This post is for Lynn, who writes American Age Fashion, a blog dedicated to a usually neglected topic: “what older American women wore, 1900 to now.” (Lynn does not have white hair, but I do.)
Here is the accompanying text:
“If there is any poetry in hair, it exists quite as truly in the silver tresses of our mothers as in the much-lauded golden and Titian tints.
“Because hair is gray does not mean that it has lost its beauty. On the contrary, many a woman finds white hair her crowning glory, while the possibilities for becoming arrangement provided by present styles allow her to appear quite as well coiffured as any younger woman. A variety of ways in which she may arrange her hair is shown.
“A coil at the back or top of the head, where [when] the hair is worn parted, has all of the charm of such simple arrangement, while the braid-coil is equally pleasing.
“Many find the pompadour becoming, and the short bangs curled across the forehead are not only fashionable but very softening in effect.
“A few puffs may be prettily arranged at the top or back of the head.
“Thin hair may be matched and supplemented with a braid, some curls, or bangs.
“As to adornments which the elderly woman may use, gray combs, a simple knot of ribbon, or small jetted ornaments are always in good taste.”
Women needed a huge mass of hair to fill in under — and sometimes to support — the gigantic hats of 1910.
Although my hair is both white and long, I have never had that much hair!
Neither did they.
Hair Goods for Big Hairstyles
Buying a switch on approval guaranteed you could return it if the color didn’t match.
By brushing your own hair over a frame like the Hairlight Turbanette, or a “rat” or pad made by stuffing your own hair combings into a hairnet, a huge pompadour could be created.
“The ‘fullness’ of this headdress is produced by the “Puffer-Fluffer,’ $10.” Also available: Billie Burke curls, Pompon curls, Daphne Puffs, the new Turban Braid… “Gray and extra shades cost 50% more.” [edited 12/16/18 — I should have put that in boldface, because several ads had the same “gray hair costs more” message in the fine print.]
Hair Styles for Young and Old
I wondered whether the hair styles for gray haired women were different from those for younger women and girls. Of course, only young girls and early teens wore their hair down:
But women in the prime of life certainly did wear huge pompadours, sometimes with bangs, braids, puffs, etc.
Often the hair style was necessary to the hat styles:
In this advertisement, left, a woman is working in her kitchen, in a hair style that is in fashion, but of a believable size. I suspect that the woman on the right is also wearing a practical, everyday style — which may be all her own hair.
Speaking of working women — these nurses show that big hair was also worn with tiny nurses caps!