(Thoughts on whether to powder the hair or wear a wig for a Poudré ball or costume, and how to go about each method.)
Contrary to the advice given by Ardern Holt, Lucie Armstrong felt that a wig was better than powdering one's own hair:
The way to powder the hair is as follows: -- First dress it very firmly and grease it all over. Another person now takes the hair-powder and throws it lightly from above all over the hair, care being taken to protect the dress by means of a large wrap. The effect of the powdered hair is extremely becoming, but the after-consequences are far from agreeable. It takes days to get rid of all the powder and grease, and the hair often gets tangled and broken during the many washings and combings necessary.
A simpler plan is to wear a powdered wig, which leaves no unpleasant results to the hair, though its weight is apt to induce headache. A good wig is better than a bad head of hair, and the mass of curly locks are extremely becoming, and give a good deal of character to the face.
It takes two people to put on a wig. The one who is going to wear it must catch hold of the foundation, and pull it down in front as tightly as possible, whilst another person pulls it down as far as it will go at the back. The hair must first be reduced to as small a compass as possible, combed up away from the face, and arranged tightly on top of the hea. The wig must be held in its place with white hair-pins, placed at the edge of the silk foundation, and fastened firmly into the hair beneath. The curls are then arranged to suit the wearer, being gathered up towards the back with a few white-pins; and a few final touches of the powder-puff will improve the appearance of the wig when everything else is done.
--- Armstrong, Lucie. The Ball-Room Guide. London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., c1880s.