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Trendy hairstyles and hairstyling techniques have been around for centuries, but have you ever wondered what getting ready in the morning was like for an upper-class woman in the 19th century? These women would spend time getting ready for the day in their dressing room or toilette, where they would pomade, powder, and decorate their hair with elaborate curls and ornaments. A popular style of the 1830s was the a la Chinoise (ah la shen-wahs’). This hairstyle included parting the hair in the middle and pulling it smoothly to the temples where it was arranged in hanging sausage-shaped curls, in plaits, or with a loop of hair encircling the ears. At the back, hair was pulled into a bun or chignon which, during this time, was also called an apollo knot. After researching, testing historical hairstyling products, and recreating the hairstyle, I determined what practices could be duplicated for theatrical production

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hairstyling, wig styling, 1830s, 18th century, 19th century, flowerpot hairstyle, a la chinoise hairstyle, 19th century fashion, 1830s fashion, wigs and makeup, theatre, costuming, costume, costume design, hair design


Theatre and Performance Studies


This research is funded through the College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity Fund.

The Use of 19th Century Hairstyling, Techniques, and Products for Theatrical Production