Sunday, 26 February 2017

Hairdressing in the 1780s

Unknown Lady, John Smibert, 1781

Augustus Keppel: 1781-83
This advert appeared in the Bath Chronicle in 1781.

A bag wig gathered the back hair in a black silk bag,

There are no unambiguously labelled eighteenth-century illustrations of a bob wig but it is understood to have been a wig with short tight curls at the bottom.



Of course, all wigs would be worn powered even if they were already grizzled.

Cushions were used to pad out ladies hair to help build the higher and fuller styles which were fashionable throughout the eighteenth century.

Number 3 today


By the end of the decade, Bally had moved the business to his own house in Burton Street

1 Burton Street Today
For a man to have his hair cut and dressed cost 1s 6d or about £111 at today's values.

It is worth noting the distinction and price difference between a ladies hair being dressed for the morning or fully dressed for appearing at a formal public event.


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