V201: How To Make a Hedgehog Hairstyle With Your Own Hair

The late 18th century “hedgehog” hairstyle is one of the easiest coifs to create, though is can seem daunting at first.  You can create this style on wigs or hairpiece, but also on your very own hair, and here’s how:

You will need:

  • Chin-length or longer hair  (if you are using your real hair)
  • Setting lotion (like Lotta Body)
  • Curlers
  • A variety of brushes
  • Teasing comb or brush
  • Hairspray
  • Hair extension


1) First, curl your hair.  I find that a wet-set works the best because you want a very strong, tight curl.  Wrap your hair in the smallest curlers you have, then let it dry – sleep on it, or sit under a hood dryer until completely dry all the way through the curl.


2) Brush out the curls – I start with a regular brush with plastic brushy-bits, but then to go super fluffy, I use a bristle brush.

3) Next, start teasing/back combing your hair.  I like to use either a teasing bristle brush, or a rat-tail comb.  The goal here is to tease the base of the hair, and leave the curly ends in tact.  You are forming a matted, full rat over your scalp, upon which the curls will rest.

For big-ass volume, you can use rats, bump-its, or any height-inducing device, and work your hair over it.   Be sure to spray the heck out your hedgehog – upside down works great, to maintain height.

Tease, and add an extension

4) Lastly, pin or clip in an extension piece, for the long tail ladies often wore with hedgehog styles.  I like to use hanks of ponytail hair, or braid hair, found at Sally Beauty Supply (any local beauty supply will have them).  You can go for a single curl, a double curl on each side, a cadogan loop (you need very long braid hair for this), two straight hanks on each side, a straight hank down the back – lots of possibilities and opportunities to customize your ‘hog.

The Finished Look

5) Now add your hat, head wrap, flowers, giant bow, whatever you like, and you’re done!


  • Jennifer Rosbrugh

    July 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Sponge curlers ROCK for getting the body you need for historical hairstyles. I like to also spray my wet hair with a curling gel as I'm rolling for staying power for my fine, straight hair.

  • Unknown

    July 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    This is a fabulous tutorial! I am definitely going to buy some of those mini rollers! And the final pictures at the end are wonderful, you look just like the subject of a Reynolds or Gainsborough painting!

  • Anonymous

    July 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    For very tight curls no matter how short or long your hair, try rag curls. Use the rag like you would a roller wrapping your hair around the middle of the rag and tying the ends together in a knot. Can't tell you just how tight the curl will turn out, but every time I do rag curls, my hair looks like an afro when combed! Women have been curling their hair with rags for centuries.

  • BeckyK

    July 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I use a "wrapping" spray from the ethic section, I forget what it's called but it works ok, little crunchy though. I'm going to have to find some Lotta Body. Does teasing your hair that much damage it? I have really fine hair and breakage is a concern. Also, tip for getting the curls out once you are done: spray with leav-in conditioner then gently brush or comb through, but don't sleep in the hair-do without a silk scarf covering it, you will be visiting the hairdresser for a cut to get out the matts!

  • AuntieNan

    September 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    WOW — I am just discovering your site and having so much fun reading your tips and tricks. Very impressive and beautiful clothes… hair… and model!
    One more trick… instead of foam or rag curlers, which are the best, but can take longer to dry, get some super-narrow perm rods and roll up your hair in the smallest bits you have patience for. GREAT for those areas where you want fullness, like behind the looser front curls you'll be anchoring.

    ALSO, with rats… there is nothing like an old knee-high stocking. Get one close to your hair color and stuff it with hair bits — comb-outs, cheap Sally Beauty locks, etc. Easy to pin in place and holds its shape!
    Nancy N

  • Holly1983

    March 28, 2021 at 6:15 AM

    This looks great on you, but …Wouldn't this only work with hair that is medium length? I have waist length, very fine straight hair and I suspect this wouldn't work on me. Curls flop out almost immediately on me, no matter how much product I use. I think I will have to get a wig for this style.

    • admin

      May 16, 2021 at 5:55 AM

      You’re quite right. Very long hair won’t work for the frizzed hairstyle. You can use your long hair for the chignon in back, but a separate hairpiece plopped on top is the way to go for getting the fluffy look.

    • Duchess of the New World

      June 19, 2022 at 6:46 AM

      I had the same problem with curls since I also have straight hair, but I decided to cut it into small layers and leave the bottom along and I have great curls.

  • Spirals

    December 16, 2022 at 9:09 PM

    I suppose natural curl is a plus. If I brush it out I get the frizzy, pouffy, floaty texture. I could take all but a small section of it roll it under at the nape, making sure to create a big balloon of hair in the process. The section left out, tightly curled with an iron, would fall about waist (overall length is tailbone).

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