Keeping Up With the Hair Trends of the Victorian Period
During the Victorian Era it was a very popular trend to make and wear jewelry out of a loved one’s hair. In Europe and the U.S., a lot of women made elaborate wreaths, necklaces, bracelets and all sorts of pieces out of hair and wire, often with floral designs. Wreaths made from the hair of one deceased family member or friend were usually objects of mourning, while wreaths made from the hair of multiple people—dead and alive—were more like sentimental family trees.
How did this fashion of wearing hair become so popular? It was Queen Victoria who began the trend of wearing a deceased loved one’s hair as jewelry. After her husband Prince Albert’s death in 1861, she started to publicly wear a locket of his hair until her own death. This started the trend to make and wear your object of mourning.
As the trends evolved so did the jewelry. Not only were woven hair accessories made to commemorate a deceased loved one, but they were also made to show our connections to the living, similar to friendship bracelets. Hair was woven tightly together to form a pattern or design using braids or wire. These resulted in simple braided bracelets or rings and expertly crafted necklaces, brooches and wreaths.