A School for Hairdressing: 1890

 

A SCHOOL FOR HAIRDRESSING

A New York Barber Who Teaches Maids How to Use the Brush and Comb.

Perhaps the latest thing in the educational line in this city was inaugurated Monday. It is a school for hairdressers. It started with a big class of ambitious young women, and the indications are that many more will join. Women only are to be admitted to these classes, and the subjects of instruction will be limited to the dressing of ladies’ hair. The pupils will be taught how to comb, brush, shampoo, crimp, curl, singe, plait and arrange the hair of women. They will be instructed by experienced hair-dressers, and when they are graduated they will be able to do all that a competent “ladies’ barber” can. The course will cover two weeks, and will comprise twelve lessons. The tuition is to be $10 for the course.

“So many young women have asked me to teach them the art of dressing hair,” said the owner of the place the other day, “that I was forced to open the school or use up all my time teaching them separately. Most who wish to learn are ladies’ maids. You see, it greatly adds to their value when they are able to dress their mistresses’ hair properly. I do not think that there will be any difficulty in teaching them in two weeks’ time all that is necessary for them to know. I have several competent assistants and I shall superintend the work. The pupils will practice first on dummy wooden heads fitted with wigs. They are just as good to learn upon as the real head.”

“And can the girls become artistic hairdressers in so short a time?” “That depends entirely upon how much natural taste they may have. It is like any other art; to excel in it one must have a natural aptitude for it. Hairdressing requires taste. I may be able to teach a young woman the mechanical arrangement of a coiffure, but I cannot teach her just what coiffure is best suited to a certain face. That requires a natural taste and many years of observation and practice. But I will give my pupils much technical knowledge and such hints for self-instruction that they may practice to advantage after they leave the school. The school is my own idea. I do not know of another one in New York. I believe that it will prove a success and that its influence will be felt.”

“Will you teach to bleach and dye hair?”

“If the pupils wish to learn the higher branches of the art they may do so of course after they have mastered the regular course. But that is something for after consideration; the main thing now is to start the school and begin the work. I have now about thirty pupils to begin with.” New York Sun.

Jackson [MI] Citizen Patriot 25 October 1890: p. 11

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil smiles nostalgically at the idea of ladies’ maids dressing their mistresses’ hair properly. One of her first acts when employed in that office by an intolerable American heiress was to accidentally singe off the young woman’s back hair in its entirety—on the eve of her debut into London society as a new bride. This contretemps might have been avoided entirely had Mrs Daffodil had access to a school such as above. However, Mrs Daffodil is nothing if not resourceful and an improvisation, represented as the latest Parisian novelty: a flounce of lace attached to the remaining hair and a tiara set with emeralds the size of pigeon’s eggs, saved the day. The coiffure was the subject of much favourable comment at Lady Wormwood’s ball.

Singeing hair or “blistering the head” for cosmetic or medicinal purposes has been mentioned before in an interview with a well-known French hairdresser in New York.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

 

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One thought on “A School for Hairdressing: 1890

  1. Pingback: The Court Hair-dresser: 1892 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses

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