Named for the trend-setting Marquise de Pompadour – mistress of King Louis XV in eighteenth century France – the pompadour was originally a style that involved frizzing the hair all over and wrapping it around padding to create a swept-up, voluminous style. The look became popular again in the 1800s and was further popularised by the Gibson Girl; a cartoon vision of femininity created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, complete with enormous sweeping pompadour hairstyle. By the Edwardian era, the pompadour was the prevailing style for fashionable women in England – often paired with a frizzy fringe, inspired by the then-Princess of Wales, Alexandra. The pompadour was reinvented in the 1950s as a men’s look, most notably by Elvis and James Brown. Hair is combed back off the face, in keeping with the original style, then slicked back for a high-shine finish.

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