Men's Hairstyles of the 19th Century: A Look Through Vintage Photos


The beginning of the 19th century was marked by the consequences of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.

This period saw a departure from the elaborate styles of the late 18th century, with men opting for simpler, more natural looks.

Short, neatly cut hair became fashionable, often with sideburns and clean-shaven faces.

This clean style was influenced by military trends and remained popular throughout Europe and North America.

As the 19th century progressed, hairstyles became more diverse and expressive.

Long hair for men emerged in the mid-19th century, influenced by the Romantic movement and the Victorian fascination with nature and the past.

Men grew their hair long and styled it with a center part, often using pomade to achieve a sleek, polished look.

Beards and mustaches also became fashionable during this time, with many men sporting full, bushy beards or elaborate mustaches.

Gentlemen used a variety of waxes and oils to maintain their hair in shape, including wooden frames used at night to maintain the shape of their moustaches.

At the turn of the century, many people decided to adopt a clean-shaven face and short hair. Of all the products used to condition or fix the hair, the most popular was macassar oil.

Made from a blend of coconut oil, palm oil and a flower oil called "ylang-ylang", the advertisements promised, "to strengthen the hair and stimulate their growth".

Due to the popularity of this fabric, housewives began covering the arms and backs of their chairs with "anti-macassar" protection, a fabric designed to prevent dirt from getting into the fabric.

Another product used to style hair during this time was pomade. Originally derived from the French word "pomade", meaning "ointment", pomade was initially made from bear fat or lard mixed with various fragrances.

By the late 19th century, the formula for pomade had evolved to include ingredients such as beeswax, petroleum jelly, and various oils.

These new formulations made pomade easier to apply and less greasy, increasing its popularity among men as a styling product.

During this period, advances in chemistry led to the development of synthetic dyes for coloring hair.

The colors were marketed to both women and men, as covering gray hair with a "natural" looking color was an aesthetic ideal for both sexes. Colors for beards were also available.

Physicians criticized many hair tonics and dyes, warning that they contained toxic ingredients such as lead, or at best, they were expensively packaged household ingredients.

In an article denouncing the manipulations of patent medicine manufacturers, the September 1877 issue of Scientific American listed an analysis of the ingredients in products such as Buckingham Dye for Whiskers and Ayers Hair Vigor, for the "information and amusement" of their readers. I went.

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