Ever wondered what it was like to have your hair styled right back in 3000 BC? Heres a little know how with the History of hair and the history of hairdressing.
It first started out with the Ancient Egyptian hairstyles; where the woman wore thick black wigs. These wigs were braided and decorated delicately with golden accessories and hair pins. The wigs were mostly worn for ceremonial occasions, despite the heat of Egypt.
After the Egyptian hair styles followed the hair styles of Ancient Greece. The elegant woman adored the hair being long and curled and swept back into a chignon (a low bun at the base of the neck). Red Henna was used to dye many of the Greek woman’s hair. The Greeks liked to sprinkle gold dust into their hair, and to make their locks look extra elegant they added fresh flowers and diamanté tiaras.
Over in Ancient Rome the hair was very similar to that of the Greeks. The Roman ladies curled their hair with curling irons and wore it high on the head. They created shape by using wired frames. The Roman’s wore wigs, created out of hair from slaves. By now hairdressing was becoming popular in the upper classes, barber shops were even at hand.
In Japan hair of the woman was worn long and loose, but by the 17th Century hair became more styled and elegant especially by Geisha woman who liked to wear their hair high and elaborate. The hair was secured with thick lacquer and finished off with hair pieces.
African hairstyles varied depending on what tribe you was in. Masai worriers secured their hair at the front into tiny braids and let the back grow waist length, other tribes shaved their hair completely bald. Hair was sometimes styled and secured using animal dung while others used red earth and grease to colour their hair.
Native American Indian hairstyles also varied. Hair was worn different lengths depending what tribe you was in whether it was the commonly known long braids or a bob, some Native American woman even shaved their hair leaving just hair on the crown area. Native American Woman decorated their hair with beads, coloured cloth and feathers.
Moving up the line to the 15th Century of the Renaissance period, woman plucked the hair away from the fore head to create an illusion of a bigger forehead, the rest of the hair was tied back and worn with a head dress. In the 15th Century the first bleach was created. The ladies would sit hours in the sun using saffron or onion skin in their hair.
When Queen Elizabeth was on the throne in the 16th Century she was the style icon of the era, every woman looked up to her and wanted her pale complexion and red curled hair, wigs became very popular.
This led onto the 18th Century where huge elaborate wigs were worn all the time. The wigs consisted of very tall coiffures and tight ringlet curls decorated with garlands, bows and feathers. The 18th century woman believed the bigger the hair the better.
The Victorians toned things down and went for the more natural look. Hair was worn sleek and shiny to create healthy looking hair. Often pined back with an ivory comb or bow. Oils were used to smooth the hair down and ringlets were more elegant to those in the previous era. Short fringes started to come into fashion.
‘The roaring twenties’ got giving its name due to the woman being more independe
nt and free spirited. Short bobbed and waved styles became very popular and the make up was back with bright red lips. Trends were set by the ‘superstars’ of the era.
The 1940′s woman also followed their on screen idols for fashion secrets. The Romantic styles were introduced where the 1940′s woman wore her hair long and wavy, created by soft curls. The Hollywood starlets had made suntans popular for the first time. Factory woman wore their hair in a barrel roll at the nape of the neck and over their ears, finished off with a head scarf fastened at the front of the head. Plastic rollers and setting lotion was now essential to keep the hair in place through out the day.
As the war was coming to an end in 1950′s glamour was back. Make-up became
thick, eyebrows, mascara and bold lips. Hair was permanently waved (permed) to create perfect curls. The woman of the 1950′s began to visit salons on a weekly basis for a ‘wash and set’.
The 1960′s was the start of the ‘beehive’, created by being back combed and secured in place with hair spray. Soft feminine fringes were very popular and younger girls tended to wear their hair loose and natural with flowers and ribbons as the ‘hippy’ phase became fashion. Blonde was the colour to be and dark hair was often highlighted with the help of the sun and lemon juice.
By the 1970′s hair was long, free and natural. Feather cuts were ‘in’ and so was the centre parting. Hair laid natural and fell into soft curls. Layers were cut into the hair and highlights were also added.
The woman of the 1970′s bronzed their skin as the ‘sun kissed’ skin was the ultimate look. By the end of the 70′s Punk fashions started to walk the high-streets. Hair was worn spiked and coloured with bright primary colours or even fluorescent. Mohican’s (mohawks) started to become the craze, again the bigger the better.
Finally in the 80′s there wasn’t a set trend and variations of style began to occur. The ‘power dressers’ were woman of immaculate style and very groomed hairstyles. The long-bob was highly favoured and precisely cut, styled by being curled under. The hairdresser in the 80′s was an essential part of the woman’s life. Madonna became a style icon, and woman followed her ever changing choppy-off coloured hairstyles.
By the 90′s hair colours and styles were constantly changing. The ‘Rachel’ hair cut (Jennifer Aniston’s character in ‘friends’) became very popular. Long layers, and grown out fringes were ‘in’, even short choppy hairstyles where hot on the catwalk. Textured and messed up hair began to make it big also. Blonde was defiantly the ‘it’ colour, whether it be full colour blonde or multi toned highlights blondes had seemed to take over the world.
I am a mobile hairdresser in maidstone so if you would like to know more or would like a cut yourself then please get in touch
So there you have it the History of hair and the changes of hairstyles throughout the years and eras.