Ancient Roman Hairstyles

By Cate Shaunessy

Welcome to your crash course in Roman Hairstyles, abridged to only the interesting facts

Men's Hair

*Was long before 300BC, then went short after barbers became popular

*Full heads of hair were prized

*Hairstyle trends followed the Emperor's style

*Nero made curls and sideburns fashionable

*Hadrain popularized the shirt beard

*Constantine had false hair in a variety of colors, that was perfumed, leading to the growing use of wigs that did not necessarily match the wearer's hair.

Women's Hair

*Originally very simple

*Braids and twists were very commonly used

*Became elaborate in the Augustine Era

*Status of wealth and power, the bigger the better

*Flavian Era brought along rows of false curls

*Majority of hair styles were designed to work on uncut, or improperly cut hair

*Hair was grown very long, especially for use in some of the more intricate styles

Accessories & Tools

*Used the ancient equivalents of modern day combs, pins, curling wands, headbands, hair nets, and dyes

*Adorned their hair with gems, pearl, gold, ribbon, and wigs, especially made of blonde German hair (which was highly prized) or black Indian hair.

*Created a variety of combs and brushes

*Needle and thread were used all the time

Special Hair Styles

Seni Crines- worn by Vestal Virgins and Brides, symbolized chastity and purity, always shown veiled.

Shown here done twice by hairstylist Janet Stephens, and once by me. Her versions are better than mine.

Credit- Janet Stephens, Archeological Hairdresser

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