A try on 18th century hair

Today I’m back with a little picture series on how I tried out an 18th century hairstyle. First of all: Those pictures were taken pretty spontaneously so please excuse the background and my weird faces.

First of all: Pomade and Powder.

After many, many tries to make authentic 18th century pomade with leaf lard and suet, I decided to stop that. I always had problems with the fats going rancid pretty fast after washing them. I tried many versions of cleaning the fat but nothing really worked.
If you happen to live in the US you can get ‘desodorized’ leaf lard which is perfect for using in pomade because it is odorless. And this is what you want in your pomade. Odorless fats.
It seems impossible to get this kind of fat in austria so I had to make a new plan.

And then I was told, that I should try a pomade with coconut fat. A little google search later I bought desodorized coconut fat and I started making a small batch of vegetarian coconut pomade.

I used 100g of deodorized coconut fat, 5g of white beeswax and melted it over hot water, let it cool down a bit and added 10 drops of essential oil. I used a sweet orange oil but you can use whatever you like! Then I poured the warm pomade into a sterilized glass and let it cool down.
The pomade smells really nice but not too strong and I really like it.

A day later when I opened the glass I saw little droplets on the surface of the pomade. I wiped them away and saw that those were oily. A day later there were again droplets but I let them sit on the surface. In the evening they were gone so I suppose it has something to do with temperature.
I think it would be best to store the pomade in a very cool and dark place or maybe even freeze it. I also have no idea how long the pomade is usable so you should always make a smell and maybe even patch test on your arm to see if your body is okay with the pomade.

And now we’re finally going to talk about the hair! I usually wash my hair every 5-7 days depending on my weekend and if I have to go out. I was on day 6 so my scalp was already a bit greasy. I sectionned my hair in four parts and started with applying pomade. I warmed it between my hands and rubbed it into my hair and finally combed it with a fine comb to catch every single hair. This process took me only 12 minutes for my super long hair.

Then I started applying my hair powder. PLEASE make sure to have nothing in the near are because it will get super powdery. And don’t wear black as I did. My clothes were grey afterwards.

I used a big old powder brush, dipped it in the powder and started applying it from the root down and combed with a wide tooth comb so that it did not get super tangled. This took me about 45 minutes for my whole head and my desk was a mess afterwards. But my hair was amazing! I had so much volume and it still felt pretty lightweight.
I was amazed at how little pomade I used but how much of the powder went into my hair. The glass on my table was about 2/3 full and after powdering it was almost empty.

I really would recommend getting someone to help with the process. It was hard to apply to powder at the back of my head and I think it would go even faster if you have help. Also for making the hairstyle itself it would be MUCH easier to have someone helping you especially at the back.

I first only wanted to try out pomading and powdering it but I had so much fun that I decided to test out a hairstyle real’ quick. I used the ski slope hair cushion made with the American Duchess Guide to 18th century beauty. I pinned it on my head like they tell you in the book and started pinning up my hair. Since my fine comb was missing at this stage (I found it later under that amazon box unter my desk lol) I decided to just stuff my hair into the middle of the hair cushion to see how the shape of the hair cushion looks on my head. And I think I’m okay with it.
If I had help I would’ve tried out making those cute rolls on the back of my head but I was alone so it was not the neatest try.
Since I wanted to use that hair cushion for my Marie Antoinette I still have to test out the hairstyle more but for that I need someone to help. And the exhibition got postponed to 2021 so I have lots of time left to get the perfect Marie Antoinette hair!

As you can see the hair cushion was pretty dirty after using it and I don’t really know how I should clean it..maybe I should throw it in the washing machine and hope for the best 😀

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