How women have turned the heads of men has changed over time. Many of today’s most prominent female stars, such as Beyoncé, reached the top of the charts by wearing flashy costumes, dancing provocatively, singing her heart out, and even cutting off their long locks to a short cut. This showy display has not always been the case for women. In fact, during the 1800s, one of the most startling things women could do with their hair grew it as long as they could. And seven sisters did just that.
The Sutherland sisters, whose names were Grace (1854-1946), Naomi (1858-1893), Dora (1860-1919), Victoria (1849-1902), Isabella (1852-1914), Mary (1862-1939), and Sarah (1845-1919) always dreamed of the spotlight. The girls were born to Fletcher and Mary in Niagara County, New York. The family was poor so to make money after the death of their mother; the girls first started to perform in the 1880s as musicians. They would sing and play instruments in hopes of entertaining the crowd but what really entertained the audience was their hair. Concert-goers became amazed that their hair combined reached 37 feet.
The Seven Sutherland Sisters Make Waves In Hair
Realizing his daughters’ hair could bring them the spotlight and finances the family desired and needed, Fletcher and Mary decided to create a “medicine” which they claimed would make every woman’s hair grow just as long. The parents patent the medicine as “The Seven Sutherland Sisters Hair Grower.” Of course, this did not actually help to make hair grow faster or longer. The “medicine” combination consisted of salt, magnesium, hydrochloric acid, bay rum, and witch hazel. Hundreds to thousands of people bought the product, so the family quickly expanded their market to include combs, scalp care, and brushes.
With all this success, the family continued to expand their daughters’ agendas. With the “medicine” selling at an average American’s weekly salary, the sisters make public appearances to show off their hair and consult other people on how to grow their hair so long and fine, but they also started to open their own stores. These stores, which opened in New York and other states, were a type of salon that would allow people to come in and talk with a professional about the products to use and how to grow their hair like the Sutherland Sisters.
The oldest sister, Sarah, had the shortest hair out of the seven. Her hair only reached a length of three feet so, in order to make her hair look longer, the sisters would pose for pictures a certain way. Sarah would stand in the back, and the other sisters would sit or bend over so Sarah’s hair would look longer. Victoria had the longest hair out of all the sisters, it grew to a length of seven feet and would often drag behind her if she did not put her hair up.