Monday, June 22, 2015

Hair-dressing: 1862 Side Braids With Rolls

It's time for another hair post; let's look at those lovely face-framing side braids of the early 1860s. This is one of my staple styles for ACW: the braids make for a stable base, and it's the first arrangement for which I found actual period instructions.

September, 1862 issue of Godey's (picture on page 226, description on page 311).
"New Style of Arranging the Hair", page 226 of Godey's, September 1862

"New Style of Arranging Front Braids", page 311 of Godey's, September 1862

Braids with Rolls, original method:

Step 1: T-part the hair and put the back into your favorite low bun/chignon (see "Basic Hairstyle", steps 1-5).

Step 2: Brush the side hair out from the temples, as for a roll. (see "Basic Hairstyle", first pic of step 6).

Step 3: Braid the side hair, keeping the top as loose as possible.
Braiding the side hair for an 1862 hairstyle.

Step 4: Twist the braid back, forming the roll.  A brush and pomade may be useful
Twisting the side braid into a roll.
I neglected to use pomade at this step, and things got a bit untidy.
Step 5: Coil the braid around the bun, tucking in the ends, and pinning it in place. 
Taking the side braid to the back.

Although that is the period method, I've never been able to get a really nice roll from it.  Here's my slight variation, which seems to get the desired effect a little easier.

Alternate Step 3: Give the brushed hair a one or two twists "up" (ie, clockwise when twisting the left side, CCW on the right). 
Twisting the side hair.

Alternate Step 4: Holding the roll in place, braid the hair below it.
Braiding the front side hair.

Alternate Step 5:  Twist the roll again, if needed, until desired shape is achieved.  Then take the braid to the back and pin it in place.
Side braid with roll above.

Here's the front view:
Side braids with rolls, two methods.
Viewer's Right: Roll & braid from period method
Viewer's Left: Roll & braid from my variant.
Back chignon with braids wrapped around.
The back, of course, is it's usual twisted mess of braids.

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