The elegant and elaborate hairstyles fashionable in Victorian times are famous for their beauty, but few modern women have the time or assistance to recreate the fanciest styles of the era.
However, modern women can still recreate the elegance of the era with its simpler styles.The Victorian 3-braid is one of my favorites: easy to recreate, it is a lovely updo, perfect for weddings or proms, but can be dressed down for everyday use as well.
This style looks best with fairly long, thick, straight hair. For a similar style that works well for shorter hair, scroll down to learn about the "Gibson Tuck."
Victorian 3-braid Instructions
If you already know how to do a flip-through, skip to step 4. Otherwise, continue reading. Experienced hair dressers will be able to create this style on themselves, others may need to practice on a friend first.
- Put your subject's hair up into a basic ponytail.
- Loosen the ponytail slightly and use your fingers to part the hair just above and below the band.
- Carefully reach through the part and grab the pony tail. Pull it gently up through the part to create a flip-through.
- Divide the ponytail into three sections. Get your friend to hold two of them.
- Divide the remaining section into three and braid it. Repeat with the other two.
- Loop the braids and tuck the ends into the flip-through. Secure with pins.
To view more examples of this lovely style, please visit Dreamweaver Braiding. (Scroll down to the middle of the page.)
You can also experiment with variations, including single braid and 5-braid versions.
Gibson Tuck Instructions
If, like me, you have shorter, curlier hair, don't despair. There is a similar style popularly called the "Gibson Tuck" that you can try instead.
- Put your subject's hair up into a basic ponytail.
- Loosen the ponytail slightly and use your fingers to create a part just above the band.
- Flip the band down into the "pocket" this creates, and push the ponytail in after it, as evenly as possible. Unlike the Victorian 3-braid, do NOT pull the hair through. Secure with pins.
This is a pretty yet practical updo that is very fast to make. The sample in the photo to the right took me under a minute from start to finish, though it would benefit from a neater part.
For a dressier look, you can secure the tuck with decorative hairsticks or combs, incorporate flowers or ribbons, curl any stray strands, or similar techniques.
Learn More Elegant Styles Inspired by History
- Dreamweaver Braiding
Clear, illustrated instructions for braids, twists, herringbones, and many other beautiful hairstyles.
- LongLocks HairSticks Boutique
Beautiful hair sticks with instructions for creating a variety of vintage-inspired styles
Victoriana Inspiration and Reference
- The Victorian Era Online
Fashion, décor, history,and more of the Victorian era.
- The Costumer's Manifesto
The ultimate reference for historical costumes and more
- The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes
Historical costume in the movies
- Eras of Elegance
Historical costume and more
- La Couturiere Parisienne
Studying historical costume through art and vintage fashion plates
- demode: historical costume projects & resources
A costumer's website
NO,i'm the real tomato on November 14, 2011:
thios is a very good look, espically if your an elder.
abiagil on September 09, 2011:
i love the idea of the 3 braid updo however the hairstyle that i was looking for was different but i love the victorian style!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
la'shequa on August 31, 2011:
im on a project bout victorian cometology and the this really helpped me out big time.........................thank u sooooooo much.
Serafim from Utah on July 04, 2011:
Very helpful! I may use this for my next outfit. :)
Georgia on January 27, 2011:
I have to dres up as a victorian on friday but I don't know what hair style to use, this web site really helped me. Thanks.
alice on December 19, 2010:
this is good information im doing my project so this is goooooood use
no name on November 19, 2010:
nanmarfla on September 21, 2010:
I love braids & will try to improve my technics by visiting this site more often THANKS for your help
no name on July 21, 2010:
i am have to dress up as a victorian for my work tommorow and this has been very helpful thank you :)
Brooke on July 01, 2010:
This is so cool. I love the gibson tuck. Thanks!
the pink umbrella from the darkened forest deep within me. on April 02, 2010:
this is yet another reason to grow my hair longer. i cut it off right before the baby for some weird pregnant reason, and have been trying to grow it out since. i havnt as much as snipped it since nov. 09, so by next year ill be sporting the victorian!
No name please on February 09, 2010:
I'm doing a histroical progrma at the library, and I think these styles will be just the thing for my outfit.
ela on February 06, 2010:
there nice i might try one ............lol lol lol lol lol
Ima Darlin' on February 02, 2010:
I love Victorian hair styles especially the simple easy ones to do!
I do costume contests for the western/ victorian period..
myawn from Florida on January 20, 2010:
Very nice Victorian hairdo's I went and cut my hair short but when it grows out I will braid again
Audrey Kirchner from Washington on January 17, 2010:
Thanks for the hub - I have been fooling around with my hair and came up with the Gibson tuck and then the pullthrough but wanted to confirm that I was doing it right....now I can 'rest easy' - ha ha - great hub though and love that book...must have.
Rosaline on January 11, 2010:
I am always putting my hair up in the gibson tuck. There are another 2 you can do. Once you tuck in your hair pull it down then you can tuck it under in a loop. As I cant braid. Or you can pull it down then pin it up. this one looks great. Looks like you have spent ages doing your hair when really it only takes a minute or two.
daoine on July 13, 2009:
Very pretty. The Gibson Tuck was very popular when I was at school.
gerty15 on February 25, 2009:
does anyone know where i can find an updo for my prom as detailed below.
loose curly hair, bun, wispy bits floating down
i'd draw it but i can't draw!!! help me please!
The Real Tomato on February 14, 2009:
I have always liked victorian style as well as early western hair styles. I have tried so many times to create elegant updo's that are similar. I think women used to have assistance with their hair. It is so difficult to do it yourself- I need 4 arms!
Great links and hub.
Debby Bruck on February 08, 2009:
fun hub. thanks for dreamweaving braiding instructions. Making our daughters beautiful in braids. Debby, CHOM
MuSe on October 21, 2008:
Magnific, I should have been born in that era.. Im just obsesed its beautiful..
Research Analyst on September 15, 2008:
I like the victorian time era, such elegance and style.
desert blondie from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on September 12, 2008:
I did the Gibson Tuck quite a bit in the eighties. And the braids on Dreamweaver Braiding...amazing! Fun hub!
dineane from North Carolina on September 10, 2008:
I can't believe I'm saying this, as lazy as I am, but reading these hairstyle hubs is making me think about trying some new styles. These actually don't look that difficult, and I really like the look, too. Thanks for the Hub!
Shirley Anderson from Ontario, Canada on September 09, 2008:
That looks like a very pretty style you're wearing, and it doesn't sound as hard as I would've thought it to be.
I am surprised that Shadesbreath hasn't volunteered his wife for one of these.
Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on September 09, 2008:
Excellent hub. Victorian women had it tough...
Shadesbreath from California on September 09, 2008:
Straight to the point, simple yet elegant. No wonder you're topping search engines already.
Dottie1 from MA, USA on September 09, 2008:
Victorian hairstyles are so pretty. I love looping and tucking braids. I find braiding to be very relaxing.
kerryg (author) from USA on September 08, 2008:
Thanks for your comments, Marye, Bob, and Anna Marie! I've always loved Victorian hairstyles and had lotsof fun trying them on myself when my hair was longer. Nowadays I have a lot fewer options and mostly have to borrow my friends' hair. :(
Anna Marie Bowman from Florida on September 08, 2008:
I love that look, and can't wait to try it out!!!
Bob Ewing from New Brunswick on September 08, 2008:
I will have to share this with my wife.
Marye Audet on September 08, 2008:
I love victorian styles!