18th century hair styles are fascinating and extremely complicated. During some periods, wigs became almost universal for both gentlemen and ladies. For what it’s worth, here’s my mini outline of 18th century hair.
piled high–>minimal–>big, but orderly–>big and messy.
There’s not a lot of pictures of the back of 18th century styles. Almost every picture has a cap/covering of some sort. What I have been able to find in almost all pictures are the following elements.
3. Some sort of loose curls at the neck. Please click to see this beautiful image larger. The lady in blue has several small curls across the back of her neck. The lady on the right has long ringlets over one shoulder. Image from Wikipedia. Super hi-res version here.
I did find some instructions on how to do an 18th century style that were written in the early 20th century. I think the basic style is pretty authentic, but I’m not sure about the randomly placed rolls in the back. The 18th century seems to be more focused on order and balance, not “casual disorder.” (See the picture of ordered rolls for number 2.) These instructions remind me of some for a contemporary style also from the early 20th century.
Further reading: La Couturiere Parisienne’s article on 18th century hair and wigs.
Unless noted otherwise, images courtesy of La Couturiere Parisienne