Fashionable hairstyles for females began a vertical climb in the late 1760s. Editorials in London periodicals satirized the large headdresses that English ladies were all too eager to copy from the French. Here are a few examples for your edification and delight:
Above etching published by M. Darly in 1771 shows a young woman dancing to the violin played by her dancing master, while her proud mother sporting an enormous hairdo looks on. Note the dog and monkey.
Mary and Matthew Darly were English printmakers and caricaturists during the 1770s. Mary was a printer, caricaturist, artist, engraver, writer, and teacher. She wrote, illustrated, and published the first book on caricature drawing, A Book Of Caricaturas (1762) aimed at “young gentlemen and ladies.”
Above: a lady with her hair in a gigantic pyramid, protected by an enormous umbrella on a very long stick. Her draped over-skirt at the back in mountainous folds holds a seated fop taking shelter under her hair. A simple countryman, whose hat has fallen to the ground, gapes at the pair in amazement. A fashionably dressed man on the right leers and points at them.
Above: 1770s etching, artist unknown, of a French woman being kissed by her elderly husband, while cupids climb a ladder along her tall hair to deliver letters to her young lover above.
Above: 1776, by Sayer & Bennett: a hairdresser needs a ladder to get at the hair of a lady with enormous hair, while another man holds a sextant to measure the distance.