Powdering was launched when King Henry IV of France ( ) used dark powder on his greying hair. White haired wigs were well-liked as a result of they were costly and rare, and so men and women began (within the early 18th century) to use white powder to paint their wigs and hair, as it was much less harmful than dye. Instead, they increasingly hired skilled hairdressers (coiffeurs) who added false hair to their pure hair. While they were anticipated to enhance their own hair with false hair, padding, powder, and ornaments, women’s hair was supposed to stay “natural” by avoiding the wholesale artifice of men’s wigs.
Again, Frenchwomen tended to powder their hair; Englishwomen appear to have left the hair unpowdered. Both men and women powdered their hair or wig throughout the seventeenth and 18th centuries.
One might suppose that as female designers themselves aged, they’d start to highlight … Read More