Over 15 Christmas Gibson Girl hairstyles & DIY Christmas hair accessories from the Edwardian era!
Gibson Girl hairstyles are in again! Gibson Girls were the it girls of the late Victorian and Edwardian era. The fashionable hairstyle of the Gibson Girl was the pompadour hairstyle. For Christmas parties, Gibson Girls wore elaborate pompadour hairstyles decorated with DIY hair accessories: From gilded leaf wreaths to hoar frost flower hair accessories, all these DIY Christmas hair accessories are easy to make at home. You’ll surely find some to your liking for your Christmas time outfit.
Hair ‘ornaments suggest delectable gifts for our friends. No woman can possess too many; every feminine heart will appreciate one as a Christmas gift. For busy women they solve the question of what to give, and solve it in an inexpensive way.’ (Evening Star, 1909)
So get creative this holiday season with these 15 Christmas Gibson Girl hairstyles and festive DIY hair accessories!
Christmas Hairstyles For Gibson Girls
For Christmas parties, Gibson girls wore more elaborate pompadour hairstyles than for everyday wear. For everyday wear, most Gibson girls wore a moderate pompadour roll with a figure 8 bun at the top of the head. While for Christmas parties and dinners, the hair was arranged in festive Christmas hairstyles: First the pompadour roll was secured with combs or pins. For evening hairstyles, the pompadour was often arranged over a wire hair rat.
Then the hair was either braided into a coronet braid. The coronet braid encircled the head like today’s milkmaid braids. Other popular hairstyles for Christmas parties were puffs and neck curls. Puffs and curls were almost exclusively for evening hairstyles, not for day hairstyles.
And to be a fashionable Gibson girl you could even arrange the hair into a bow knot at the top of the head! This hairstyle – a bow out of your hair – was already popular in the 1900s and is popular again right now. It’s perfect as festive Christmas hairstyle!
How To Make A Bow With Your Hair
The ‘bow-knot effect is very pretty’ (The Saint Paul Globe, 1900). After arranging the pompadour roll, ‘take the remainder of the hair, twist into a coil and make a half knot by holding the coil with the right hand a little way from the head, and taking the first finger of the right hand with the palm of the hand up and form a loop by turning the hand over, leaving the next strand around the first finger, then bring the strand over and draw upward through the loop so that it forms a bow knot, and pin down’ (The Manual On Barbering, Hairdressing, Manicuring, Facial Massage, Electrolysis And Chiropody, 1906).
Puffs & Curls
‘The Christmas hair dressing will be very elaborate, for Christmas parties are on the tapis and a woman must fix herself up becomingly. Young women who want to look very picturesque are crowding the hair into a net and curling it on each side. Others are puffing it elaborately around the face and across the back so as to make the head look large.’ (The Houston Daily Post, 1898)
‘The beauty will wear a neck curl. This will be in the shape of a big loose curl about twice as long as your longest finger.’ (The Chicago Sunday Tribune, 1905) ‘The curl seems to adapt itself to the individuality of every owner. It is sweet and girlish for the debutante, and, in another form, adds dignity to the matron. It is stately, coy, artistic or conventional, as each case demands.’ (San Francisco Call, 1902)
‘Beauty is simply a matter of hair […] This is because beauty is greatly affected by the way in which hair is arranged, good points being brought out by the style of coiffure and defects concealed.’ (Evening Star, 1902)
The ‘tail of hair if long and full enough is divided into two or three or more strands and each is made into a puff by rolling loosely over the index fingers, making finger puffs. Each puff so made is pinned into place, composing a neat cluster at the crown of the head. Use invisible pins for this purpose, bending them upon themselves to hold the hair more firmly, as single pins do not hold. Pins of angle form especially suitable for this purpose can now be found on sale almost everywhere.’ (Beauty Culture, 1911)
Red, Green & White
‘For Christmastide garniture the maiden who considers her appearance in relation to the season chooses three colors – red, green and white. More properly speaking these are the shades which predominate in the scheme of decoration for corsage and coiffure. Holly, mistletoe, laurel and bay give the green; red holly berries, poinsetta and big carnations the red, and mistletoe berries and the costume – the “kirtle sheen” – or its accessories, the white. […]
No one needs fear an excess of decoration for the coiffure. The garland, the half garland, the flower nestling in the hair just back of the ear, and contrasting charmingly with a snow-white neck – all these are fashionable and chic. […] Having settled the arrangement of coiffure […] the color of the gown is the next consideration. […]
For Christmas festivities let a girl choose white, white which graduates from a frosty shade to a creamy ivory. White always makes a woman look classic and winsome, and the color never had a greater vogue than at present, owing to the fashion set by Queen Helena of Italy. For the Christmas cotillion, with its picturesque figures, in which holly, laurel, bay and mistletoe play important parts, that girl is the most attractive who arrays herself in a diaphanous gown of white. In one figure of the dance, perhaps, she has a half wreath of holly, which she raises over her head when a partner is chosen; if he is rejected it is lowered.’ (Evening Star, 1902)
Holly Hair Accessories
‘All kinds or ornaments are in vogue this season for the coiffure. Even holly leaves and berries are used, and they make a most effective ornament amid rich coils of black hair, and of course, are inexpensive.’ (The Saint Paul Globe, 1904) ‘Nothing is prettier or more effective for a Christmas dance than a simple thin white frock […] and a wreath of holly in the low coiffure.’ (The Topeka State Journal, 1904)
‘There is a tendency to make the hair conform to the season. […] They take holly now and stand it upright in the hair, as though it were an aigrette. The holly is tied in a stiff little sprig and is fastened back of the pompadour or in the top of it. The prickly leaves and the gorgeous red berries make a very nice ornament for the hair […]
Women who can wear an ornament over the ears are taking bunches of holly berries, with a leaf or two, and placing them so that the berries come just back of the ear lobes. There is something almost oriental in this effect’ (The Rice Belt Journal, 1903).
In the 1900s, milkmaid braids were called coronet coiffure. This Gibson girl hairstyle is exactly like today’s milkmaid braids except that it was worn with a pompadour roll over the forehead. The coronet coiffure was suitable for day as well as evening wear. A holly or leaf wreath would be the perfect hair accessory for a festive Christmas Gibson girl hairstyle.
‘Coronet effects are much in vogue and these require a soft braid encircling the hair.’ (San Francisco Call, 1906) ‘To “do” this style of coiffure, the pompadour or front hair is arranged separately, the back hair being braided in two wide braids, which are crossed in the back and drawn around the sided of the head, being pinned under the pompadour, the ends being slipped under the braids at the top.’ (The Topeka State Journal, 1906)
Gold Leaf Wreath
‘Gold gauze ribbon of about one inch in width is arranged with gold leaves […] This is a particularly good model for a young girl, for it is unassuming, yet extremely artistic. […]
‘Very much on the order of a fillet is the last arrangement, where the wreaths of gold leaves are fastened at each side with a single gold rose. It almost reminds one of the arrangement of the coiffure of the mythical Circee.’ (Evening Star, 1908)
‘Another practical idea is a wreath of metallic ivy leaves. This is not easy to make, but is very effective and smart when finished. Cut the ivy leaves in gold or silver tissue, and wire them around the edges with a piece of the fine wire cut from “ribbon” wire. Then string some grey-blue metallic beads on fine flower wire and sew them around the edges to hide the stitches and make a pretty finish. […] When the ivy leaves are made they are mounted one overlapping the other on a piece of wire.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Gold & Silver Headbands
The headband ‘may be silver or gold tissue, or lustrous satin. At one end of the ribbon tie a knot and add another cut end. Pass the length around the head and mark the opposite side of this band by another knot, under which sew two ends. A hook and eye are all that is necessary to hold this pretty band in place. […]
The last model is a combination of silver gauze and pearls. On a strip of this tissue turn a narrow hem and sew pearl beads.’ (Evening Star, 1909) ‘A head-dress in a barbaric style […] is made on a shaped piece of very thin tailor’s canvas covered with gold tissue. It is then embroidered with […] green and red and blue jewels […]
The scarf pictured here can be made of either silver or gold gauze and finished at the ends with tassels made of bunches of beads. It will take a yard of gauze, and a piece about 12 inches wide must be cut off and twisted together, and formed into a loop and two ends at one side.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Related: How To Make A Knotted Pearl Necklace
Pearls & Beads
‘Seed pearls are ranked among the beautiful adornments of the winter coiffure. They are incrusted in lines or huge flowerlike forms on a band of tulle or gauze […] The bandeau […] is fastened under a large pearl cabochon at the right side’ (The Hays Free Press, 1910). ‘These round ornaments can be purchased or made at home. Beads strung on a fine wire and wound in concentric circles will give this effect. […]
‘Or perhaps the strands of beads are more to your liking? Two pieces of wire form the foundation. Any color of large beads can be selected. These two bands should be attached at one place, so that a narrow effect can be retained at the back. The suppleness of the wire enables the wearer to widen them in the front at her will.’ (Evening Star, 1909)
‘The last decoration to need description consists of a band of black velvet studded with cabochons of sparkling paste. […] [To make the cabochons:] Cut a circular piece of buckram and, before damping it, sew a piece of coarse thread around it. While the buckram is wet and soft, this can be drawn up and helps to fit it around the ball. When dry wire the edge of the mould, and then cover it with silver tissue.
Related: How To Make DIY Buckram
Finally, sew paste stones all over it, covering the entire surface. About three or five of these cabochons will be needed, according to their size, placed at equal distances, with one in the centre of the front, the band fastening at the back.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
‘But it is at Christmas times when holiday parties are on that she is most anxious to look her best, and “something becoming in her hair” goes a great way toward that most praiseworthy end. Holly in the hair is charming at Christmas time, but it is not always easy to arrange the stiff leaves artistically. The pretty wreath […] an exception to the rule […] is made of separate leaves sewed flatly to a circle of ribbon wire, the berries being added singly and in clusters after the leaves are in place. The joining of the wreath is hidden beneath a cluster of berries on one side.’ (The Marion Daily Mirror, 1910)
‘For the beauty who is blonde and blue-eyed a wreath of holly is charming, but the girl who chooses holly must wait until Christmas eve, as it is unlucky to bring it into the house before that time. There are two kinds of holly – the smooth and the rough. If the wreath with which a girl crowns herself is of the smooth variety, she will be mistress of her household; if it is the rough variety her husband will be her ruler.’ (Evening Star, 1902)
‘The holly wreath is also seen in the coiffures of the season. This is a wreath of the leaves trained to lie around the knot at the back of the neck. The wreath should be a very slender one, and it should be twisted around the knot and fastened with pins invisibly rather than conspicuously. The effect is a pretty artlessness.’ (The Rice Belt Journal, 1903)
‘For the stately woman, who moves a queen, is the crown of laurel.’ (Evening Star, 1902) ‘The wreath of leaves is quite new and very inexpensive.
On a flat wire sew the dull leaves which you have picked up in the millinery department. A row on each side and an irregular central line of leaves are sufficient. The band does not meet in front. Some of these leafy models have tiny crystal beads dotted over the surface, to simulate dewdrops.’ (Evening Star, 1909)
‘A wreath of simple green leaves pointed in shape and arranged in Napoleonic fashion with the points meeting at the center front is an unpretentious affair, but has charming possibilities in association with the right coiffure.’ (Ceredo Advance, 1907)
‘A flat wreath or a coronation wreath of ivy leaves is pretty and becoming to many faces, but ivy is objectionably to some on account of its association with Bacchus, the god of wine, ivy having been used at all celebrations in his honor.’ (Evening Star, 1902)
‘For the brunette of regal type, the girl of dash and brilliancy, there is the mystic mistletoe. This is the plant which always plays so important a part in Christmas festivities, although it was selected for decorations long before the Christmas era. Remaining green in winter time, its seed was supposed to have fallen from heaven, and the plant was therefore held sacred to the sun god. Every greeting beneath the mistletoe was inspired by love and friendship. Its berries of pearl were symbols of purity and associated with the rites of marriage. From this the transition was but slight to the kiss beneath the cabalistic bough. This traditional sacredness was endured through the ages, and today for man and maid to meet beneath the mistletoe gives the right to a salute.’ (Evening Star, 1902)
‘A wreath of parsley would perhaps be considered an odd decoration for the hair, but in classic times it was much used for wreaths and garlands; and it has a graceful effect. A wreath of green leaves for the hair that is red – honestly red – the hair that streams out like a fleece of spun gold streaked with strands of copper, or hair that blinds us with its golden glory.’ (Evening Star, 1902)
Snow Queen Hairstyle Aka Powdered Gibson Girl Hair
‘Mr. and Mrs. A. Arthur Alfred Brooks have invited a number of friends […] The occasion will be an ice and snow party, and powdered coiffures are requested.’ (New-York Tribune, 1904) ‘A white coiffure sprinkled with silver dust to represent snow and icicles was Winter.’ (The Batesburg Advocate, 1910)
‘Powdered hair is coming in again, so much is assured. It will be seen at dinners, at evening receptions and at balls, but most of all at dinners […] the way to dress powdered hair is to heap it very high and to pull the front low on the forehead in a full drape. That makes the becoming low curve and, at the same time, shows off the soft fluffiness of the white hair.
Hairdressers say that if the hair is properly shampooed and the head kept clean by brushing powder does no harm upon the hair and can be put on daily without ill effects. But you must be careful not to sprinkle in the destructive diamond dust [mica powder], which, while it gives a sparkle, certainly does cut the hair. The diamond headdress has been revived in the Fauborg St. Germain, but it is not recommended to any woman unless she has the patience to shake the diamond sparkles out of her hair immediately afterward. They will not brush out, but must be shaken out by hand until the hair is free from them.’ (The San Francisco Call, 1902)
“Hoar Frost” Hair Accessories
In the late Edwardian era, “hoar frost” embroidery was popular. It was used to trim dresses and as festive hair accessories in the holiday season.
‘Charming and novel effects can be obtained in “hoar frost” embroidery, a work that will appeal very strongly to all lovers of the dainty and delicate. The materials required are simple and inexpensive. Silver gauze ribbon in half and quarter inch widths […] and […] wire as a foundation on which to work. […]
For a leaf, take one and a half inches of ribbon, cut it off, fold it across the width, so that it is now three-quarters of an inch long, and with white cotton sew or whip the two edges together from the raw edge up to the double tip. Run your needle back again, and draw it up slightly. Open it out without breaking off the cotton, and shape it into a leaf with the fingers. The gathers make pretty little veins. Draw the edges together, and twist it into a little stalk, cut the cotton, and the leaf is formed. Make as many of these leaves as needed, with some slight variety as to size, using smaller ones at the top of the spray and larger ones below.
For the roses take a piece of ribbon about three inches long, and in the case of the wide ribbon double it lengthwise, and whip the whole length of it, taking the edges together. Draw it up, and form it into a rose, stitching it securely through. It is best to group the roses, and place the leaves alternately on either side of the stem. […]
For a fancy dress intended to represent “Winter” or “Frost” this application of “frost” embroidery could be elaborated in conjunction with crystal beads and bugles. A few beads lightly attached to the silver flowers by a spot of gum [arabic] would give the sparkling effect of frost, or a sprinkling of the glittering powder sold for the purpose would be another means for the same end. […]
this work can be made up on a piece of fine hat wire, and used a spray for the hair or hat.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2) ‘Dainty little ornaments for the young girls’ coiffure are delicate sprays of frosted silver and gold tiny leaves.’ (The Morning Journal-Courier, 1907)
‘Hoar frost ornaments are being sold for the coiffure. Bunches of white guelder roses lightly powdered with silver are united to trails of silver skeleton leaves to make a chaplet which will be found particularly attractive on the dark hair of a brunette. Marabou and heron plumage treated in the same way float over the coiffure. The frosting is very cleverly done, not so as to sparkle with the glitter of silver, but to display the peculiarly soft, dense appearance of hoar frost.’ (The Salt Lake Herald, 1907)
Wreath Of Tinsel Roses
Wreaths of tinsel roses were very popular in the Edwardian era for evening wear. In medieval times tinsel fabric or cloth of gold was made of real metal: gold leaf was cut into strips, spun onto silk and then woven into fabric. By the late Victorian and Edwardian era, however, tinsel fabric and ribbons were a cheap imitation of real cloth of gold:
‘Tinsel. An ornamental fabric or cord overlaid with glittering metallic sparkles or threads. The name was formerly given to cloth of silk, interwoven with gold or silver threads, but is now always applied to cheap finery, glistening like gold and silver, but at the same time pretending a value and richness which it does not really possess.’ (A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods, 1892)
Related: How To Make Edwardian Satin Roses
‘A wreath of little tinsel or satin roses for a young girl […] These roses are made by cutting a narrow piece of the material on the cross, gathering it, and rolling it round and round and sewing it on to a piece of wire. The raw edges are covered with a calyx taken from an old rose and slipped up the wire. Buy some sprays of tiny rose-leaves […] Then get a piece of fine covered wire of the correct size to go around the coiffure, and arrange the leaves and roses upon it’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).
‘The flower employed on tulle frocks or those of fine net are often of tinsel, a coiffure wreath or spray of the same posies going with these.’ (Evening Star, 1906) ‘Gold tinsel hair ornaments holding sprays of mistletoe’ (New-York Tribune, 1900). ‘Then there are wreaths of grape leaves, with the fabric made on a lustrous tinsel fabric, exquisitely light, with a sort of moonlight on the frost effect.’ (Perth Amboy Evening News, 1910)
Metallic Crochet Hair Accessories
‘The gold, silver, and coloured metallic threads so much in vogue at the present time may be put to many fashionable and decorative uses, one of the most charming productions being ornaments for the hair suitable for evening wear. They are distinctly attractive and artistic, and can be accomplished easily by the home worker, at a very moderate cost. […]
One word as to the metallic threads. If an absolutely untarnishable thread is required, then aluminium should be chosen. It is obtainable on silk and cotton, and in several sizes. It is well for the worker to know that the bright-surfaced metallic or aluminium threads are mounted on a silk or cotton foundation or core. That with a cotton foundation is quite easy in work, but even more pliable is the thread with a silk foundation. The latter is, of course, the more expensive’.
A golden crochet spray with apples and leaves ‘makes a handsome decoration for the hair […] The spray is done in “florestore” work […] the leaves only being worked over wire.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Edwardian Winter Hair Care
‘Fixing one’s hair in summer is a much more trying problem than arranging the winter coiffure.’ (The Lake County Times, 1910)
‘How to care for hair during winter weather. The girl who has too much electricity in her hair will find difficulty in arranging a pretty coiffure in winter because the tresses will not stay in place. Water is useless to keep the unruly locks smooth, because, while it holds the hair for five minutes, as soon as it evaporates the locks are left in a dryer condition than they were before, and are more difficult to manage.
Therefore nothing but an oily liquid will be effective and if only a little oil is put on there need be no fear of the head appearing greasy. The simplest mixture I know of for this purpose is a tablespoonful of glycerin to half a pint of water, adding about fifteen drops of tincture of benzoin to prevent it from becoming rancid. A few drops of the lotion are put into the left hand, then the right palm is rubbed into it and both are gently patted over the hair after the tangles have been removed.
Related: 1900s Quince Seed Hair Gel
Special attention must be given to the hair about the temples and above the ears. If too much of the liquid is put on accidentally, wiping over the locks with a wet brush will quickly neutralize the grease. This mixture is not to be regarded as a tonic, for it does not reach the scalp. […]
When there is a tendency to electricity a celluloid comb is better than one of rubber. […] The application to the scalp of a tonic containing grease will be the best means of getting rid of electricity. This tonic should be rubbed on with the finger tips, parting the hair in close divisions, so all pores may be reached.’ (Evening Star, 1909)
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