Styles in hairdressing are always interest-ing. They vary so often that no girl has an excuse for not changing the mode of her hair when she pleases.
Of course, some of the new-fashioned styles are outrageous, as seen on certain heads. But then everything finds a section of society ready to exaggerate it. Hair-dressing suffers from over-exaggeration, especially of novelties, more than most things.
I know that many ladies find one style of coiffure that suits them, and stick to it through thick and thin. This is often a mistake. It is good to vary the hair, perpetual parting and pulling in one direction tends to "thin" even the most luxuriant tresses.
But it seems that newfangled fashions in hair-dressing are so atrocious- to those who do not cultivate extremes in their appearance - that it is safer to stick to the older, more modest styles. I should like to point out the fallacy of this belief. Very few ladies are incapable of improving themselves, even though they may look quite charming as they are. Therefore they should give new styles a chance. Every style has its modifications. Those who wish to look really nice and keep abreast with La Mode should study the newest thing, and instead of applying it en bloc to themselves - and looking extremely ugly in
The style chosen for description in this article includes one of fashion's fads, the ear plaits. I have therefore christened the style a la Nattelina - "natte" being the French word for a plait.
This style comes to us from Germany, where every other woman plaits her hair round head or ears ; but it also survives from the Middle Ages, both in England and France, when the hair was parted at the back and coiled over both ears. The style is rather severe, and needs good features to carry it off.
Fig. 2. The margin of waved hair left round forehead and ears is quite narrow, leaving more hair for the curls which must cover
There is nothing very " fluffy " about it, but softness is given by the waved hair in front and at the sides. The swathe is severe, the curls are not too untidy nor too small, so this style, in its entirety should not be adopted by ladies who prefer " fluffy " types.
I propose to describe the making of this coiffure right from the beginning. The first thing is to make the foundation, without which no hairdressing is complete or secure. I should suggest that, for this style, artificial hair is used for the swathe and side plaits, and the growing hair for the curls. Curls are not difficult to make up on the head, and a swathe needs very long growing hair, and rarely looks tidy when it is done.
First, tie the foundation hair securely towards the top of the head (Fig. i). As the curls must not be too low - the swathe comes below them - the foundation needs to be tied rather high. In dividing the hair for the foundation and front pieces, take care to carry the centre parting - which remains - only a short distance back. An inch and a half of parting is all that shows ; the rest, if it were there, would be hidden by the swathe, so it is better not to take it back to the crown of the head, but to comb all that extra hair backwards into the foundation. Thus, the margin of hair left hanging round the forehead and ears to secure the puffs in front is quite narrow, and the foundation for the curls is rendered doubly solid by the extra hair that is put in it. (See Fig. 2.)
Having divided the foundation from the front and side hair, and fixed it, the next procedure is to wave the hanging pieces. This is absolutely essential in this style of coiffure, as, with straight hair below the severe plaits and swathe, the effect would be hard and ugly.
Divide each side of the front hair into four small strands, and wave each strand on an ordinary hairpin, as described in the last article on waving (page 3839, Vol. 6). This secures four nice waves on either side of the parting. The side pieces - over the ears - must then be divided into two strands each, and placed on pins in the same way.
This means that a dozen wavers are being used, and they will not be found too many. Having put each strand on a pin, as directed, heat the pinching irons - not making them too hot - and pinch each pin very firmly. The pins may then be taken out, and the hair will be found to be quite charmingly waved, at the expenditure of about fifteen, minutes of time.
If the hair is put on the pins overnight, there is no need to use pinching irons, as the wave will be found ready in the morning. But the other way saves time.
When the hair is waved, the dressing begins. Hold the front hair forward i 1 the left hand, each side in turn, and French comb it firmly towards the margin round the foundation, taking particular care to French comb it well at the roots (see Fig. 2). Repeat the same process on the two side pieces. Then hold both pieces on one side of the parting together, and smooth the hair back from the face, brushing it lightly. Having got it smooth, and at a nice angle, fix it securely to the foundation hair with a small side-comb, and repeat the same thing on the other side of the head.
On no account must the waved hair in front and at the sides be pinned with a hairpin to the foundation. I find so many ladies who say they " never use side combs," and then they wonder why their front hair gets untidy so soon.
If a strand of hair is pinned, only a few hairs are being really held, and the others slip through the loop, and fall in lumps round the face. By means of a small side comb the entire width of the strand is held firmly in place ; but the hair can easily be pulled out, if needed. So, having fixed both sides, put two fingers under the front hair, and pull it gently over the forehead and towards the ears, giving it a soft look.
Fig. 3. Showing the swathe arranged flat on the head. This should be adjusted after the curls are made when actually dressing
Making the curls is the next movement. For the Nattelina style the curls must be made and placed with care, in order to be thoroughly in keeping with the style. They must not be too low nor too high on the head, but must stick out at about the centre of the head at the back. These curls are not loose and hanging, and must not look like a Grecian knot of curls. Each one is attached to the head, and though they should look light, must not be too small. If a pad is liked, to make them appear further raised from the head, it must be fixed before any curls are made. One of the small, light kind, with a hole in the centre, should be used, and the foundation tail must be pulled through the centre hole, and the pad pinned firmly to the head. The curls are easily arranged to cover the pad, and about six or eight good-sized ones are quite sufficient for this style of coiffure. Look at the curls with a handglass before fixing the swathe, and see they are in a good shape. (See Fig. 3.)
Fig. 4. Coiffure a la Nattelina. A delightful arrangement of the hair to suit many faces. Although not " fluffy," softness is given by the waved hair at front and sides Designs by David Nicol, 50, Haymarket, S.w.
Next the swathe has to be fixed. This is far better if made of artificial hair, and a special "swathe" should be bought, if a good effect is to be obtained. In the new swathed pieces, specially made for this purpose, the join in the hair occurs in the middle, and the tail looks like a flat piece of hair or a ribbon, which is an even, flat length all the way down. The swathe in hairdressing is quite a new departure, and it was soon discovered that an ordinary coil of hair, which is mounted round, was useless for this purpose. The whole charm of a swathe is its flatness. Place the swathe on the top of the head, with the join, which is really invisible, in such a position that it can be hidden by a tortoiseshell brooch or by the additional plaits. (See
Then wrap the swathe tightly round the head, leaving the front and side hair quite full beyond it. Take care, to pull evenly on the swathe, and not draw the front line tighter than the back. The hair should look like a ribbon, and must follow the line of the head. If it is pulled too tightly in front the back line comes up, and spoils the flat effect. But if an even pressure is given, the hair should lie perfectly flat. Tie the ends either at the back - where they can be hidden with a slide - or, in this coiffure, above one ear, where the plait will cover them. Pin them where the tie comes.
Do not put a lot of metal pins in the swathe. It does not require any pins; but two big " fork " shell pins may be placed at each side of the front, if liked, for ornament.
Last, the circular plaits are fixed. Now, these plaits must be coiled off the head, and should be made of as little hair as possible otherwise they are ugly.