The Evolution of Hairstyles through History ...

Neecey

The Evolution of Hairstyles through History ...
The Evolution of Hairstyles through History ...

Your hair makes a statement about how you see yourself. Until the late 20th century, styles throughout history varied with social class, age, ethnicity, race, genetics and even career. Hair through the ages paints a fascinating picture and shows the evolution to the styles we choose today.

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1

Ancient Egypt 4000-300BC

Long straight or braided hair and elaborate headdresses. Wigs were common.
Ancient Egypt 4000-300BC

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The Ancient Egyptian period, which lasted from 4000-300BC, saw a variety of hairstyles and headdresses popular among both men and women. Both long and short hair was worn, with the length and style varying depending on the individual's social status. Men often wore their hair in a short, cropped style, while women wore their hair either long and straight or in elaborate braids and plaits. Wigs were also common during this period, with some made from human hair and others made from animal fur. Hair was often decorated with flowers, beads, and other ornaments, and headdresses were often worn to signify social status.

2

Ancient Greece 1500-150BC

Long hair with elaborate knots and updos decorated with natural items (leaves and flowers) or jewels.
Ancient Greece 1500-150BC

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Ancient Greece from 1500-150BC was a period of elegant and elaborate hairstyles. Women wore their hair long and often decorated it with intricate knots and updos. These hairstyles were often adorned with natural items like leaves and flowers, or with jewels. This was a way for women to express their social status and show off their wealth.

The most popular hairstyle in Ancient Greece was the chignon, which was a tight bun at the nape of the neck. This hairstyle was seen as a sign of respectability and was often worn by married women. Other popular styles included the krobylos, which was a bun at the back of the head, and the stephane, which was a crown of braids.

Women would often use oils and scents to keep their hair healthy and fragrant. Oils like olive oil, almond oil, and rosemary oil were popular, as well as scented waters. Women would also use herbs like rosemary and lavender to create fragrant hair treatments.

Frequently asked questions

The history of hairstyles is a fascinating journey that dates back to ancient times. Different styles have emerged, evolved, and gone out of fashion, reflecting the cultures and eras they come from. The hairstyles throughout history have been influenced by a variety of factors such as social status, religion, and current trends.

Hairstyles have evolved significantly through the ages. From the simple styles of early humans which served practical purposes like protection and warmth, to the complex and symbolic hairstyles of ancient civilizations. Through the centuries, hairstyles have been influenced by factors like advancements in tools, fashion trends, and cultural changes.

Sure, historical hairstyles are very diverse. For example, Ancient Egyptians often shaved their heads and wore wigs, while Ancient Greeks favored elaborate braids and updos. In the Middle Ages, European women frequently kept their hair covered. The extravagant hairstyles of the French court became famous during the Renaissance, and the 20th century saw a wide range of styles from the flapper bobs of the 1920s to the big hair of the 1980s.

Throughout the history of hairstyles, some noticeable trends include the elaborate wigs of the 18th century, the short bob of the 1920s, the rise of hair accessories such as ribbons and headbands, and the influence of celebrities and media on popular hairstyles. Simple styles have always alternated with more complex arrangements depending on the era and the social context.

People began styling their hair as early as prehistoric times, using bone tools to groom themselves. However, the evidence of intentional hairstyling becomes more prominent in ancient civilizations such as Egypt, where hair was styled for practicality, status, or beauty. Styling hair has been a part of human culture for thousands of years, with each era offering a unique approach.

3

Ancient Rome 500 BC – 500AD

Similar to Greece but “blonde” hair was popular and was created with golden powder. Curling tongs were also in wide range use.
Ancient Rome 500 BC – 500AD

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Ancient Rome (500 BC – 500 AD) was a time of great influence on hairstyles. Women of the upper class had their hair cut in a bob, while those of the lower classes had their hair cut into a short pageboy style. Blond hair was popular and was created with a golden powder, and curling tongs were in wide use. Women would often curl their hair around their face for a softer look.

In Ancient Rome, wigs were popular among both men and women. Women wore wigs made from human hair, and men often wore them to cover baldness. Wigs were also used to create a more formal look, with the hair pulled back and styled into a bun. Hairpins and headbands were often used to secure the hair in place.

Hairstyles were often decorated with flowers, ribbons, and other accessories. Women would often wear their hair in elaborate updos for special occasions. Hairnets were also popular during this time, and were often decorated with pearls or other jewels.

In addition to hairstyles, Ancient Rome also saw the introduction of cosmetics. Women would use kohl, a black powder, to darken their eyelids, and rouge to add color to their cheeks.

4

The Dark Ages 500-1000

Not a great deal is known due to lack of art and literature. Noblewomen wore headdresses that kept the hair mainly covered. Unmarried women wore a fillet, a narrow headband over a wimple.
The Dark Ages 500-1000

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During the Dark Ages, women's hairstyles were often kept simple and understated. Women usually had their hair pulled back and covered with a headdress or fillet. Hair ornaments and accessories were rarely seen during this time period. Women's hair was often braided or tied up in a bun, and the use of wigs and extensions was not yet popular. Women also rarely used hair dye or other hair products; instead, they relied on natural oils and herbs to keep their hair healthy and strong.

5

Age of Romanticism 900-1250

Noble women wore their hair in loose curls and lower class women wore it page boy style, short or chin-length.
Age of Romanticism 900-1250

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The Age of Romanticism (900-1250) was a period of time when hairstyles began to evolve, and women had more freedom to express themselves through their hair. Noble women wore their hair in loose curls, while lower class women wore it in a page boy style, which was short or chin-length. This style was often accompanied by a headband or scarf.

The Age of Romanticism was also a time when women began to experiment with different accessories to enhance their hairstyles. They wore ribbons, feathers, and flowers in their hair, as well as headdresses and tiaras. Many of these accessories were made of gold or silver and were often decorated with precious stones.

During this period, women also began to use heat styling tools to create more intricate hairstyles. Curling tongs and flat irons were used to create waves, curls, and straight styles. These tools allowed women to achieve a variety of looks that were not possible before.

6

Gothic Period 1250-1500

Hair was rarely seen in public. All women wore headdresses, bonnets, hats of hoods.
Gothic Period 1250-1500

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In the Gothic Period, modesty dictated that women's hair be covered, leading to an elaborate array of headwear that became fashion statements in their own right. The styles varied from simple linen caps to more ornate hennins — tall, pointed hats that often included a veil. Hairstyles underneath these coverings, though seldom seen by the public, were typically long and plaited or coiled into buns, reinforcing the era's penchant for neatness and order in personal appearance. The focus on headwear highlighted the period's craft in textile work and embroidery, reflecting both social status and regional variations across Europe.

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Renaissance 1500-1600

Renaissance 1500-1600 Updos were still popular but headdresses were on the way out. Hair was decorated with ribbons, pearls and other precious stones.

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During the flourishing period of the Italian Renaissance, beauty and art were paramount, leading to an emphasis on elaborate styles that reflected the era's artistic achievements. Women's hair became a canvas for displaying wealth and social status. Hairstyles often involved intricate braiding and twisting, securing the hair upward to showcase the neck and shoulders – a feature considered highly graceful at the time. The influence of the arts saw a fondness for classical simplicity blending with ornate detail, where even the hair exuded the balance and harmony revered in Renaissance aesthetics. Hairstylists of the era were akin to sculptors, molding hair into striking shapes adorned by the luxurious accessories of the time.

8

Baroque Period 1600-1720

Costumes had very high collars so it was still the fashion to wear hair up and high. Wire frames were used to style and fix in place. Height was important.
Baroque Period 1600-1720

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The Baroque period, which lasted from 1600 to 1720, was marked by a highly ornate and decorative style of art, architecture, and fashion. During this period, hairstyles were highly stylized and elaborate, with women wearing their hair up and high, usually with the help of wire frames. Height was an important factor in hairstyles during this period, and women often wore their hair in tall, structured styles.

Popular hairstyles of the Baroque period included the Fontange, which was an elaborate hairstyle created with the help of a wire frame. This style was popularized by the French courtesan Madame de Fontange and was said to be the inspiration for the modern beehive. The style featured a high, conical shape with curls or ringlets cascading down the sides.

In addition to the Fontange, other popular hairstyles of the Baroque period included the "tower" style, which was a tall, conical shape with curls or ringlets cascading down the sides, and the "tower of Pisa" style, which was a tall, conical shape with curls or ringlets cascading down the sides and a small bun on the top.

9

The 1700s

The century of the wig. Wigs the like of which have not been since, except in the movies.
The 1700s

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In the 1700s, opulence reigned supreme. Both men and women sported extravagant wigs as a statement of wealth and social status. These powdered beehives often towered overhead, tangled with ribbons and bows or bedecked with trinkets and even model ships. Not only a fashion statement, wigs also concealed the rampant hair issues of the time like lice and unhygienic conditions. Truly, this was an era when your hair could enter a room before you did.

10

Beidermeier Period 1789-1848

Hairstyles were extremely well coiffed, and were updos and half-updos. Ringlets, braids and twists were popular – often in combination. Hairstyles were built around elaborate headdresses.
Beidermeier Period 1789-1848

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The Beidermeier Period (1789-1848) was a time of elaborate hairstyles and headdresses. Women often wore updos and half-updos, with ringlets, braids, and twists often used in combination. Hairstyles were often built around the elaborate headdresses of the time, which could be decorated with feathers, ribbons, and other accessories. This period was also known for the use of pomade, a type of hair wax, to keep hairstyles in place. The Beidermeier Period was a time of great fashion and creativity in hairstyles, and its influence can still be seen today.

11

Regency Period 1811-1820

Classical Greek and Roman statuary was the basic inspiration for all Regency hairstyles, particularly earlier ones. The styles evolved into carefully planned casual disorder. Short spiral curls were popular.
Regency Period 1811-1820

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The Regency period of 1811-1820 was a time of great fashion and hairstyle innovation. Hairstyles were inspired by the classical Greek and Roman statues, and often featured tight curls. Women would often use a curling iron to create spiral curls, or use heated tongs to create tight ringlets. Hair was often accessorized with ribbons, feathers, and flowers. The hairstyles were carefully crafted to look effortless and disheveled, and were often quite ornate. The styles of the Regency period are still popular today, and have been seen in many films and television shows set in the era.

12

Early Victorian 1837-1860

During the 1840s and 1850s, hairstyles covered the ears and usually had hanging braids or curls that puffed out around the face while a bun secured the rest.
Early Victorian 1837-1860

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The Early Victorian period (1837-1860) was marked by hairstyles that were often elaborate and time-consuming to create. Women generally wore their hair parted down the middle and pulled back into a bun, with long curls framing the face. Braids and curls were also popular, with the hair often pulled back and pinned up. Accessories such as ribbons, veils, and feathers were used to add an extra level of elegance to the hairstyles. The Early Victorian era was a time of transition between the more traditional styles of the previous eras and the new, more modern styles that were beginning to emerge.

13

Late Victorian 1860-1900

There was a return to natural beauty – often in an austere way. Tidiness, modesty and dignity were watchwords. Loose hairstyles were considered vulgar and a sign of low class. A lady rarely went out without her bonnet.
Late Victorian 1860-1900

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During the Late Victorian period, hairstyles were often seen as a reflection of one’s social class. Women of higher class would often wear their hair pulled back in a tight bun or chignon, while those of lower class would wear their hair in a more natural, loose style. Additionally, women rarely left the house without wearing a bonnet. This period also saw the use of hair accessories such as ribbons, feathers, and combs to adorn the hair. The use of hair dye was also popular, with women often using henna to darken their hair. This period was known for its austere beauty, with tidiness, modesty, and dignity being the watchwords of the day.

14

Art Nouveau 1890-1910

Correlating with the movement in art, architecture and literature, hair became more organic. Updos were less formal and flowers, leaves and other natural objects were popular items woven into hair or attached to ribbons and delicate headdresses.
Art Nouveau 1890-1910

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During the Art Nouveau period, hairstyles were often inspired by nature. Women often wore their hair in intricate updos, decorated with flowers, leaves, and other natural objects. This style of hair was known for its delicate, feminine look. Other popular hairstyles of the time included braids, buns, and chignons. Hair accessories, such as ribbons and headdresses, were also commonplace. Hair was usually kept long, although some women would opt for a shorter cut. The Art Nouveau period saw a shift away from the stiff, formal hairstyles of the Victorian era, towards a softer, more natural look.

15

The 1920s

This was a period of major change. Women actually began to cut their hair short – gasp! Hairstyles were simple, either sleek so they would wear well under a cloche hat, or with finger waves embellished with delicate but elaborate headdresses and combs. In came the bob and the Eton Crop.
The 1920s

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The 1920s marked a major turning point in hairstyle history. Women began to cut their hair short, in styles such as the bob and Eton crop. These hairstyles were often kept sleek and simple to fit under the popular cloche hats. However, some women also embellished their hairstyles with delicate headdresses and combs to create finger waves. This era was also known for its use of pomade, a product used to slick and hold hair in place. The 1920s was a period of experimentation and creativity when it came to hairstyles, and these trends still influence modern looks today.

16

The 1930s

Pencil thin eyebrows together with a sleek upswept hairdo was the archetypal thirties look. Chin length permanent waves were very popular.
The 1930s

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In the 1930s, women embraced their natural hair texture and kept their hairstyles simple and chic. Finger waves, Marcel waves, and shingle bobs were popular, as were bangs, which could be worn long or short. Women also experimented with accessories like headbands, feathers, and clips. Hair was usually kept off the face and pinned up in a bun or chignon. Makeup was understated, with a focus on strong eyebrows and lips. Hair coloring was also popular, with women opting for shades of blonde, brunette, and red.

17

The 1940s

Waves became much softer and looser and certainly longer but structured rolls became very evident. In the war years, headscarves were worn to keep dust and grime out of hair. Hair became a matter of practicality for women working en masse for the first time.
The 1940s

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The 1940s saw the invention of the permanent wave, which allowed women to have more control over their hairstyles. During World War II, women often wore their hair in a bun or a ponytail to keep it out of their face while they were working. Headscarves became popular to protect hair from dirt and dust. The popularity of victory rolls, a hairstyle created to resemble the wings of a plane, also grew during this time. Hairstyles during this era were often very simple, with minimal styling and accessories. The 1940s were a time of practicality for women's hair, but also a time of creativity and experimentation.

18

The 1950s

The age of the hairdresser was born. Many housewives enjoyed a weekly trip where hair was teased into all sorts of shapes and styles. Headscarves and bands became a fashion accessory rather than a necessity.
The 1950s

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In the 1950s, perms and hair coloring were becoming increasingly popular. Women experimented with new styles, and the beehive was one of the most iconic looks of the decade. Hair accessories such as barrettes, headbands, and bows were fashionable, and women often wore their hair in a bouffant style. Hair salons were becoming increasingly popular, and women could enjoy a weekly trip to get their hair done. The decade was also a time of experimentation with new hairstyles, and many women opted to cut their hair short and style it in a bob or pixie cut.

19

The 1960s

In the era of freedom, liberation and hippies, hair became an expression of the woman. Styles were influenced by popular culture and inspired by the rising stars of the hair salons. Think asymmetric, bouffant, the bob, the beehive and long and straight adorned with flowers. Colors and dyes started to become mainstream.
The 1960s

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The 1960s saw a major shift in fashion, with a focus on the individual and their expression. This was reflected in hairstyles, which became bolder and more daring than ever before. Popular styles of the time included the asymmetrical bob, the beehive, and long, straight hair adorned with flowers. Hair colors and dyes also became mainstream, with women experimenting with a variety of shades. The influence of popular culture and rising stars of the hair salons were also major factors in the hairstyle trends of the 1960s.

20

The 1970s

By the mid 1970s women had adopted a variety of hairstyles many based on blow drying of hair into specific flicked positioning from a centre parting. Hair was luxurious and voluminous and the makeup was glaring. The antithesis was punk with its spikes and multicolored Mohicans.
The 1970s

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The 1970s saw the emergence of the "afro" hairstyle, a hairstyle that was popular among African Americans. This hairstyle was characterized by a full, rounded shape and often incorporated natural curls and waves. The "shag" hairstyle was also popular during this decade, featuring layers of hair that were cut at different lengths and styled with a blow dryer. Additionally, the punk movement of the 1970s popularized hairstyles such as the mohawk and the "liberty spikes" which were characterized by spikes of hair that were dyed in various colors.

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The 1980s

Big and eccentric hair (to balance out massive shoulder pads!) was popularized by film and music but this was also the era that women copied iconic cuts of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Purdey and the overblown hair of shows like Dallas and Dynasty.
The 1980s

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The 1980s was a decade of big and bold hairstyles. Women experimented with large and voluminous styles, often inspired by the iconic looks of Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as the popular TV shows of the time, such as Dallas and Dynasty. This era also saw the rise of punk and new wave styles, as well as the introduction of hair accessories like scrunchies and hair clips. The 1980s was a time of experimentation and creativity when it came to hairstyles, and many of the looks popularized during this decade are still relevant today.

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The 1990s

Hairstyles were built on the principles of natural beauty and health. They were well groomed regardless of length. Princess Diana continued to aspire but other inspiration came in the form of “the Rachel” and the eclectic look of The Spice Girls.
The 1990s

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The 1990s saw a shift to a more natural look, with hairdos that were well groomed and focused on health and beauty. Princess Diana was a major style icon of the decade, as well as the popular 'Rachel' cut made famous by Jennifer Aniston in the hit TV show "Friends". The Spice Girls also had an influence on the decade's style, with their eclectic, individual looks inspiring many young women. Hair accessories such as scrunchies and butterfly clips were also popular during this time, as well as the crimped look. The 1990s was a time of experimentation and fun with hairstyles, and it laid the foundation for the more daring looks of the 2000s.

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2000 – Current

Anything goes! Women wear their hair any which way with styles and colors changing by the day or the week. The range of colors and accessories is bewildering and trends ebb and flow, some short-lived, some sticking around and becoming accepted into the norm.
2000 – Current

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Fun to read. Thanks. 

I liked it, very interesting

Just so you know this could be up dated to the 20th century but ver informative.

I have to laugh. I wonder why we thought any of these were great, except for Jennifer's hair. Lol

Seem to be lacking info for your last part. Hair hasn't changed for the past 15 years..? Other then that everything else was well put together and accurate

What an interesting article! The Greek style has had a comeback several times because it is so feminine!

Nice article. Very informative. 

Very informative article

Creepy.

Very interesting. I enjoyed reading this.

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