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The French woman's coiffure is always perfect. She prides herself greatly on the neatness of her hair. The first thing she does in the morning after she has her bath is to attend to her tresses. If she does not command the services of a maid, she herself becomes an expert in the art of hair-dressing, and when she has once exercised her skill it is impossible to find fault with her completed work. She always carefully studies her features and her hair is arranged to emphasize the good points and conceal the defects, if there are any. If she be tall and thin and long of face, she does not twist her locks in a close knot on the top of her head to exaggerate the length of her features. On the contrary, she fluffs it a bit and does the back in a becoming twist at the base of the neck.
The art of hairdressing has reached a degree of perfection unprecedented for many a day, and fashionable women depend more upon the attainment of an effective coiffure to add to their style and beauty than upon the clothes they wear.
Just now the various hairdressers have decided that simplicity shall be the keynote during the coming season. High arrangements have the preference, but many types are obliged to continue with low, it being the best suited to certain faces. The second important feature us the wave, which is more in evidence than ever.
Most persons think the Marcel wave is an improved art of expert hair-dressers, prohibitive to those outside their reach, but in this they are mistaken for it by made perfectly by oneself after a little practice and more patience. Women of moderate means who cannot afford the services of a professional every time they want their hair waved have learned to transform obstinate locks into lovely tresses and the process is not so difficult after all. This is how it is done: First of all the hair must be in perfect condition to retain the impression of the curling iron. Immediately after a shampoo is not a good time to wave the hair, as it will not remain in curl for more than twenty-four hours. About the third day after the hair has been washed and carefully rinsed to be sure all the soap has been thoroughly removed, the heat of the iron will make a far deeper wave and one that will not disappear for several days.
To make the full head wave, or in other words to wave the hair back and front, brush the locks well and part in small sections, crosswise of the head. Take a thin strand, place it between the tongs and twist half way round, at the same time protecting the head from the heat by a long toothed comb. Give the tongs several quick snaps to allow the hot air to escape and to strengthen the crease in the wave. Remove the tongs and place about two inches from the first wave and repeat the movement. Always be sure the hair is half way on the iron and hold very firmly at the start. Treat the next strand in the same manner until you have placed three waves entirely around the head. Do not try to wave too much of the hair at one time. It is far better to devote a few more moments and do the work properly by waving very thin strands at a time.
Perhaps the greatest aim in the present mode of hairdressing is to obtain a natural effect. The hair is the frame of the face and should be adjusted as naturally as possible. If a Pompadour best suits the face, it is considered fashionable; so, too, is a part in the middle or on the side. It would be altogether inappropriate to wear the hair combed close to the head in the period of fluffy costumes. Harmony must be considered in all matters of dress is one would appear perfectly groomed.
One of the prettiest and most generally becoming modes of arranging the hair displays the fluffy V-shaped Pompadour covering well the center of the forehead. To adjust the hair in this manner the back hair must be separated from the front. Fluff the hair with the corset end of the comb just enough to make it retain a certain firmness, twist the ends and secure with a wire hairpin. Comb the back hair to the top of the head and insert a wide back-comb before the twist is begun. This will preserve the wave, whereas if the twist is made before, it is almost impossible to form any kind of knot or plait without drawing the hair too tightly at one side or the other.
For the matron there is no prettier way of dressing the hair than the ondulée bandeau coiffure, which consists of a part in the center and loose coil at the back of the crown. The hair is first waved and held back at the sides with combs. The soil may be form of two or three puffs, or it may be a figure eight. The one particular mode of hairdressing in vogue at the present time is known as the coronet braid. With this a Pompadour or part may be worn. The back hair is carried to the neck and plaited, the braid is brought round the head and secured at the nape of the neck. When ends are sufficiently long they are done in three puffs and held by long pins; otherwise a false piece is pinned to the end of the braid. Or if the hair is not long enough to extend around the head after it has been braided, it may be rolled at the back of the neck and the false braid supplied. Nowadays women are not sensitive about wearing hair not their own and scarcely a complete coiffure is noticed that does not contain a false puff, curl or braid. The coronet is brought sometimes only halfway round the head while a series of puffs are used on the side when the braid does not appear.
An attractive design which is suitable alike maiden and matron displays two full puffs just back of the Pompadour and a short braid coiled from one side and extending across the back to the opposite side, where it is concealed under the puffs. The all-round braid also holds a prominent place in the newest modes of hair arrangement.
Perhaps for the simplest back dressing for the hair, which may be called generally popular is the loose round roll ending in two tiny curls at the back of the head. A wide comb supports the wave and short locks. Sometimes by way of variety the comb will be instead lengthwise and a curl will fall on either side.
She who is her own hairdresser will find it twice as easy to gain pleasing results in the arrangement of her hair if she provides herself with a triplicate folding mirror. Place the mirror at the side of a window so that the light reflected will be as strong as that coming directing from the window.
Note: This article was taken from a 1905 issue of The Designer. We have not tried any of the instructions listed here and cannot vouch for the safety and/or effectiveness of them. Across the Ages is not held responsible for any property or personal injury inflicted when using these instructions.
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