarely cut their hair so oils where brushed through the hair to keep it in good condition and these long locks would be braided to protect them at night.

Step 2: Once the hair is all curled you can start to create some volume for the style by teasing the roots neatly with a rat-tail comb. The fashion of the era was for complicated piles of curls so hair was worn high!


Step 3: With the front section, create a quiff (also known as a pompadour.) Don't make it too neat though, these styles had a soft feel to them.


Step 4: Victorian styles are complicated and often incorporated plaits and buns. Some upper class Victorian women would add in false hairpieces to make their hair look fuller and help create the styles that were fashionable at the time. Here I have added a fake ponytail. I have backcombed it to give more of a bun shape and have placed it into the centre of the style to create extra volume for the look.


Step 5: Once the false hair is securely in pace you can start arranging the curls around it. Building up the style, keep the curl placement a little haphazard so it looks soft and doesn't get too flat. Try letting some of the curls fall softly around the face, framing it. This was another popular trend in Victorian hairstyling.

Step 6: Ornate clips, combs and ribbon were often worn in the hair during this era to add decoration. However, to finish off this look I have gone for a more Steampunk/burlesque feel and added a mini top hat for a modern twist on the style.


Article, hair and make-up: Sarah Dunn, owner of Sarah's Doo-Wop Dos

Model: Liz

Photography: Jez Brown

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