Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Marie-Antoinette's Unruly Hair

Elizabeth at a wonderful new site entitled Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France explores Antoinette's many trials with her hair from the time she was a young girl. To quote:
The Duc de Choiseul was the strongest French advocate for the marriage between Marie Antoinette and Louis Auguste, Dauphin of France. However, he wanted to make sure that he was waging all his power and influence on a suitable match. One of his biggest complaints about Marie Antoinette was her hair. According to sources, the young Archduchess had an “unruly mess of reddish-blond curls [which were] habitually worn pulled back off her forehead with a harsh woolen band that ripped at her scalp. The band, however, was beginning to cause unsightly bald patches along the archduchess’s hairline.” This style also gave Marie Antoinette an unusually large forehead, which was considered very unbecoming. Thus, a French hairdresser was brought to Austria and managed Antoinette’s unruly hair into a lovely coif à la française. Almost immediately, the women at the Austrian court began wearing their hair in this manner. Even before she arrived in France, Marie Antoinette was already a trend setter.
And here is a rare portrait of Marie-Antoinette with her hair unpowdered so  that we can see the natural color (before she began to go grey).


lara77 said...

The description of reddish-blonde curls too unruly reminds me of my own hair when very young. I sometimes think the Queen was a trendsetter without realizing it; reminding me of the late Princess Diana. I will say that the Queen's taste in furniture and decoration was totally exquisite!!

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, she was! My hair was curly and unruly when I was young, too, although it was not reddish-blonde.

Matterhorn said...

It seems that she had a beautiful color of hair. I can also sympathize with the frustration with unruly curls.