The Evolution Of Victorian Era Hair Care

These days, it feels as though there’s always so much to do to keep your hair in top condition. You need to use the right shampoos and conditioners, the right protective treatments for heat styling, and more. That’s not even mentioning dying and cutting hair too.

Back in the Victorian era though, women were putting just as much effort into their hair, if not more. Over nearly 70 years of Victoria’s reign, there were a lot of changes to hair care and a lot of it is different to how you’d look after your hair today. Let’s take a look at what they did to stay fashionable.

The Longer, The Better

While styles did change over the years, it was seen that the longer your hair was, the better. You’ve probably seen photographs of women with long wavy hair, sometimes even touching the ground. There were even a group of sisters, named the Seven Sutherland Sisters, who were famed for their long hair. In fact, they has around 37 feet of hair between them.

They were a musical act in the 1880’s, wearing their hair down as they performed. They even sold their own range of hair care products, showing that celebrity endorsements were a thing even then. However, the bob came into style in the 1920’s, and they were considered very old fashioned then.

While the Sutherland Sisters wore their hair down on stage, it wasn’t the common thing to do. Little girls would wear their hair down, but women aged 16 and up were expected to put their hair up in up dos. ‘When women were photographed with their hair down, that was often to express intimacy within the photograph’ says journalist Lleyton Ware, from Brit Student and Write My X.

Caring For Victorian Hair

As women were growing their hair long, they of course had to take care of it. There were some modern solutions, such as giving hair trims in order to remove split ends. There were other methods though, that you’ll be glad were kept in the past.

For example, in the 1860’s it was common to boil bran in soft water, rub some white soap into the water, and then rub the mixture into the scalp with the corner of a towel. Women were often recommended to use egg yolk on their scalps too, to protect them.

Hair washing was recommended monthly, with ingredients such as borax, olive oil, and water. After you’d washed your hair, you needed to dry it out as water was thought to allow ‘disagreeable odors’ to arise from the hair. To dry it, you could brush powdered starch through it to remove that water.

With crimped and curled hair, it was important to set them so they wouldn’t come out on hot days. To do this, women would use a mixture of egg yolk and pomade to do so. It’s interesting to note that women’s bonnets were recommended to have oiled silk linings, to protect the bonnet from hair treatments.

Victorian Hair Styles Through The Decades

As the Victorian era was so long, hair styles evolved for women. Here’s a run down of what was popular at the time.

Usually, up dos were used as they were for ‘respectable’ women. The shape of the hair was important, as it would be taken into account with the rest of a woman’s silhouette. If a woman needed more volume, she would add false pieces made from human hair to create the look she needed.

‘Sometimes these hair pieces were known as “rats”, and were created from hair from the woman’s hairbrush’ says writer Samina Coffey, from 1 Day 2 Write and Origin Writings. ‘They would be packed into the hair, to add that volume.’

Hair was usually twisted into intricate styles, and the styles themselves changed over time. The sides of the hair were sometimes curled too. Over time barley curls, or ringlets, came into fashion. Up dos had padded sides, in order to match the width of the skirts that were fashionable.

As you can see, while a lot of Victorian hair care was very different to modern styles, there’s still some aspects that are relevant today. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of having long, wavy locks?

George J. Newton is a content writer, and business development manager for Academic Brits and Thesis writing service. He contributes to sites such as Buy coursework, too. His wife is his biggest supporter when it comes to his writing.

How Hurricane Responses Have Changed Since The Victorian Era

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Today, people tend to think of hurricanes as horrible natural disasters. And, there’s no denying the damage they cause and the lives they can destroy. But, they also have had a huge impact on our country’s formation and course of history.

Even in the 16th and 17th centuries, strong storms and hurricanes caused problems like capsizing ships and rerouting settlers. As we know it, our country could be vastly different if it weren’t for these storms taking place.

During the Victorian era, hurricanes changed the course of agriculture and slave labor in America. One major hurricane in 1893 was the most damaging to ever strike South Carolina and the second most deadly in the U.S. 

Hurricanes might not be shaping our history as much these days, but they still get a lot of well-deserved attention. So, from Galveston to Katrina, and every major storm in-between, how have hurricane responses changed since the Victorian era?

The Major Hurricanes of the Victorian Era

The largest and most devastating hurricane throughout the Victorian era was undoubtedly Galveston. In fact, it remains the worst hurricane in U.S. history, often referred to as The Great Storm of 1900.

Some of the staggering statistics to come from this catastrophic event are still difficult to believe, including:

  • Over 6,000 deaths
  • $35.4 million in damage costs (over $1 billion today)
  • 15-foot storm surges that flooded the city

One interesting fact about this hurricane is that a seawall was supposed to be built before 1900 to protect the city. But, a respected meteorologist at the time dismissed the idea by saying the city could never be hit by a powerful enough hurricane to do any damage. Had that wall been built, Galveston may not have seen as much damage or flooding.

The biggest problem with this hurricane and other storms in the Victorian era was that people were ill-prepared. The U.S. Weather Bureau (now known as the National Weather Service) was only 10 years old when the Galveston hurricane hit, and its communication policies were lacking. They weren’t able to adequately give people time to evacuate or prepare in any way. Efforts were focused more on cleaning up after the disaster than preparing for before the storm made landfall.

Changes Over the Years

So many advancements have been made over the years to better equip those living in hurricane-heavy areas. Some of the old Victorian homes that have survived can be staged with their original charm, but given upgrades to help them withstand strong winds and rain. More modern houses in those areas are often built with more structural integrity, including features like:

  • Concrete fortification
  • Steel framework
  • Quick-drying construction materials
  • Square or hexagonal roofs that can withstand strong winds

Many homes in hurricane-affected areas also have hurricane windows, which were originally developed in the 1930s. Hurricane windows are strong and durable, meant to withstand harsh winds better than any traditional window. So, you won’t return home to an exposed house and shattered glass everywhere. You’ll also often see people boarding up their windows before a hurricane hits. That isn’t always necessary with hurricane windows. But, it can provide greater peace of mind if you’re going to be gone from your house for a while.

The most important change over the years is the use of technology. Obviously, it has come a long way since the 1800s-1900s. But, it’s being used to give people plenty of time to get to safety and take care of their homes. Hurricanes will always be devastating. But, the more you know about them ahead of time, the safer you can be.

The Impact of Hurricanes Today

Studies have shown that the hurricanes of today are more intense than those in the Victorian era. A lot of this has to do with changing weather patterns, and even climate change. But, the general patterns and timeframes of hurricanes have remained the same. Depending on where you live in the country, you know there is a “hurricane season”, from June to November every year.

Thanks to modern technology, we can now better detect hurricanes long before they reach landfall. That gives people in the path of the storm an opportunity to evacuate or prepare their homes.

Still, hurricanes are nothing to take lightly today. We might have better technology and more solutions to keep our homes safe. But, hurricanes are still deadly. Galveston remains the worst in U.S. history. Maria and Katrina aren’t far behind, both occurring in the 2000s and claiming more than 2,000 and 1,000 lives, respectively.

Hurricane season will continue to come to the U.S. every year, leaving destruction in its path. While you can’t prevent it, you can be grateful for the ways you can protect yourself and your home now that simply weren’t available during the Victorian era.

4 Tips For Staging Your Victorian Home To Sell While Maintaining Its Integrity

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You might worry if your 100-year old house can be desirable to a large housing market when it comes to selling your historic Victorian home. What truly matters is the bare bones of the house being complemented by an aesthetically pleasing interior.

Think about what made you fall in love with your Victorian home. The original hardwood floors and architectural details likely tell all sorts of stories and capture uniqueness in every room. Step it up a notch by staging your home to show its versatility. Creating an appealing representation of your home can help buyers better visualize themselves enjoying the space like you did.

Staging makes a difference. It bridges the gap between the upscale HGTV world and how welcoming and charming a Victorian home can be, without the need for major changes. Here are four home staging techniques that work best with Victorian homes.

1.   Make Modern Updates in Key Rooms

A charming period home needs to appeal to modern-day buyers. Certain precautions for buyers to think about include the fact that this is an older property that could need some fixing up. However, there’s no need to make major updates or renovations if you’re selling your older home, because all that does is take away from its true personality that matters most. It’s important to prioritize the functionality of your home.

The first impression all starts with the initial sights walking up to the front door to inside the entrance. Is the front door original and assembled well onto the house? Is the doorknob intact? Inside, buyers will be looking for those original stunning structural details, high ceilings, and hardwood floors. But what they won’t be looking for is outdated appliances, plumbing, or heating and cooling systems that could fail them. You can provide buyers with an inspection, documentation, and additional incentive by transferring your home warranty to the buyer on new and existing appliances in the home. Doing so ensures protection against both the buyer and seller’s budget throughout this property transition if anything were to break down as it covers repairs and replacements. Plus, it allows peace of mind during the entire process, leading to a quicker sale on the market.

2.   Display Rooms to Feel Spacious

The last thing you want is for your home to feel limited and crowded during showings. Take the time to declutter spaces in order for buyers to truly envision themselves living in the space one day. With things like collections or personal photos sitting around, it can be difficult and overwhelming to see areas for what they really are.

It’s also crucial to make smart use of any awkward spaces your home might have. These are common in older homes as they tend to have a set up with a spot where there’s no purpose. Minimize these areas and transform them into a conversation space where you can make it a mudroom, coffee bar, or a nice decorated corner with shelving. Add seating, windows, and lighting as you see fit to make it flow along with the rest of the house.

If your home is vacant, it can be staged with some simple furniture to show the potential of each room when buyers move in their own furniture. That way, these organizing methods can give the new homeowners just what they pictured.

3.   Emphasize Architectural Details

Architectural qualities are one of the main reasons buyers are drawn to your property. People are interested in the charm, character, and preserved original structures that your home has to offer over others. Be sure to describe details of original aspects, fireplace mantels, rosette accents, building materials used, and more that differentiate your timeless home. Create focal points in your living spaces by arranging furniture to spotlight and draw attention to things such as decorative plasterwork and moldings. The more they see, the more curious they will become.

4.   Stage for the Modern Buyer

The goal of staging your home is to simply maximize the appeal for buyer’s envisions resulting in a quicker sale. It doesn’t have to involve big purchases, but you can use what you already own. Show potential buyers how their lifestyle could look with completed rooms. You’ll want to do this without filling it with outdated pieces of furniture which can take away from the comfort and charm your house has to offer. Many historic homes have a mix of furniture and decor that represent history as well as modern touches. As you find the balance between vintage and contemporary styles of design, buyers will be able to see how easy it is to include a variety.

Don’t forget the smaller updates! Even painting and lighting any dark spots with warmer temperature lightbulbs can significantly bring a breath of fresh air to any room. Take advantage of your windows and remove heavy draperies if needed to let in as much natural light as possible so that all features of each room are completely visible.

Selling your home can be quite a challenge, especially if you have a much older property, but it doesn’t have to feel like a burden. With some preparation, staging, and minor updating, you’ll be able to sell your historic Victorian home quickly, while maintaining its integrity. Focus on originality and detailing to showcase your home’s unique history that the market is sure to snatch up.

Ways to Modernize Your Victorian Home 

The best part about older, traditional homes is their character. The aged interior and exterior characteristics often date the rooms and inspire a lovely sense of nostalgia. Victorian homes, especially, are known for their unique features, including complex and decorative interior trims, steep pitch roofing and asymmetrical architectural details. Still, there’s no reason why your Victorian home has to remain fixed in the 1850’s. Instead, there are many simple ways to modernize your old Victorian in a way that brings your rooms into the 21st century. Your new “Modern Victorian” home will look fantastic, emphasizing both the Victorian-era characteristics and some chic, contemporary designs, too.

Bring Your Fireplace into the 21st Century

Fireplaces will either instantly date or modernize a space. Victorian-era fireplaces can make a room feel heavy, dark and extremely traditional, so why not renovate it to make it look a little more contemporary? By installing a wall-hanging model that’s electric or ethanol burning, you can integrate a chic, simple design that will make the space look entirely fresh. Modern fireplaces, even in a room with other Victorian elements, will give the entire ambiance of the space a renewed feel.

Install Modern Light Fixtures 

Another way to showcase the old architecture of your Victorian home in a creative, 21st century style is to install modern lighting. While not all modern light fixtures will fit with Victorian designs, something that is more mid-century modern or Scandinavian modern will do the trick. Remember to mix old with new and new with old. Mixing the styles of lighting and eras will lead to a unique final product that flows together in a contemporary fashion.

Incorporate Cutting-Edge Artwork 

A final idea for modernizing an older home like a Victorian is to incorporate some interesting, engaging, cutting-edge art pieces. Picture this: You have a classic Victorian room that’s square and lined with dark wooden trim, and you add a colorful, abstract painting to the middle of a white wall. The artwork will instantly raise the level of your home’s aesthetic and make it more intriguing, rather than classical or predictably Victorian. Just because the architecture looks one way doesn’t mean that every detail in the interior of your home has to reflect the era.

By installing a wall-mounted fireplace, hanging some modern light fixtures and incorporating cutting-edge artwork, you can revamp your Victorian home and transport its interior design into the 21st century.

Saving Money The Victorian Way

header1Now we’ve rung in the New Year, many of us will be looking at our bank balances and feeling twinges of regret about our overspending during the holiday period.  According to Forbes Magazine, consumers who took on additional debt this holiday season added an average of $1,003 to their balances. The burden of debt can have a huge impact on both our emotional and physical wellbeing, leading to stress, anxiety, and sleepless night.

If you’re struggling with debt, or have simply overspent and would like to tighten your belt in order to get your budget back under control, then why not look to our Victorian past for a huge wealth of fun ideas on how to save money? Frugality and resourcefulness are both key buzzwords for describing the lifestyles of most Victorians, regardless of their class and social status. Victorian people made do with what they had and were incredibly resourceful when it came to finding what they needed without expense.  Here are some ideas on how you can adopt this philosophy to suit your own lifestyle:

Repair Rather Than Replace

Victorians didn’t have wardrobes overflowing with clothes in the way that so many of us do: they certainly didn’t feel the need to wear a new outfit for every social occasion they attended. Clothes were not purchased off the rack: each gown worn by a woman, for example, would be made either by a professional seamstress or (if finances didn’t allow) hand sewn at home. As a result, dresses were often repurposed and updated to suit changing fashions, and repaired when they were showing signs of wear, rather than simply discarded. Modern money savers can learn a lot from this Victorian model: why not learn some simple sewing techniques? It is much more cost effective to replace a button than buy a new coat, and small holes in garments can be repaired very simply with minimal skill and technique. By repairing rather than replacing clothes, and other items around the home, you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save: that money would be much better spend on removing the burden of your debt and living a debt free life than on continued consumerism and things you don’t really need .

Ditch Your Car

Very few Victorians had their own personal transportation: the Victorian era was the era in which public transport became more easy and convenient to use than ever. Regular buses, trams, and even a rudimentary underground railway system (which would later become the subway) were all established during the Victorian era. Taking public transport is easy, cost effective, and what’s more it’s also great for the environment. Contrary to popular belief, nearly all forms of public transport pose less of a cost to the average commuter than driving and, thanks to increasing congestion and traffic, you can often reach your destination much faster if you are travelling by public transport too. Why not ditch the car (at least for a couple of months) and see how much money you could save on gas, parking, and car maintenance expenses? You might even find that taking public transport is so convenient that you never want to jump in your car for simple journeys again!

Grow Your Own Vegetables

Why not make like a Victorian and use your backyard space to grow something useful, such as vegetables? No matter how big or small their outdoor space, the Victorians often utilized this to grow vegetables in order to ensure they had access to a nutritious meal without having to spend any more. What’s more growing your own vegetables is a fun and inexpensive hobby that you can involve the whole family in, and it provides a great lesson for children about where food comes from, as well as encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers are all very simple to grow for a beginner, and you will soon be able to eat and enjoy the fruits of your labour, whilst watching your grocery store bills decrease as a result. Have a large yard and enjoy the idea of growing your own food? Why not consider buying some chickens and a small chicken coop: much cheaper to own as a family pet than a cat or dog, when you own chickens of your own you will always have a ready supply of eggs for breakfast!

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