Tuesday, February 19, 2013

History of Hair Styles

History of Hair Styles

Throughout history, people have worn their hair in a wide variety of ways, largely determined by the fashions of the culture they live in. Hairstyles are markers and signifiers of social class, age, marital status, racial identification, political beliefs and attitudes about gender.

Ancient history
In ancient civilizations, women's hair was often elaborately and carefully dressed in special ways. Women coloured their hair, curled it, and pinned it up in a variety of ways. They set their hair in waves and curls using wet clay, which they dried in the sun and then combed out, or else by using a jelly made of quince seeds soaked in water, or curling tongs and curling irons of various kinds.

Roman Empire and Middle Ages
Between 27 BC and 102 AD, in Imperial Rome, women wore their hair in complicated styles: a mass of curls on top, or in rows of waves, drawn back into ringlets or braids. Eventually noblewomen's hairstyles grew so complex that they required daily attention from several slaves and a stylist in order to be maintained. The hair was often lightened using wood ash, unslaked limeand sodium bicarbonate, or darkened with copper filings, oak-apples or leeches marinated in wine and vinegar. It was augmented by wigs, hairpieces and pads, and held in place by nets, pins, combs and pomade. Under the Byzantine Empire, noblewomen covered most of their hair with silk caps and pearl nets. From the time of the Roman Empire until the Middle Ages, most women grew their hair as long as it would naturally grow. Initially they wore it loose, held in place with a band around the brow and covered with a snood, kerchief or veil. From the ninth century until the 16th century, women began to wear their hair in extremely ornate styles, often decorated with pearls, precious stones, ribbons and veils. Women used a technique called "lacing" or "taping," in which cords or ribbons were used to bind the hair around their heads. During this period, most of the hair was braided and hidden under wimples, veils or couvrechefs, and in the later half of the 15th century and on into the 16th century, wealthy women frequently plucked out hair at their temples and the napes of their necks, or used depilatory cream to remove it, if it would otherwise be visible at the edges of their hair coverings. Working-class women in this period wore their hair in simple styles.

Early modern history
 Marie-Antoinette with pouf hairstyle During the 15th and 16th centuries, European men wore their hair cropped no longer than shoulder-length, with very fashionable men wearing bangs or fringes. In Italy it was common for men to dye their hair. From the 16th to the 19th century, European women's hair became more visible while their hair coverings grew smaller, with both becoming more elaborate, and with hairstyles beginning to include ornamentation such as flowers, ostrich plumes, ropes of pearls, jewels, ribbons and small crafted objects such as replicas of ships and windmills. Bound hair was felt to be symbolic of propriety: loosening one's hair was considered immodest and sexual, and sometimes was felt to have supernatural connotations. Red hair was popular, particularly in England during the reign of the red-haired Elizabeth I, and women and aristocratic men used borax, saltpeter, saffron and sulfur powder to dye their hair red, making themselves nauseated and giving themselves headaches and nosebleeds. During this period in Spain and Latin cultures, women wore lace mantillas, often worn over a high comb, and in Buenos Aires, there developed a fashion for extremely large tortoise-shell hair combs called peinetón, which could measure up to three feet in height and width, and which are said by historians to have reflected the growing influence of France, rather than Spain, upon Argentinians. In the middle of the 18th century the pouf style developed, with women creating volume in the hair at the front of the head, usually with a pad underneath to lift it higher, and ornamented the back with seashells, pearls or gemstones. In 1750, women began dressing their hair with perfumed pomade and powdering it white. Just before World War I, some women began wearing silk turbans over their hair. In the early 1870s, in a shift that historians attribute to the influence of the West, Japanese men began cutting their hair into styles known as jangiri or zangiri (which roughly means "random cropping"). During this period, Asian women were still wearing traditional hairstyles held up with combs, pins and sticks crafted from tortoise, metal, wood and other materials, but in the middle 1880s, upper-class Japanese women began pushing back their hair in the Western style (known as sokuhatsu), or adopting Westernized versions of traditional Japanese hairstyles (these were called yakaimaki, or literally, soirée chignon).

Inter-war years
During the First World War, women around the world started to shift to shorter hairstyles that were easier to manage. In the 1920s women started for the first time to bob, shingle and crop their hair, often covering it with small head-hugging cloche hats. In Korea, the bob was called tanbal. Women beganmarcelling their hair, creating deep waves in it using heated scissor irons. Durable permanent waving became popular also in this period: it was an expensive, uncomfortable and time-consuming process, in which the hair was put in curlers and inserted into a steam or dry heat machine. During the 1930s women began to wear their hair slightly longer, in page boys, bobs or waves and curls. During this period, Western men began to wear their hair in ways popularized by movie stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Rudolph Valentino. Men wore their hair short, and either parted on the side or in the middle, or combed straight back, and used pomade, creams and tonics to keep their hair in place. At the beginning of the Second World War and for some time afterwards, men's haircuts grew shorter, mimicking the military crewcut. During the 1920s and 1930s, Japanese women began wearing their hair in a style called mimi-kakushi (literally, "ear hiding"), in which hair was pulled back to cover the ears and tied into a bun at the nape of the neck. Waved or curled hair became increasingly popular for Japanese women throughout this period, and permanent waves, though controversial, were extremely popular. Bobbed hair also became more popular for Japanese women, mainly among actresses and moga, or "cut-hair girls," young Japanese women who followed Westernized fashions and lifestyles in the 1920s.

Post-war years
After the war, women started to wear their hair in softer, more natural styles. In the early 1950s women's hair was generally curled and worn in a variety of styles and lengths. In the later 1950s, high bouffant and beehive styles, sometimes nicknamed B-52s for their similarity to the bulbous noses of the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, became popular. During this period many women washed and set their hair only once a week, and kept it in place by wearingcurlers every night and reteasing and respraying it every morning. In the 1960s, many women began to wear their hair in short modern cuts such as the pixie cut, while in the 1970s, hair tended to be longer and looser. In both the 1960s and 1970s many men and women wore their hair very long and straight. Women straightened their hair through chemical straightening processes, by ironing their hair at home with a clothes iron, or by rolling it up with large empty cans while wet. African-American men and women began wearing their hair naturally (unprocessed) in largeAfros, sometimes ornamented with Afro picks made from wood or plastic. By the end of the 1970s the Afro had fallen out of favour among African-Americans, and was being replaced by other natural hairstyles such as cane rows and dreadlocks.

Modern hairstyles
Since the 1970s, women have worn their hair in a wide variety of fairly natural styles. In the nineteen-eighties women pulled back their hair with scrunchies, stretchy ponytail holders made from cloth over fabric bands. Women also often wear glittery ornaments today, as well as claw-style barrettes used to secure ponytails and other upswept or partially upswept hairstyles. Today, women and men can choose from a broad range of hairstyles, but they are still expected to wear their hair in ways that conform to gender norms: in much of the world, men with long hair and women whose hair doesn't appear carefully groomed may face various forms of discrimination, including harassment, social shaming or workplace discrimination. This is somewhat less true of African-American men, who wear their hair in a variety of styles that overlap with those of African-American women, including braids and cornrows fastened with rubber bands and dreadlocks.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairstyle

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