Since the beginning of time, hair and hairstyles has been very important to the human race. Hair and the way it is styled is not only an adornment, but it also tells us more about the personalities, social class or the profession of people. Hairstyles have been developing from ancient times and are still in the process of changing today. With every new era comes a new way of creating and styling our hair.
Ancient Egyptians are known for their attention to beauty and cleanliness. They used various items and techniques to style their hair. For them the way they wore their hair was based on the social class they were in. They used combs, hairpins, wigs and even dyed their hair and wigs. Blue, green, blonde, sandy colours and gold dust were most frequently used (According to ORACLE ThinkQuest). For Egyptian women thick hair was believed to be very beautiful and used various extensions and wigs to thicken their hair.
Young children‘s hair was usually shaved off, because that way it was easier to keep them clean, also because of the appearance of lice during that time. Lice were a sign of uncleanliness and poor grooming, which was to be avoided, because cleanliness was an important part of the Egyptian’s views.
Children of wealthier families would sometimes only have half their heads shaven. The only hair left on the head was a lock of hair called the lock of youth. Some girls wore their hair long and braided into several plaits which were usually gathered into a ponytail.
When the girls reached puberty the lock of youth would be removed and they could decide how they wanted to wear their hair. The normally followed the styles worn by adult women. They would grow it long and sometimes they also wore a fringe. They weighted their hair down with weighted accessories in order to achieve straight hair. They also wore their hair curly and decorated with beads, bands and jewellery. Their hair was often shaved off and they then wore wigs, because it was easier to style. At puberty the boys would also have the lock of youth removed. They then wore their hair completely shaven or short. Men of the upper classes also wore wigs, middle class men would also wear wigs, but of lesser quality of those worn by the upper class men. Poor men adorned their hair with clay beads or berries. The only men who wore their heads completely shaven was the temple priests, who even removed their eyebrows and eyelashes.
Egyptian wigs were worn by men and women, usually wealthy. The more wigs they had, the higher they ranked in social classes. Their wigs was made to be as realistic as possible, but could be styled into ways their own hair was not able to hold. Wigs were made of real hair, vegetable fibres or animal wool. The wealthier the person who wore the wig was, the higher quality the wig was. Wealthy Egyptians’ wigs was made of mostly human hair, often their own. These wigs were adorned with expensive beads, mostly a simple golden bead at the end of a braid or beads from the root to the tip which made a very expensive wig.
Ancient Greek Hairstyles in the Classic Period
The period of ancient Greek history is known as the classical period (According to Bonnie Jahangiri, eHow Contributor). The classical Greek period represents the culmination of maturity in Grecian art, politics, culture and philosophy. Many of today’s modern hair and fashion styles have drawn influence from the classical Greek era. Classical hairstyles of the ancient Greek era:
The Chignon hairstyle was a typical hairstyle that was worn by all Greek women in the classical Greek era. The women’s class and stature were signified by the complicity of the chignon and the value of the hairpins that held it in place. Women of the upper classes wore hairpins made of gold and ivory. A chignon was achieved by pulling the hair back into a twisted bun at the base of the neck or up onto the crown. A band called a diadem was...