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History Of Classic Hair Styles

ancient greek hairstyle

Today's Classic Hairstyles

The history of classic hair styles from Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Spartan women gives us many of the classic styles we wear today. Many a hair stylists dream is to create something so stylish it transcends current fashions and fads — and becomes a classic. We can look back in history to The Golden Age of ancient Greece for the origins of many of today's styles and the stylists who unknowingly created them.

This was an influential time of both innovations and ideals. It was also a time of perfection. From this period emerged a distinctly opulent and aristocratic society that innovated many forms of hair styling to meet those ideals of perfection. They created influences that endured history and continue to be recreated and in vogue even to present day. A standard for perfection in beauty was set by the distinctive theme of balance and its counterpart symmetry. This desirable and essential perfection was found in the art, architecture, and hair styles of the day.

Hair Color

Hair color is an important part of the history of classic hair styles as well, color played a very significant role for beauty standards. Blond hair was thought of as ideal and in a time that was ruled by divinity, appeared to be god or goddess-like and warranted one a superior social standing. Blond hair was also considered to signify purity, innocence, divinity, and sexual desirability.

This would definitely be the period in hair history where blonds did have more fun! The men and women of Ancient Greece strove to meet these standards in their hair styles to appease their deities, for the beliefs of these ancients was the governing factor of all their efforts. In their quest to equal or mirror their deities, both men and women in early Greece created some of the original innovations in hair coloring, in keeping with their adoration for blond hair.

Hair Lightening

The history of classic hair styles includes hair lightening, some of the earliest documentation of hair lightening originates from this time. At first men would use gold dust and pollen, sprinkling it through their hair after styling, women would use a solution of potassium, yellow flower petals and pollen to wash their hair. More permanent methods began to develop in the 4th century B.C.,from Athens.

A hair appointment at that time would consist of having one's hair rinsed with this ointment, and then sitting for long periods of time to bleach the hair. This bleaching ointment may have been made using the natural recourses available at that time, olive oils, citrus juice, pollens, and gold flecks. The Greeks as well as the Egyptians also favored dyed wigs of red, silver, and especially, gold.

These influences were behind some of our most enduring and romantic innovations in hair styling. The different regions of ancient Greece each created their own identities with different looks that have also influenced hair styles since.

ancient hairstyles

Hair Curls

The history of classic hair styles also includes curls, curly locks was a signature hair style throughout this time in the history of classic hairstyles, and is definitely a look and style that has endured for many a century. No woman, or man, for that matter had a perfect crown of glory unless their hair was styled into a perfectly balanced halo of tight curls. The origin of aristocratic women of ancient Greece could be identified by the hair style. Athenian women wore their hair in the now classic chignon at the back of the neck or at the crown secured with the finest gold or ivory handcrafted hairpins.

Spartan women preferred wearing their hair styled in a ponytail but lavishly threaded with pearls and beads The earliest types of hair pieces originated from the hair styles of Cyprus woman. These were defiantly not the light weight hair extensions or hair pieces we enjoy today, these although very ingenious in design, using a single or several wire meshes extending from ear to ear to support and display spiral set locks and curls.

The extremely opulent and elaborate creations of Pre-revolutionary France and their British counter parts used this design as an inspiration and to support their often extreme styles and very much a part of the history of classic hairstyles.

antique hairpinLavish adornment completed these hair styles abiding by the laws of symmetry and the creative dress of the Greeks. Our popular snood evolved in this manner, ribbons and scarves were used to decorate the chignon or to wrap it completely. The ribbons could extend around the forehead with one's precious gems or flowers generously woven in. The most common hair accessories were decorative,and as well as also served a logical, and often a structural function.

Wreaths created from flowers, bay, myrtle,scented oils, laurel,and ivy, were commonly worn by both women and men and this was also carried over into the Roman period. These wreaths, although decorative,also gave the wearer a pleasant perfume that was an essential part of one's grooming. Handmade ivory, gold and silver combs and clips as well as the earliest hair pins were created to secure these hair creations.

All content and images are copyright protectedHistory Of Classic Hair Styles
Updated June 26, 2011

Greek Poet Melanger's Lover

History Of Classic Hair Styles

I shall plait white violets, I shall plait the soft narcissus, together with
myrtle-berries and sweet crocus – so that the garland on the temple of Heliodora,
with the perfumed curls shall wreathe with flowers her beautiful cascade of hair

The Greek poet Melanger
Around 90 B.C
for his beloved ...

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