Victorian Ladies’ Hairdressers

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Given Victorian women typically grew their hair long and wore it up, they occasionally had use for Victorian ladies’ hairdressers. Sure, these hairdressers gave the women a trim now and then, but most of their work was in styling lengthy tresses for special occasions.

Readers of Regency Romance know ladies’ maids dressed the lady’s hair, styled it for supper in her own home or for an evening at the opera. Well and good enough for all ladies’ maids to be adequately versed in styling a lady’s hair.

But in America, in the 19th century, how did one become a hairdresser? Just by knowing the ways and means?

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers: A Touch of Victorian Humor about Ladies' Hairdressing.

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TRAINING

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Note the Hairdressing training offered in the 19th Century United States:

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Kristin holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. St. Louis Barber College trains barbers and ladies hairdressers. The Decatur Herald of Decatur, Illinois, on September 4, 1895.

St. Louis Barber College trains barbers and ladies hairdressers. The Decatur Herald of Decatur, Illinois, on September 4, 1895.

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PARLORS and SALONS

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This section contains many advertisements from Victorian Ladies’ Hairdressers. Some ads list services or specialty. Others emphasize their willingness to make house calls and dress a woman’s hair in her home. Many of the parlors and salons offered complementary services like manicuring. The clippings are labeled as to publication newspaper and date. Each is listed in order by date, oldest to most recent.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. Miss Baker Hair Dressing Parlors. Detroit Free Press of Detroit, Michigan. November 7, 1880.

Detroit Free Press of Detroit, Michigan, on November 7, 1880.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressing. Oakland Tribune of Oakland, California, on June 19, 1883

Oakland Tribune of Oakland, California, on June 19, 1883.

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Kristin holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressing. Opening of Ladies' Hairdressing Parlors on 240 5th Ave., New York. The New York Times of New York, New York on October 11, 1885.

The New York Times of New York, New York on October 11, 1885.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. Los Angeles Herald of Los Angeles, California, on November 13, 1886.

Los Angeles Herald of Los Angeles, California, on November 13, 1886.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. Strehl's Hair Store: Ladies' Hairdressing, Curling, Shampooing at store or residence.) Chicago Daily Tribune of Chicago, Illinois on March 11, 1888.

Chicago Daily Tribune of Chicago, Illinois on March 11, 1888.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. The Eldridge House barber shop makes Ladies' Hairdressing a specialty. Lawrence Daily Journal of Lawrence, Kansas, on June 29, 1888.

Lawrence Daily Journal of Lawrence, Kansas, on June 29, 1888.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. Mrs. Gervaise Graham is a "beauty doctor". See her for all blemishes or defects of face or figure. Electrolysis to remove superfluous hair. Dark or sallow complexions bleached. Ladies' Hair dyed and bleached by competent artists. Moles, pimples, and blackheads removed. Advertised in San Francisco Chronicle of San Francisco, California. March 9, 1890.

San Francisco Chronicle of San Francisco, California, on March 9, 1890.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. San Francisco Chronicle of San Francisco, California, on March 9, 1890.

San Francisco Chronicle of San Francisco, California, on March 9, 1890.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers | The Salt Lake Tribune of Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 12, 1890.

The Salt Lake Tribune of Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 12, 1890. Note the “baldness cured” and “dealer in human hair” notations. I wonder if curing baldness had anything to do with the proprietor selling the woman a wig?

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. Osawatomie Graphic of Osawatomie, Kansas, on June 3, 1893.

Osawatomie Graphic of Osawatomie, Kansas, on June 3, 1893. Note that this Kansas establishment (1893) is a barber and hairdresser, rolled into one, with “Ladies Hairdressing a  Specialty”.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. The Black Hills Daily Times of Deadwood, South Dakota, on June 27, 1896.

The Black Hills Daily Times of Deadwood, South Dakota, on June 27, 1896. Note that this Deadwood establishment (Ideal Bath House) offers services to men and women, including Ladies’ Hairdressing.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. This Ladies' Hairdressing Parlor includes Manicuring. The San Francisco Call of San Francisco, California, on July 5, 1896.

The San Francisco Call of San Francisco, California, on July 5, 1896. Note that this Ladies’ Hairdressing Parlor offers Manicuring Services for both ladies and gents (the men cost twice as much).

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. Chicago Eagle of Chicago, Illinois on October 5, 1901.

Chicago Eagle of Chicago, Illinois on October 5, 1901. Note the advertisement of electric machine that dries the hair in five minutes.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Ladies' Hairdressers. The Colfax Gazette of Colfax, Washington, on December 20, 1901.

The Colfax Gazette of Colfax, Washington, on December 20, 1901.

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Updated July 2019
Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt LC
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