Learn how to make a basic Edwardian pompadour hairstyle. If you want to portray a Gibson Girl, then this authentic Edwardian pompadour updo is perfect! It’s also a very quick hairstyle, you can make it in under ten minutes!
‘The Pompadour style is one of the quickest methods of dressing the hair. A Pompadour front and sides, with a chic raised back, finished by an artistic “8” […] can be made and finished in under ten minutes.
Indeed, it could be done in five, but when attempting this style a few extra minutes must be spent on the manipulation of the Pompadour, if the ultimate result is to be at all pleasing.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Part & Wave The Hair
First, part your hair from ear to ear.
‘To start a Pompadour dressing, divide the front and side hair […] leaving a fringe about two inches deep hanging round the forehead and ears’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).
Then wave your front hair using the Edwardian no-heat zig zag curl method. If you have long hair, you can wave only about 12″ (30cm) of your hair.
Make A Ponytail
Gather the rest of the hair and make a ponytail at the top of the head.
‘An elastic band is used. Thus it is held firmly, and this is a great comfort and really the only correct foundation for a stylish coiffure. Otherwise it will slide, and we all know the horror of feeling that one’s hair has ridden down the neck exactly three inches below the starting point.’ (The Illustrated Milliner, 1902)
The Pompadour Roll
Now brush out the zig zag curls with a wide tooth comb. And tease the waved front hair slightly. If you don’t want to tease your hair, you can skip this step.
Then ‘brush the hair lightly upwards and back, […] draw the roll thus made into the desired position, […] with the ends, just a little above the “tie” of the foundation tail. The depth of the Pompadour may then be regulated according to taste, by shortening or lengthening the ends held in the left hand.
Some ladies like a deep roll, while others prefer it quite shallow. Having fixed the size of the roll, hold it in place with the left hand, while the right quickly fixes it in place with two small combs – pins are useless in fixing a Pompadour roll.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Even if the Edwardian tutorial recommends to use hair combs, I tried it and they don’t hold in my straight hair. So I used bobby pins instead to secured the Pompadour roll which worked perfectly.
Adapt The Pompadour Roll
‘Having made a perfectly neat, rather stiff roll of the front hair – receding from the forehead – the fingers must be inserted boldly in the hair, one hand pulling it down, while the other lifts it up. This gives a soft, broken effect, most desirable in this style, which otherwise leaves the hair in a very unbecoming hard line across the forehead.
Very few faces can stand a straight, untouched Pompadour. But many ladies use this style of dressing because it is quick and easy to make, quite forgetting to put those finishing touches which make all the difference between a charming and an unpleasing result. Remember, in pulling the Pompadour roll into a becoming series of “puffs,” that one hand pulls down while the other lifts up, for this gives a very graceful line to the hair, and helps it to fall naturally.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Figure ‘8’ Bun
The pompadour roll is now finished and all there’s left to do, is to arrange the back hair. Edwardian ladies preferred a simple figure ‘8’ bun. To make a figure ‘8’ bun, twist the ponytail until a loop forms – the bottom of the ‘8’.
‘The most simple and speedy method of disposing of the foundation tail is by making a neat figure of “8.” […] This style […] is one which should prove of the greatest use to business girls, as it is chic and pretty, without being in any way over-elaborate.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Keep twisting the ponytail and make a second loop at the top of the head. Then hide the hair ends and secure the ‘8’ with pins.
‘The whole thing is done with two quick movements, and needs three or four pins, properly inserted, to keep it in position.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
Lol, I usually need more than 3 or 4 hair pins, except when I use spin pins!
I never use hairspray to set the style because I prefer to only use authentic period techniques. And even if my straight hair isn’t easy to style, this pompadour updo lasts all day without hairspray. But if you feel you need hairspray, you can use bandoline – an authentic Edwardian hairspray!
‘The Pompadour style of dressing the hair depends entirely for its success on the skill shown by the wearer in adapting the “Pompadour” roll to her own type of beauty.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)