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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

How Women in the 18th Century Got Those Sky-High Hairdos 

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Back in the 1770s, stylish women from all walks of life favored soaring manes that would put any Texas beauty pageant contestant’s to shame. But these towering creations weren’t wigs. Using a variety of ingenious tricks, women made their real hair look like that—and they did it all without mousse, gel, or hairspray.

In a two-part blog post written by novelist Susan Holloway Scott, Colonial Williamsburg reenactor Abby Cox and her colleagues explain exactly how women in the 18th century tamed their tresses.

Like many of the day’s fashions, members of the French aristocracy first adopted the “bigger is better” hair trend, which quickly made its way to England. “The complexity of the styles showed that the wearer had both the leisure-time to devote to her hair, and most often the wealth to employ a professional hairdresser or accomplished lady’s maid to achieve it,” writes Scott.

The first step toward ensuring their updos would stay, well, up, was to start with semi-dirty hair. (Not so different from the advice modern-day stylists give their clients.) Women of the era depended on powders and oils, not soap and water, to refresh their strands. A substance called pomatum, generally made at home by combining an animal fat and fragrant herbs or oils, was applied to the hair, followed by a dusting of powder. Hair was then brushed to ensure the powder and pomatum were evenly distributed.

“Think of the pomatum as a rich, deep conditioner applied as a kind of scalp massage, followed by the powder as a dry shampoo,” Scott explains, adding that this was a process women repeated nearly every night.

More powder was added after "cleansing" to achieve the era’s coveted hue (dusty white—so chic). Hair was then wrapped around hand-sewn pillows ("rollers" and "cushions") placed on top of the head. Once the desired height was achieved, a lady (or her maid) could make it look even more fashionable by adding fake curls or braids, or by dressing it up with ribbons and flowers.

Sounds time-consuming, doesn't it? According to Cox, even the day's most complicated looks took between ten and fifteen minutes from start to finish—“or less time than many modern young women spend with blow-dryers and flat-irons,” Scott writes.

Sounds like a smart way to cut down on your morning routine—or at the very least, like an opportunity for the ultimate #TBT selfie.

[h/t Two Nerdy History Girls

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fun
These Super Realistic Ski Masks Let Your Inner Animal Come Out
Beardo
Beardo

No matter how serious you are about your skiing performance, it doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor on the slopes. These convincing animal masks spotted by My Modern Met make it easy to have fun while tearing up the trails.

Each animal mask from the Canadian apparel company Beardo is printed with a photorealistic design of a different animal's face. Skiers can disguise themselves as a bear, dog, fox, orangutan, or even a grumpy-ish cat while keeping their skin warm. The only part of the face that stays exposed is around the eyes, but a pair of ski goggles allows wearers to disappear completely into their beastly persona.

The playful gear is practical as well. The stretchy polyester material is built to shield skin from wind and UV rays, while the soft fleece lining keeps faces feeling toasty.

Beardo's animal ski masks are available through their online store for $35. If you like to stay cozy in style, here are more products to keep you warm this winter.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

Animal ski mask.
Beardo

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
iStock
iStock

For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

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