Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H ~ Hair

From the day she is born, until the day she dies, an Amish woman never cuts her hair. To keep all of this hair under a covering we used hairpins to hold the hair in a snug bun.
I still have a handful of hairpins left over from my Amish years. They come in handy when we go to visit family and I try to wear my hair in a proper bun.
With Sunbeam being my willing model I'll try to show how I used to do my hair.
The hair is always parted down the middle.

The one side was twisted into a rope.

And then pinned and coiled clockwise to start the bun.

The next side gets twisted into a rope.

This rope was pinned and coiled counter clockwise around the first half of the bun.

Finally a hairband, often made from velvet or some type of fabric that didn't naturally try to slip, was pinned into place with several straight pins to keep wisps of hair from floating freely.  (I used a piece of ribbon for demonstration purposes.)

Now she would be ready for a covering, but I don't have one so simply take a look at the covers of my books in the side bar to see what that would look like.

Often the only thing we did with our hair, especially little girls who had their hair in braids before having been put into a bun, was combing the hair back to the bun and redoing the hairband. Saturdays hair was taken down, a weeks worth of tangles combed out of it, washed, and put back into a snug bun.


jenann said...

My childhood idea of heaven would have been to only brush my hair thoroughly once a week!
Oh, the daily torture of my mother on the handle end of of a hairbrush administering 200 strokes with varying degrees of ferocity, depending on how well my brothers and I had made our beds and helped with breakfast preparation or chores.
Sometimes I received a bang on the head with the back of the brush that was, by rights, for one of the boys who had failed mother in some way, but I was the one handy for the whack!
My hair never escaped the braids fully and was not knotted ever but,
when the imaginary knots were sufficiently brushed through, my hair was pulled back into braids so tight that I was left with a surprised expression that lasted for hours until they worked a little loose.
Mother prided herself on my starched ribbons, neatly hemmed at the ends and laundered after every wearing. Woe betide me if I arrived home from school without one!
I so wanted to be a boy and have short hair and I horrified the whole village by having it cut short when I was sixteen.

Merry C. said...

Do you mind sharing if you cut your hair now? I'm just curious. Did that change when you left the Amish?

Aditi said...

Woaahh...never cutting the hair and managing them must be really difficult!!

nolefan ocala said...

It is a beautiful style when the bun is finished. Your daughter has beautiful hair.

Mackenzie said...

I have very long hair--long enough to sit on--and I have a prayer cap that, if I try fitting it over my bun, it's just so far back! I'll have to try this kind of bun and see if that makes any difference to getting it to fit right.

I usually use a triangle of fabric or this linen snood with the brim folded back. People at Meeting (Plain Quakers are rare in my area) have commented on by "bonnet" regarding it before :P

Mackenzie said...

(I love my Amish-made hair pins, by the way. When you've got this much hair, flimsy bobby pins don't cut it.)

Grammy Staffy said...

I just love reading your posts and learning more about Amish customs. I just read all that you have posted. We visited an Amish community when we were visiting our son in Ohio. I was so impressed with their work. We bought some jams, relish, cookies and a couple of candles. We took a buggy ride through some farms and admired the gardens.
I can't wait to read more of your posts. Thanks for sharing.

Katie Troyer said...

I always felt sorry for the women who had long and thick hair. Then had to make it into a bun that fitted in the covering.

lifeaftercaregiving said...

Very interesting post, and the pictures added so much. Thanks for sharing.

lifeaftercaregiving said...

Very interesting post, and the pictures added so much. Thanks for sharing.

Alison xx said...

Do you still have long hair ? Sunbeam's hair is beautiful. A xx

Glenda Cates said...

You daughter is so pretty and has such lovely hair. I loved seeing how the bun was done. I also took a look at the books and would enjoy reading them so will see if I can find them as I could do a review on my blog of them.

gillian claire said...

Wow, your blog is so fascinating! I think so many people are interested in learning more about the Amish. It has been so insightful reading through your posts!

Teresa said...

With the way my hair grows, I can't imagine how long it would be at this point if I had never cut it for almost 53 years....probably as long as my great-aunt Mary, whose hair came down to her feet when she let it down...which she did every night to brush it.