Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hairstyling: Braids for a Young Lady, 1860

Here's another variant of the side-braided style, this one with additional crossed braids at the back rather than a chignon. I believe it's from the July 1860 issue of Godey's.*
"Coiffure for a Young Lady", Godey's, July 1860
"Coiffure for a Young Lady":
Side-braided hairstyle with crossed back braids.
Not having access to the original magazine, I can't refer to the description of the hairstyle, and am thus using the image alone as a guide. I'm trying it with three-strand braids, though 5 or more strands could be fun.

Step 1: Part the hair down the center, as usual, and then part it again behind the ears.  Do not combine the back sections, but keep four distinct bunches of hair.

Hair parted in quarters.
Hair divided into four sections.
Step 2: Braid the two back bunches of hair, starting the plaits close to the scalp.

Step 3: Brush each side bunch outward, and braid it from the temple.
Front braids for an 1860 hairstyle.
The braids need to start very close to the head.
  Step 4: Let the side braid fall down along the face, then take it underneath the back braid on its same side and across the back of the head. 
Front braid tucked under back braid.
Front braid goes under back braid.
Step 5: Pin the braid to the opposite side of the head, tucking the ends underneath the opposite back braid. My hair ended up being too long for this, so the braid was looped around the top of the opposite back one, and doubled back.

Front braids pinned across the back of the head.
Side braids crossed and tucked in.
Step 6: Take the back braids to the outside of the side braid (allowing it to fall straight down over the side braid), and then cross it to the other side and pin, once again tucking the ends under. Or, in my case, doubling back along the length of the braid and then tucking in the tails.

Back braids taken to the outside and crossed.

Step 7: Voila
1860 Godey's "Coiffure for a Young Lady"

This is definitely a style good for moderate to long hair rather than very long.  Braids just-past-the-shoulders through mid-back should make for a nice, tidy style.  Waist-length hair, as demonstrated above, just gets too bulky for neatness, and the beauty of the style is lost.

*The illustration is attributed to "Godey's 1861" on various modern sites, but I've checked that whole year of Godey's, and it's not present.  Rather, I believe it to be from volume 61 of Godey's (July-December 1860), based on this index, which lists the two named illustrations on consecutive pages; the image of this "coiffure" appearing on page 4 of the July 1860 issue, and a description of it follows on page 95.  Neither Google Books nor Internet Archive has the 1860 run of the magazine, however, so I can't confirm this.

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