Monday, 30 November -0001

How to Create an Edwardian Look

Written by Sarah Dunn
Hair-Mar06-06-176Vintage 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!

This style is based on the 'Gibson Girl' often seen in artwork from the Edwardian Era. She was depicted as a tall, graceful woman with a huge, swirl of hair entwined around her head.

Step 1: To re-create this style, start by working a little mousse through you hair, and then curl your hair with a curling tong. The mousse will help it hold. Our model has slightly wavy hair already, however, waving tongs were available to fashionable ladies of the time or those with the money to spend could have their hair permanently waved.


Step 2: Rough the curls up a bit by running your fingers through them to loosen them. It helps to have a little dab of pomade on your fingers as you do this to control the any frizz. Create yourself a deep side parting before continuing styling.

Step 3: Create a brace of hairgrips in a horseshoe shape around the back of your head. During the era, hairgrips were used in the same way they are today to keep complex styles in place.


Step 4: Tease the front part of the hair to create a little volume in the section. Women in the Edwardian era would often use this technique to create the fullness of the popular styles. Alternatively they used a hair 'rat' which was a rolled hair piece, similar to the synthetic ones we can buy in shops today. The difference, however, was that these were made from the person's own hair!

Step 5: To create a bit of height around your face, twist the section of hair and pin it securely in place. The pompadour style was hugely popular for women at the time so hair was worn high and could be dressed with a curl or wave. Here I have simplified it to create a more wearable style that is still full of body.


Step 6: Starting in the middle of the back section, take the curls and roll them up to the line of hair grips and pin each part securely in place with more grips until it all forms a horseshoe shape. Keep this a little hap-hazard as this style looks better if it's not too neat and regimented. Woman of the time may have added an extra piece of hair in the form of a pre-styled wig in order to give fullness to the style.


Step 7: Once you reach the other side, twist the other section of hair by the face and secure it in place, hiding the end neatly to finish. Although I haven't used any this time, accessories were popular at the time, with fresh flowers, ribbon, feather and ornate hats often seen adorning the hair.



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

Model: Lily Jane

Photography: Jez Brown,

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