18th Century Hairdressing Book, 18th century wigs, totally random

Historical Hair Did-You-Know?

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)
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7 Comments

  • Reply Trystan February 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Hmm… I wonder if the guy who contacted me about making a Leonard wig for his dog had one for a dog in the ’60s? Might explain a lot.

  • Reply Saraquill February 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Do you know why Bun wearing was discouraged during the 1860s?

    • Reply kendra February 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      I haven’t looked too far into it, but I’m guessing it’s one of those “crotchety people cranky about the fashions the kids are wearing these days — ‘back in MY day we did it right!'” sort of things.

  • Reply Patience February 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I’m curious too. What did the chignon ever do to the people of the 1860s?

  • Reply Zora February 4, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I’m familiar with monobrows not from the Ottomans, but from the Persian Qajar dynasty (1785-1925). Possibly before then. Persian monobrows tres chic.

  • Reply Jessamyn February 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

    The chignons of the late 1860s and into the ’70s were HUGE. They were impossible to achieve with one’s own hair, and the fashion mags of the time have these weird pages full of levitating disembodied hairpieces. So probably the fake-ness was the biggest complaint. They were also pretty heavy, especially because they were placed at the back of the head rather than the top, so one’s neck is doing all the work to fight gravity – maybe it was an anti-headache campaign!

  • Reply Isis February 7, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I knew about the dildo and teh hairdresser, but not the other stuff. :)

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