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Hair from the Past

Hair from the Past

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Jessica Bayne and her 18th century hair creation

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The judges in action, from left to right, Andrea Bullock, Sarah Wildermoth and Elaine McKee. Background UCOL Hairdressing lecturers Gillian and Carrie

Hair from the Past

Hair styles from times gone by were the focus of a hairdressing history and culture competition in the UCOL atrium in Palmerston North this week. Pre-Apprentice hairdressing students worked swiftly and creatively to turn their ‘head’ into a re-creation of an era or culture of their choice, in this case from the eighteenth century or from maori culture.

The winner was Jessica Bayne, second place Chelsea Zimmerman, and third went to Raewyn Sinclair. Jessica chose an 18th Century style because of its elegance. “It caught my eye because of the way the accessories were placed and this allowed me to be creative with the back. This style is a powdered wig.” Jessica said it was a challenge to create and took lots of practice and modification, especially getting the rolls right. She is hoping to get an apprenticeship when she finishes the course in April.

Hairdressing Lecturers Gillian Gosper and Carrie Gardiner said the history and culture competition forms part of the students’ course requirements, challenging them to choose a style from an era or culture of their choosing. They spend months researching and experimenting with styles from their chosen time zone, producing a portfolio to go with their work. “The students have been very dedicated to learning the historical and cultural themes that go with their work. They learn how these translate into today’s world, with many aspects of the hairstyles featuring in fashion shows and weddings” said Carrie.

Judging criteria includes ensuring an evenly balanced and proportioned style that uses at least two techniques. The design should be enhanced with the use of accessories or hair pieces, and be consistent with hairstyles from the era or culture chosen.

Judges included last year’s winner, Sarah Wildermoth who is working at Hairworks, Elaine McKee, owner of Hair Transformer and Chair of UCOL’s Hairdressing Advisory Committee, and Andrea Bullock, founder of UCOL’s hairdressing programmes and Programme Leader. The judges were impressed, both with the ambitious nature of the hairstyles and the creativeness going into them.


Techniques Jessica used include back combing over the whole head and using different techniques to create the rolls at the back. The top is a big bouffant, and the sides have three rolls – two short and one long. The back is done in three folds looping down and a vertical roll lines the neck. Accessories included black beads across the front to emphasise the height of hair, and ribbon bows down the side to show femininity. Feathers were big in the late 18th century so they were the main feature of the back. Jessica used lots of bobby pins, a postiche brush and hairspray.

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