The Greek Coiffure, 1866

“This coiffure requires no frisettes, and is both simple and elegant.”

Instructions for a victorian hair style, from 1866

This pretty Victorian hairstyle was pictured in the May 1866 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. This little magazine with its fragile pages contains lots of household tips, love stories, sheet music, and of course fashion. To be honest, when I read this brief set of instructions for the hair style, I did know know what the word “frisettes” meant. I looked it up to find that it is referring to a fringe of curled or frizzed hair that women wore on their foreheads, and which was often artificial. As you can see, there is indeed no such fringe here.

The text on the magazine page is a little hard to read, so I am including the instructions below just in case you would like to give this one a try.

The back hair is tied rather high, and as tightly as possible; it is then divided into two equal portions, which are both plaited. The first is arranged into two loops; the second forms the third loop, and is then twisted round the chignon and fastened underneath. The front hair is disposed in waved bandeaux; if the hair is not sufficiently long and thick to form the plaited coronet with the end of the bandeaux, a false plait is added and fastened on under the chignon.

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