American 1890s Hair Styles

Figure 1.-- This studio portrait show children from an unidentified American famjily in the 1890s. It illustrates hair style trends during the decade. The children look to be about 5-10 years of age. Short hair was standard for boys in the 1890s, but it was also the decade when the Fauntkeroy craze was a major fashion trend. The two younger children have long hair. The boy who wears a Fauntleroy kilt suit has long runglets. Mother has carefully arranged them on his large ruffled collar. The girl wears a plain white dress and her longb hairv is not done in ringlets. This was often the case during the 1890s when mothers often fid not do ringlets for their girls if they did ringlets for the boy. Their older brother had very short hair.

We see a range of hair styles, but short cuts were by far the most common. Short cuts had become fairly standard for boys. We do not see many boys with cropped hair as was common on the Continent. We do see boys with cropped hair, more than in earlier decades, but most boy had at leasr some hair to comb. Large numbers of Europeans emigrated to America in the 1890s. They often had cropped hair. Even immigrant boys arriving with cropped hair soon let their hair grow out, adopting American styles. While cropped hair was not common, relatively short styles were. We see some boys with cropped hair, but not as many as in Europe. Most boys had short hair, but hair long enough to comb and part at the side. Parts were mostly dione at the side. Throughout the 19th century, center parts were primarily fir girls. Bowl cuts were common in rural areas. We also see bangs. Most American boys wore their hair long enough for side parts. The two brothers on the previous page are a good example. Despite the popularity of short hair for boys, the 1890s were the height of popularity for ringlet curls as part of the Fauntleroy craze. In fact they declined somewhat in popularity for girls boys because so many boys, albeit younger boys were wearing them. For much of the 19th century, ringlet curls were primarily a girls' style, except for very young boys. We see older boys with ringlets in the 1890s than was the case before. They were still mostly pre-school boys, although older boys educated at home might have ringlets. Social class was a factor age. Often mothers in the 1890s if they did their boys' hair in ringkets dis not do their girls' hair in ringlets, presumably so the boys woukd not see ringlets as a girls' style. Ringlets while still a minority style were much more common in America than in Europe.


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Created: 6:55 AM 7/22/2013
Last updated: 6:55 AM 7/22/2013