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          1770s High Wig Tutorial

          I made this tutorial years ago, when I was first experimenting with creating high 1770s wigs. ?Since posting, I’ve improved greatly in technique and done a large amount of historical research on 18th century hairstyles and wigs. ?I published?all of that knowledge and research in a book — 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling: ?History & Step-by-Step Techniques. ?

          Because I know this tutorial has helped a lot of people, I will leave it up here, although with the caveat that my book features much better techniques and the designs have been updated based on tons of research!


          Supplies Needed

          • Long wig in a color that matches your own. Human or synthetic hair. Wavy or curly works best, but you can use straight. Try to find one with a center part.?No bangs; if there are any layers, they should be long layers.
          • False hair. Extra false hair can be used to fill out the wig, make side and back curls, make the pinned-up ponytail that you see on some wigs, and make lovelocks (long, dangling curls). Try to get hair that is already sewn to a net (for example, you can buy the ponytails that are attached to a jawclip — take it off the jawclip and then you have a flat net attached to the hair).
          • Wire mesh, the smaller the holes, the better.
          • Wire cutters.
          • Pliers.
          • Thin wire to sew the mesh together; needs to be bendable.
          • Wig clips, also called toupee clips. Large size, to coordinate with your wig color.
          • Bobby pins. About a million.
          • Sewing thread in a color to match the wig.
          • Needle.
          • Hairnets in a color to match/coordinate with the wig.
          • Hairspray - aerosol, the strongest you can find.
          • Styrofoam head or other base on which to style and store the wig.
          • Teasing comb.


        1. Reply Francesca August 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm

          this is great! thank you so much!

        2. Reply Cathryn September 11, 2011 at 6:35 am

          Your tutorial is fantastic! Very helpful, very inspiring and it made me laugh! Thank you so much!

        3. Reply carrie October 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm


        4. Reply Dixie October 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm

          Thank you for writing this tutorial. I now feel that I can create my own wig instead of buying something ready made, and not as good looking. (Still secretly wish to do it with my real hair though.)

        5. Reply Amanda October 11, 2011 at 11:18 am

          Thanks so much! I just finished mine yesterday. I followed your tutorial pretty much exactly and I’m soooo pleased with the results. So glad I did it instead of buying one the lame plastic ones from the Halloween store. I made lots of curls down the back and ended up putting a bouffant hairnet over the whole thing so they wouldn’t flop around while I was handling it. I think I may even wear it with the hairnet lunch lady style. :) Thanks again for the great tutorial!

        6. Reply The Countess and Susanna (Wig Styling Tutorial) « onedelightfulday October 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

          […] out the Demode Pouf Tutorial for more Historical Wig Styling Fun! GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", […]

        7. Reply Amy April 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

          I love this!!! I just styled my second wig with your help. I did the first one a little over a year ago, and got so many compliments. I have an event this weekend and felt the need for “new hair” so I just styled a new one.

          Thank you!

        8. Reply Sandra the Traveller September 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

          Fabulous!!! Love the hairspray comments! Gave me a good chuckle!! This goes on my list of things to do which means maybe sometime this decade!!

        9. Reply Tracy January 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

          Wow very nice. I am going to try it with batting. I like the powder hair look. Thank you very much.

        10. Reply Lorna McKenzie May 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm

          Brilliant tutorial, thanks for sharing this great ‘how-to’, definitely sharing!

        11. Reply More 18th Century | Kit's Clothing Collection June 21, 2013 at 6:48 am

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        12. Reply Saxon September 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm

          Where can buy the men’s suits and wigs ?

        13. Reply 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling — The Book | onedelightfulday January 6, 2014 at 4:33 pm

          […] about wigs have been instrumental to my own wig styling for my Mozart Project! I have used her blog for reference on many wigs, and I’d like to share some of the creations I’ve produced […]

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          […] 1770s Pouf Wig Tutorial […]

        15. Reply Jody Regan November 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

          Kendra–I took your class at Costume College a few years ago and it was awesome! It helped me turn a crappy 18th C. wig into something I can now wear without feeling embarrassed. Do you know where to find a little ship to mount on top of this hairdo? Thanks.

        16. Reply The Art of Darkness » Blog Archive » Game of Link Dumps October 20, 2017 at 4:02 am

          […] 1770s High Wig Tutorial – Tutorial for re-creating an elaborate 1770s hairstyle. The entire Demode site is a great resource for period costuming. […]

        17. Reply Ask the Experts: April 2009 – Your Ward December 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

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