Victorians took their hair seriously: “Want Good Hair?” asked Godey’s Lady’s Book (1861). Throughout the nineteenth century, much advice circulated in magazines, newspapers, and cook books regarding how to cleanse hair (long before shampoo was invented), use of combs, whether or not to cut kids’ hair and more!
Victorian-Americans had several ideas about the common trouble of headaches– what caused the malady, what might help once a headache became entrenched, and perhaps why women suffer headaches differently than men.
Because I suffer from severe chronic headaches, I’ve often wondered what our Victorian-American ancestors did when they suffered a headache (migraine, tension headaches, etc.). What was science’s answer in the late nineteenth century? With so much primary historical information to share, I’ve prepared an eleven-part blog article series covering this fascinating subject.
This is Part 1: Why I write about headaches in in the Victorian Era United States and why hats may be to blame.
If you had to guess, would you suppose that petroleum jelly (specifically, Vaseline brand) was a nineteenth century “invention”? Too late? Too early? Pick a year, any year. Then open this article. Prepare to be amazed!
Similar in nature to the nineteenth century confidence in Phrenology as an indicator of personality and character, this descriptive (short) chapter from a barber’s manual from turn of the century (circa 1900) illustrates the Victorian-era suggestion that hair color is indicative of character. Did Mr. Bridgeford, Barber College teacher, accurately connect your hair’s nature to your personality traits?
Though women wore their hair (for the most part) very long during the Victorian era, they still “styled” their hair with curls and bangs (false or real), twists, braids, updos of all kinds… Vintage newspaper articles illustrate women’s hair fashions of the late Victorian era.