Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hair-Dressing: Side Rolls, Early 1860s

Now that we have several ways to braid the side hair, let's look another prevalent style of the early 1860s: rolls.  These have a lot of visual similarity to the bandeaux of the late '50s (not to mention the basic twist), and sometimes the terms seem almost interchangeable.
Girl sewing by window: The Window Seat (1861) by G. F. Watts.
The Window Seat (1861) by G. F. Watts
The key difference between the roll above and the bands I tried before, is that this time the hair passes under the frizette and then is smoothed up over it, rather than being smoothed down from the scalp over the pad initially. (I'll spare you all my attempts at illustrating this in MS paint unless requested.)  In fact, it's basically the side-twist with a frizette/rat for extra volume.

For this tutorial, I'll be making the low, wide, side roll, as seen above.  I all tried applying the method to a double side roll, but it wanted for neatness, and further experimentation will be required.
1862 Der Bazar illustration showing double side rolls.
Double rolls from Der Bazar, 1862
1. Part the hair Y or T style, and arrange the back as you desire (ideas).

2. Take one bunch of side hair, and smooth it with a little pomade.  I had no pomade, and the neatness of the style suffered for it. Pin the frizette at the point you want the roll to be widest.
Frizette or rat positioned over the side hair.

3. With your hand, smooth the hair up over the frizette.  Run a soft-bristle brush over it as needed.  Though I didn't use any, a few pins stuck into the upper part of the roll (joining the rolled hair to the scalp hair) may be useful to stabilize the structure.
Side hair smoothed over the frizette/rat, creating a single roll.

4. Hold the tail of the hair behind the frizette and give it a twist or two; I find this helpful in preventing the rat from sliding backward.  Bring this excess side hair to the back and arrange it around or under the back hair, tucking in the ends. Secure with pins.
Single side roll.

5. Repeat on the other side.  I attempted to use the same method for the double roll, but found it very difficult to execute, and impossible to make neat.  Further experimentation will be required, but it it helps anyone, here's what I tried:

5.a. Part the side hair horizontally.
Side hair divided into upper and lower sections for use in rolls.
5.b. Fold the top section of the hair over a frizette, making a roll as before.
Upper side hair curled around a rat to create a roll.

5.c. Take the remaining side hair, and make a roll under the previous one.  

Double side roll over rats.

The double rolls just didn't quite work: between a lack of definition at the front, and the difficulty in getting the rats covered (however small I made them or however much hair I tried to put over), I won't be using these without serious revision.  The style's pretty and novel, but only if it's a lot neater. The big side roll is an easy addition to one's repertoire, and I'd highly recommend them.

Photo-credit to Mom, whose help made this about a million times easier.


  1. Maybe lightly teasing the hair before rolling it up. It will give body for the pins to latch on to and cover up the frizettes things.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try.


Thanks for commenting!