Corsets and Lace: Bandoline

Let’s face it. When it comes to hair products, we are spoiled! Before I began writing this post, I raided my bathroom storage shelves and these are just a few of the products I found:

During Victorian times, both women and men often sported or supported elaborate hairstyles, and for men that included some pretty amazing mustaches and creative beards. You didn’t just jog on down to the corner store and buy what you needed to keep your hair in style, you usually made your own concoctions. Even in the fancier Victorian homes, personal valets and ladies’ maids whipped up the necessary ingredients.

One of the most popular and common mixtures was Bandoline. It basically served the function of today’s hairspray, but it was spread over curls and coiffures with the fingers. Bandoline could be purchased, but, as some unhappy women discovered, commercially manufactured Bandoline sometimes contained contaminated ingredients that might change the color of the hair — or worse! Bandoline’s primary ingredients varied over the years, but some type of glutinous substance was necessary. In many homemade recipes, quince seeds hold the place of honor. Various perfumes — rose water or vanilla, for example — were added to mask the scents of other “active” ingredients.

I’ve never been good styling my hair. The easier the better. How about you? Elaborate or simple? Do you use hairspray or other products?

(Top photo, Sue Harrison, Common Domain. Next photo, “Vanity” by Gustave Leonard de Jongh, Common Domain.)

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5 Responses to Corsets and Lace: Bandoline

  1. Pam Dooley says:

    I use hair gel before I blow dry my hair. Then while I’m drying my hair, I spray it with Hair Spritz. When it’s dry and I’m styling it, I use Bed Head Masterpuece hairspray!

  2. Laura Hadd says:

    I like to keep it simple. I work with my natural waves. I usually don’t use products often in my hair. Maybe once every two weeks I will use moose and about twice a year hairspray. I like to curl my hair, wear a braid or ponytail but usually it is just down.

  3. Sue Harrison says:

    I’ve never heard of Bed Head before, Pam. Sounds like what I need!! Laura, a braid is so beautiful. You’re so fortunate to have natural waves!

  4. Ans de Groot says:

    I did have very strait hair all my life but since I had some havy surgery five years ago I do have a little ‘wave’ which makes it easier to style my hair with a bit of help of spraying gel and a bit of pushing with my hands.

  5. suehar says:

    I have a bit of wave, too, Ans, and I appreciate it now that I keep my hair short. Hand-pushing works very well with wavy hair!!

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