Marie antoinette inspired hair

I have always found Marie Antoinette inspiring but I must say that Sophia Coppola’s interpretation has helped me understand how her style can be modernised and become more appropriate to wear today.

I tried a hairstyle inspired by ones in the 2007 film for my party last weekend and was asked to do a tutorial so here it is!

First of all, as most of you know I have thin, bleached hair so it is probably more malleable than most hair. If you have thick hair you might need more product to achieve this look. It also might help if you leave your hair unwashed for a couple of days.

You will need:

  • A comb (suitable for backcombing)
  • a bottle of hairspray (the brand or type is irrelevant but strong is probably good)
  • hair pins
  • curling tongues
  • 2 mirrors

Start with you hair down and your comb in your hand. I know some people use lice combs for backcombing, I think just a standard plastic fine toothed comb is the best. Also please forgive the lack of eyebrows, I draw them on so I actually look a bit like an alien in the morning.

Start on the crown of your head a basically backcomb a large section in the middle of your head, giving as much volume as possible. I advise spraying with hairspray both before and after. If you have soft hair spraying before hand with help you backcomb more effectively and help the section stick together.

This should give you a large backcombed section that looks kind of like this with straight hair all around the outside.

Next, take the remaining hair, a section at a time and backcomb and spray it. In some cases it might be helpful to curl each section first. I did this on my first attempt at this style but then realised it wasn’t necessary for my hair.

The objective is to get your hair to easily form a little curl which you can then pin to the backcombed body of hair.

They should look something like this to start with. If you curl them them might be a bit more wavy.

After you’ve done a few it should look something like this.

To do the back, I moved into the bathroom where I could use two mirrors to see what I was doing properly.

I started sectioning, spraying, curling and pinning the back of my hair.

Take care to pin lightly so the hairstyle still looks light and puffy.

At the end I left two small sections toΒ  curl into ringlets.

Side view

Top view

Back view.

On one side I have a shaved patch so I just put a curl over it.

And this is what it looks like from the front.

I’m particularly pleased with this style because it does resemble hairstyles worn by Marie Antoinette without requiring a hair piece, extensions of a wig. I’ve seen loads of people buy Marie Antoinette inspired wigs that look terrible as soon as you get them home and this is a cheap and more effective alternative.

If you have dark coloured hair it might be a good idea to use some white hairspray for this style. I liked the colour of my hair as it is for this one but I use white hair spray quite a lot. I love the dusty effect it leaves on the hair, which is in fact quite reminiscent of the powdered look of 18th century wigs.

I know my pictures aren’t fantastic but hopefully they still show the process accurately and clearly. If in doubt, use more hair spray and I’d love to see pics if anyone else tries this.

I’ll try and do it for a shoot and get some better pics at some point!


  1. Filipa 26th April 2016 / 9:17 pm

    It seems so easy, but seems it does not work for me… πŸ™

    • admin 3rd May 2016 / 7:42 pm

      I have bleached hair which makes it easier to work with, maybe try using texturing products first to help with grip

  2. JMGalways 6th October 2015 / 12:06 am

    When I first saw your post I was thinking, “I bet you have to have a ton of hair to make this work.” So imagine my surprise and delight to find that your hair is thin and short-ish like mine! I am super excited to try this out! Thanks for the inspiration and know-how.

  3. Helena 30th September 2014 / 7:28 pm

    In love with this hair style.
    Nice tutorial! πŸ™‚

  4. ianna 28th September 2014 / 11:30 pm

    i love this!

    i was wondering what hairspray you recommend for a powdered white look? i don’t want to go for the cheap halloween/costume spray because it makes the hair a really weird texture….

    thank you πŸ™‚

  5. Antonis 27th April 2014 / 12:12 pm

    This is perfect! I have been searching everywhere for a Marie Antoinette inspired hairstyle and this tutorial is just what I am looking for! The great thing about it is that there is no requirement of a wig or hair extensions. Thanks!

  6. shelbynhanson 30th October 2013 / 9:03 pm

    Amazing job! I was on the fence about buying a Marie Antoinette style wig since it was giant and didn’t look too flattering, I think you’ve convinced me to save my money. I’ll be using your tutorial to complete my Halloween costume this weekend!

    • aestheticcontradiction 30th October 2013 / 9:38 pm

      I’m really glad to hear that. I hope this hairstyle works out well for you and you look fabulous. Feel free to send me pic!
      S. x

  7. madam spencer 20th June 2013 / 7:03 pm

    Yours it the BEST 18thc. hair I have seen. Good wigs in the style are NOT out there, as you mention. I think I may have a hard time since I am not a hairstylist, but I LOVE this, and am going to try it!
    Thanks so much.

      • madam spencer 25th June 2013 / 12:42 pm

        When I give it a go, I’ll put photos of the result on my blog and let you know here—IF I can do it, lol! I have very fine hair, and am hoping I have the coordination to achieve this!
        Thanks again,

  8. gemma 28th April 2013 / 1:53 pm

    thanks hun, gives hope to someone with hair a very similar length to yours in this tutorial, that i can do 18th century styles without rats or extentions.

  9. Olena 30th August 2012 / 5:04 pm

    Wow. And it suits you beautifully. You have the perfect allure for this hairstyle.:)

  10. Patricia 13th May 2012 / 1:38 am

    love the demo. I hae long hair down my back, I saw on a website a suggestion to use a shower scrubbie as a “rat”. I may have to try that. Or hot roll it first and then tease and spray. Beautiful photos.

  11. Deanna 19th April 2012 / 1:25 pm

    Absolutely beautiful and an awesome tutorial!! Thanks! LOVE that movie and loved the hair in it.

  12. Lauren Elizabeth 18th April 2012 / 10:33 pm

    Excellent tutorial! Thank you for sharing this. I am very inspired and can’t wait to try it!

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