Dear Constant Reader,
It’s Friday! Before we get down to your tip, some announcements:
• Introduction to Burlesque starts on Wednesday!
• On Feb. 11, I’m offering Valen-Tease, a striptease routine for a special Valentine’s Day (or night).
• In case you missed it, a video to accompany yesterday’s recipe is available to supporters on Patreon.
And now for your tip!
For more hair volume, use a rat.
Not a squeaky rodent, padding for your hairstyle! Rats are usually tubes or donut shapes of foam covered with mesh, tinted to match many hair colors. If you don’t quite have enough hair (like me!) to create a big style, arrange your hair over the rat to plump out your ‘do. Just make sure you cover the entire form with your hair. They’re good for buns, rolls, bumper bangs, and the like. You can get rats at drugstores and beauty supply places.
For a historically authentic rat, use your own hair. What? you may be asking. Didn’t you just say to use rats when you don’t have enough hair? From at least the Victorian era (if not earlier) through to the early 20th century, women would save the loose hair from their brushes and stuff it into little nets to make rats that would match their hair color perfectly.
To save the hair, they used hair receivers, basically a jar with a hole in the lid in which to stuff your brushings. Hair receivers are very pretty since they were kept out on the dressing table, usually with a matching powder jar. I’ve collected a few…
This was the first dresser set I found, glass jars with some kind of early plastic tops, probably celluloid (I doubt they’re Bakelite, but I haven’t tested). I keep hair brushings in the receiver, as one does, and dried roses from Judith Stein in the powder jar.
This set is probably from the 1930s. It’s made of French ivory, a kind of celluloid. Not seen in this photo is a matching brush set, manicure tools, and a hand mirror.
This is my favorite set, which is Noritake hand painted china. Based on the backmark, I think it was manufactured sometime in the 1920s, definitely pre-War. I’m still trying to identify the pattern. Any Noritake fans out there?
The footed dish may have been for hairpins, but I use it to hold my everyday jewelry overnight. There is dusting powder and a powder puff in the powder jar, as there should be, but I usually use the hair receiver to hold my hatpins until such a time as I get a proper hatpin holder.