I recently picked up a copy of Galia Ofek’s Representations of Hair in Victorian Literature and Culture (Ashgate, 2009) and I’m looking forward to having a good read through it. In the meantime, I did want to share with you some amazing nineteenth-century images of ladies with long locks for your amusement.

1.Long hiar family

“Come and marry my daughters! Good breeding stock – not a receding hair gene in sight. You’ll also sleep safe in the knowledge that should you fall on hard times during your marriage, you can lop off her hair and sell it.” What this guy isn’t telling you is that all seven of them are sporting full moustaches and soul patches from the front.




“My gigantic waterfall of hair brings all the boys to the yard.”



This woman’s hair sustains itself by consuming the vital energy of her house plants. Soon it will move on to human hosts.




I don’t even know what the sandwich-fuck is going on here.


Creeping hairMuch like the Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones, this lady can no longer leave her divan. Her hair is now her only link to the outside world. It creeps abroad in the dead of night to forage for food.



I have so many questions about this. What is going on? Where is that nice lady’s hand? Why does the lady in the hat look so overcome with existential ennui? It would appear there are only two logical explanations: 1) Hat-lady is a cyborg. Her vacant face it the nineteenth-century equivalent of the red ring of death and the woman in white is searching for the reset button. 2) This is a photograph of the world’s largest and most life-like ventriloquist dummy.

On a more glamorous note, there is Evelyn Nesbit (1884-1967). Hailed as the ‘most beautiful woman’ of her time, Nesbit basically invented the ‘sexy updo and clevage shot’.

You can read all about her on my good friend @bizarrevictoria ‘s post: ‘Evelyn Nesbit, aka “The Most Beautiful Woman in America”, aka “The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing.”

But I’m going to end with this glorious piece of marketing from Hall’s Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer – ‘restores gray hair to its original color and prevents baldness’.  I just… I can’t quite… No. I have no idea what is happening here. Someone please explain this imagery to me.

Halls Geese