So why haven’t I been sewing or blogging much the past six months or so? Because I’ve been working my butt off on the 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling book! I’ve done tons of research and found some things that I think will surprise everyone, and I’ve been making wigs and styling hair up the wazoo. The book is mostly written, and I’ve done about 3/4 of the styles/modeling sessions. What’s next? Finishing up the styles/modeling, finishing up the book, and raising money to get it printed!
Want to Know More About the Book?
You can read a summary and table of contents, and see some images of some of the styles, on the book website! I’ll be posting here and on Facebook as well with more photos and information.
Why Should I Pre-Order a Copy?
You can save $5 off the finished price, opt for some nice perks (like a custom wig, or a personalized styling session) — and most importantly, you’ll help make the book as fabulous as it can be. If I reach my funding goal during the month of January, I’ll be able to publish the book I envision — about 250 pages, tons of history and research, and 25 hairstyles, all with quality paper and binding. If I don’t reach my funding goal, I’ll still be printing the book, but I’ll probably have to do one or more of the following: shorten the page count, which means cutting some of the history/research and/or one or more hairstyle; and/or use less quality paper and/or binding.
If I go OVER my funding goal, then I’ll be able to license some really fabulous images of artworks from museums, which will add some really useful info to the book — especially those elusive back views of hair!
How Do I Pre-Order?
At my Indiegogo project page:
Help Me Get the Word Out There!
Share this blog post! Post one or more of these images! Link to the book website, Facebook page, and/or Indiegogo page! I need your help to get the word out there and make this book happen fabulously!
For people who are interested in the book I am working on — 18th C. Hair & Wig Styling: History & Step-by-Step Techniques:
I need your input on a few questions! Could you fill out a quick survey (3 questions!) that will help me determine pricing and binding?
It’s really really happening — the 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling: History & Step-by-Step Techniques book project is really starting to take shape! About half of the text is written, all of the historical images have been sourced, and I’m starting to line up models and buy supplies.
Here’s the blurb I’ve written up that summarizes the project:
18th Century Hair & Wig Styling: History & Step-by-Step Techniques is a book that combines meticulous research with easy to follow instructions that will help you create historically accurate hairstyles of the 18th century. The book includes a detailed history of men’s and women’s hair from 1700 to 1799: which styles were worn when, as well as how hair and wigs were styled. It provides practical techniques for styling hair and wigs that will be useful to anyone who wants to learn more about historical hairstyling, from beginners to advanced users. Step-by-step instructions show how to create 25 individual hairstyles — 22 for women, and 3 for men — that span the century, and suggestions are included for ways to vary the different styles.
The historical overview provides equal, in-depth coverage of men’s and women’s hairstyles and wigs from 1700 to 1799, focusing on France, Great Britain, and the American colonies/United States. The techniques will similarly be useful for both men’s and women’s styles. While a good deal of historical styling information is included, the emphasis is on modern methods and products that will achieve a historically accurate look.
This book is perfect for historical costumers and theater/film designers and craftspeople who want to create authentic-looking 18th century hairstyles and wigs. It will also provide a solid foundation and fun jumping-off point for anyone who wants to create historically-influenced fantasy styles!
I’ll be posting lots of info here, but the best way to keep up to date on the project is to follow the Facebook page and website:
Please help me get the word out about the project and share these links!
In doing research for my 18th century hair/wig-styling book, I’m coming across a lot of weird and/or hilarious bits of info that aren’t going to fit into the book. So this is just a random accumulation of bits and bobs that are making me laugh!
Did you know…
- “Dildo” was a 17th century term for the sausage corkscrew curl of a man’s wig
- In the 1860s there was an attempt to scare women off of wearing their hair in chignons by claiming there was a particular “chignon fungus” you could catch by wearing that hairstyle
- There was a Russian hairdresser working in London in the 18th century named Ivan Peter Alexis Knoutscheffschlerwitz
- There were dog wigs marketed in the 1960s
- Mono-brows were fashionable in classical Roman times as well as in the Arab world (not sure exactly which periods, but I know it was fashionable in the Ottoman Empire in the 17th-18th century)
Thanks SO much to everyone who gave me your feedback on the idea of an 18th century hair/wig-styling book! I got a TON of positive, useful feedback and I really think it’s viable, so I am going to go for it!
I’m still crunching the data I gathered on the survey, and exploring options for images. I’ve ordered myself a practice mannequin so I can work out the specific styles I want to do.
And there are some things I want to do a bit more research on, like caps — how ubiquitous were they? Etc.
I even appreciate those who said they WOULDN’T buy the book, because that’s helpful to know! It seems like those few are more interested in a book on 18th century techniques, which I agree are interesting, but I just don’t see myself (or the bulk of costumers/theater people) wanting to make pomade out of beef tallow and setting curls by baking hair on clay curlers in ovens. It just doesn’t sound viable. I’ll certainly be researching how they did it, and including information about that in the book.
My goal is to have the book ready to go for Costume College 2013!
And — what I’m going to do is use Kickstarter, which is a site that allows people to fund a project. You can donate $1 or $500, depending on the various levels that I set it at. Obviously I will have the basic “donation” be a discounted price on the book, and you’ll get a copy of the book at this discounted rate for pre-funding the project. This way I can figure out the cost of the book and essentially pre-sell it… And the way Kickstarter works is that you figure out what your funding goal is, and if you don’t make that goal, nobody’s credit cards get charged — so basically you’d be buying the book, but if for any reason I can’t get enough people to buy a copy and the project falls through, you wouldn’t be out a cent.
So my plan is do more research and figure out hairstyles over the next couple of months, and hopefully do the real work with photography and writing over winter/spring. I won’t start the Kickstarter pre-sale until I have things pretty firmly lined up with a finish date — so when a lot of the writing is done and I’m starting to work with models, and have a firm end date in site. So, watch this space for lots more updates!
So, a potentially crazy idea… A conversation at Costume College got me thinking about the possibility of writing a book on 18th century hairstyling (and makeup?) — using modern techniques to achieve a historically accurate look, working with your own hair, adding false hair, and wigs. Now, this could be a lot of work, so it wouldn’t really be worth the time unless people would buy it.
Here’s what I picture:
- Something along the line of Lauren Rennells’ fabulous book on vintage hairstyling
- Start with some history, include lots of pictures and source material (if possible? gotta look into that whole public domain images thing)
- Go over some basic your-hair styling techniques, like ways to curl your hair, tease, etc.
- Go over some semi-advanced wig/false hair styling techniques, like different ways to curl/straighten synthetic hair, ways to create volume, ways to create rolls, how to attach wigs/false hair to your head, how to match colors, how to not look like you’re wearing a Wig, how to adapt a wig for different hairlines, etc.
- Step by step instructions that walk you through hairstyle for different eras — I picture 1-2 styles for each decade, with some info on variations
- Hairstyles would be those worn in France and England (there’s some differences b/t the two, and lots of similarities) — the English stuff could be extrapolated to those doing American
- Possibly 1-2 styles that are appropriate for lower/middle classes, but most would be upper class styles — I would talk about ways to tone things down if you’re doing middle class
- Mostly I’m picturing this focusing on women, but it could also talk about men’s styles
- Possibly including some brief info on creating an 18th c. makeup look using modern products
So, crazy idea or good one? I’ve created a survey that I’d love if you would fill out so I can try to figure out 1) if there’s a market for such a thing, and 2) what specifics people would want. Please feel free to share any thoughts in the survey or by commenting here — I wonder if people are concerned about geography, class, etc…. And my forte is NOT “here’s how this recipe from this 1764 beauty manual makes up,” so again, we’d be talking modern/theatrical techniques — would that work for you?
Please feel free to forward this survey around! The more input I get, the clearer an idea I’ll have as to whether or not this is a viable idea.
Here’s the survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KDVJZY7
And, in case you aren’t a regular reader of this blog, here’s some examples of hairstyles and wigs that I’ve done:
(C) Aimee Major
(C) Aimee Major
(C) Aimee Major
I made the woman’s wig, on the right. (C) Guillermo Garcia