Beauty And The Bath

Geisha Hair

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Geisha Hair Dos ~ Traditional Beauty

Traditional geisha styles have changed over the centuries, as has the tradition of geisha. The perception of geisha has been misconstrued especially after WWII and with the presence of American soldiers in Japan.

A geisha is a performing artist; the word is a variation of person and art and could even be translated with the word artist. In some cultures, geishas are referred to as a geiko. When understanding geisha hairstyles it is important to understand the differences amongst geisha.

A young geisha or child geisha is called Maiko. There are certain hairstyle worn only by Maiko or older geishas and these traditions have also changed over the years. Not all geishas begin by being Maiko. Those who have reached the age of 21 and wish to become geisha are too old to be Maiko. However, those who are Maiko, or children born into geisha can easily be identified by their hairstyles.

The Momoware or Ofuku is part of the shimada geisha hairstyles which is the traditional hairstyle. This hairstyle resembles a split peach and is often thought of by those when they think of geisha hairstyles. In fact, when most Americans or other westerners think of geisha, the image that comes to mind is often that of a Maiko and not a full geisha. This isn't limited to hairstyles but also includes dress and makeup. Traditional Maiko makeup includes bright white face makeup that is applied in a thick coat or layer as well as bright red lipstick.

Often the corner of the eyes feature black and red accents around both the eyes and eyebrows. Both applying makeup as well as styling hair for the geisha look is a time consuming process that would traditionally take geishas hours to perform. Older geishas do not wear the same makeup that is associated with Maiko, however they will wear the same type of thick white face makeup for special events and functions.

The Ofuku or Momoware isn't the only hairstyle associated with geishas. The shimada or traditional geisha hairstyle includes four styles.
They are: Momoware or Ofuku (also called split peach) Taka Shimada Tsubushi Shimada Uiwata
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