The delicate and silky structure of hair has always fascinated people. Countless superstitions, myths and legends surround it. In the past, hair length was associated with social and religious significance. It is still very important to today’s women how they can best bring out their hair. For special occasions or themed parties, medieval hairstyles are more popular than ever. They are characterized by many wicker accents and elaborate details. This results in a wealth of ideas whose implementation requires a little skill. This always creates something new and no hairstyle looks like another equal.
Medieval hairstyles – The importance of hair in the Middle Ages
The medieval people were very important to the hair. It was a symbol of strength and authority, and the biggest degradation was losing your hair. Both women and men wore their hair long. The kings had long hair and beards and the nobles under their authority wore them shorter. In combat, they tied her up in a knot on her head to look bigger and more terrible. The women’s hair went to their knees, sometimes even longer. The slaves and the prisoners were shaved as a sign of submission. The Catholic Church had a great influence on how men and women should look. For example, men had to shave their beards to become better Christians and the women had to wear a veil.
Medieval Hairstyles – Men
For men in the Middle Ages, short hair was anything but a sign of freedom. They were forced to build a real hierarchy based on hair length . As a complete disqualification was the cutting of the hair. Only the priests in the monastery wore the so-called tonsure, in which the upper part of the head was shaved. The “page hairstyle” became very popular at that time. The hair was bent over the ears to the nape and with a pony on the forehead. The whole face was neatly shaved.
Only those who owned land or were noble could grow their hair. Centuries later it was considered a special sign to wear a wig with a long braid. And in the late Middle Ages, the hairstyles of the nobility were even more unusual and braided to artful structures that were kept in shape with hairnet.
Medieval hairstyles – women
Until the 11th century, women wore their hair very long – to their knees or longer. Mostly they were tied in two long pigtails or tied in knots. The forehead was considered an important part of the face at that time and it remained uncovered. She was adorned with precious jewelry, flowers or hairbands, but never with hair. Even the hair around it was often shaved to make the forehead appear larger.
The married women had to wear their hair tied and covered with a veil or with a Rise (a flat hood made of cotton fabric, the hair, head, ears and neck hidden). Because the hair was considered a possession of the man and were felt as seductive. At this time, the most popular hairstyle was a braid tied in a knot or two, which were held over the two ears with a golden or silk ribbon. However, most of them remained under cover and invisible to the public.
During this period the women wore big hats and bonnets when they went to church or visited public places. The public showing of hair was uncommon and perceived as inappropriate and disrespectful. Nevertheless, the hair should be cared for and kept healthy. In a book for health and body care there were recommendations and recipes for hair care. With special formulas, the coloring of hair was possible – for example, in blond with peanuts and alum.
All noble women wore their hair very long. In the 13th or 14th century they braided them in 3 or 4 braids, which they held at the back of the head and decorated with jewelery. Of course, these elaborate hairstyles took hours. Meanwhile, what was originally only in the women’s bedroom and in a very small circle, has become a kind of vocation.
Medieval hairstyles for long hair – “ram’s horn”
Since the women wore their hair very long in the Middle Ages, most medieval hairstyles are more suitable for a long mane. The long hair is split in the middle and each side braided into a single long braid. Now the braid is wound into a kind of bun or snail over the ear. Finally, one or more hairpins are used for attachment.
Simple medieval hairstyles
Likewise, two braids are braided on both sides and then run together over the head. In between, a golden net grid can be attached.
Basically, it was uncommon for noble ladies with long, free-falling hair to perform in public. For everyday life, they usually prefer to put on simple long braids or a straightforward variation of the ram’s horn style. The accent was accompanied by a hoop or a diadem.
Accessories for medieval hairstyles
Women have always adorned their hair with ribbons, beads, towels and others. Unmarried girls adorned their hair with gemstones, artificial gold flowers and jewels.
Medieval hairstyles for DIY
Medieval hairstyles are possible in many different variants and are considered especially very sumptuous and elaborate. Nevertheless, it is possible to make yourself a beautiful braided hairstyle in the medieval style. With a little patience and a few tricks that we will betray soon, a very complex braiding is easily conjured up. Here is a very simple guide.
Medieval hairstyles braiding – instructions for long hair
At first glance, this medieval-inspired braided hairstyle seems to be very complex. But if you take a closer look at the manual, you will notice that only one braid is braided. The rest of the hair is simply twisted and inserted into this braid, then perhaps discreetly fastened with hairpins.
So that the hairstyle lasts longer, it is advisable to wash the hair at least one day before, as with other elaborate hairstylings. In order to achieve the relaxed look and at the same time good adhesion, a grippy hair structure should be present. For this one can bring slight waves into the hair, if it is not naturally curly or wavy.
Medieval hairstyles for short hair
With shoulder-length or short hair, it is difficult to create medieval hairstyles, because they need a certain hair length. Braided details and accents, which look very noble and medieval, can be done with a little skill, however.
Medieval hairstyles interpreted in a modern way