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Winning By a Hair - A History Of Hair Fashion

Feb 29, 2008
Because of the frequent changes of hairstyles it's difficult, to say the least, to stay up on what's in and what's out. Additionally, when it comes to celebrity fashion, lets face it; they change there hairstyles the way normal people change their shoes. Using them as examples for what kind of hairstyle to follow is like a ferret on crack chasing it's tail.

Some people may believe that it is only in recent times that society in general started to put a lot of their focus on differing hair styles. However, the truth is hair fashion has been an area that has been focused on for the past 3000 years.

Hair styles have changed so much over the years either for better or for worse. Hair fashion also depended greatly on what part of the world you lived in. We will take a look at history as far as it related to hair fashion.

A look at history shows that in ancient Egypt, it was commonplace for both men and women to wear their hair cut short and closely cropped to their head.

Nevertheless, Egyptians would normally wear elaborate wigs during special ceremonies. In ancient Greece, women typically wore their hair quite long and pulled back, and quite often dyed it with red henna.

Women from ancient Rome used to follow Greek hair fashion very closely; one noteworthy difference is that the women of Rome were more likely to have their hair dyed blonde. The women of Rome also used curling irons and hair dressing become a very popular trade.

Looking to a different region; in the East, it was a requirement that all Muslims have their hair hidden when in public, and in the region of China, hair symbolized the marital status of an individual. If a woman wore her hair long and braided it was typically a sign that a women was unmarried. If the woman were married she would wear it pulled back and in a knot.

Styles in the African nations differed and were typically a symbol of the persons social status. Some general African hair styles long hair, braids, and shaved heads.

The American Indians hair fashion varied from region to region. It was quite common in numerous areas for hair to be shaved, and in the Mayan tribes individuals frequently wore ornate headpieces over a bald head.

The Renaissance and Beyond

At the time of the Renaissance, women in general intensely desired higher foreheads. This type of hair fashion was painful; literally. This was because in order to obtain this hairstyle a women would have to take a pair of tweezers and pluck the hairs from the very front of their hairline until they had a higher forehead. During this period of time women also attempted to sun-bleach their hair.

Moving ahead to the 1600s, hair fashion was greatly influenced by none other than Queen Elizabeth herself. Numerous women during this era tried to obtain powder so that they could make their complexions look fairer and would wear red wigs to try to duplicate the look of the Queen's fiery head of hair.

Throughout the 1700s, the 'in' hair fashion was for big hair. This comprised using elaborate wigs for both men and women alike. Quite often men would tie back their own hair. Due to reasons of practicality the complexity was toned down at the time of the Victorian Era. The trend for women at that point was neatness and the typically wore their hair oiled down or pinned back in curls. On certain occasions they would even wear hairnets so they could keep their hair out of the way.

With the introduction and constant supply of movies in the beginning of the twentieth century, hair fashion has become more affected by celebrities than anything else, and this continues to be true to this very day.
About the Author
Listen to Corbin Newlyn as he shares his insights as an expert author and an avid writer in the field of fashion. If you would like to learn more go to Fashion Trend advice and at Fashion Game tips.
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