V60: 1770s Hair Notes

Today’s post is a page out of my dress journal.  I went through a great many images, a lot of them fashion plates, and broke down the various parts of the big 1770s hair styles made so famous by Marie Antoinette.  Here are my notes:

(click for a larger size)

If you can’t read my chicken scratch handwriting (and sometimes I can’t either), here are the themes I noted:

  • Poufed front
  • Looped or braided ponytail in back
  • Side curls low, under the ears *always*
  • The sides of the pouf are sometimes twisted into vertical rolls, carried upwards

Here again are some helpful hair “clip ins” illustrated by Diderot:

Some of these are a lot easier to make than others – for instance, the basic switches on the left side are a breeze, but the vertical stick-in rolls are much harder, though once created would be SO much easier to use than trying to roll your own hair or wig.  I’ve been experimenting with making these hair pieces, but have much more to do, so more on that later ….


  • Anonymous

    February 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Thank you, I love 1770s hair! It's just so fantastically crazy.
    I've been meaning to try one of these, but it's hard to find a good excuse to wear a pouf, especially with the unfriendly weather we're having right now.
    Your notes are very clear and your handwriting is perfectly legible. These hairstyles are becoming less and less daunting, so I will definitely be trying a pouf soon.

    Some of those clip in illustrations look disturbingly alive, like they should be growing on the ocean floor.

    • Lauren R

      March 1, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      They DO look like sea creatures! eek! lol. It helps to sortof break things down like this, even though it's still hard to get these shapes. Velcro rollers help tremendously in making the rolls, just be sure to get them in a color to match your hair, or dye them using RIT.

  • Sharon

    March 1, 2012 at 5:16 AM

    Good analysis! Yes the "ponytail" portion of the pouf is always braided and/or looped up a la Cadogan. We don't see curls trailing loosely down the back until the hedgehog. Good observation.

    • Lauren R

      March 1, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      That loop seems like the simplest part, but can be quite hard to get right. Mine always end up looking weird, but I suppose they would have had the same issues back then too

    • Lauren R

      March 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      !! I think you linked me to this before, and I saved it to my hard drive but then I've forgotten about it! Argh. Yes, these are amazing resources. Thank you for reminding me!

  • ZipZip

    March 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    This is terrific!! Love the name "a la Cadogan" for the looped-up style. Loops persisted into the 1790s. I use a very long clip-in ponytail to achieve it, hiding it among the back curls.

    Very best,



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