“Hair styles since eternity have been a symbol of wealth, feminity and sexuality. “
Evolution of hairstyles
It was in most ancient age the word hairdresser evolved. Since hairstyling involved tools made from hunting and was afforded by the wealthiest, hairdressing was looked as a very noble profession.
In ancient Egyptian era, wigs came into place. Women wore wigs to hide their hair as showing hair was symbolized as being unhygienic so they were often covered with wigs made of horse or pig hair usually.
Later, in the Greek world, the woman was submissive to her husband. For this reason, she could not show her hair. It was considered too sensual and therefore scandalous. In this era length of hair decided the hierarchy of society.
In the Middle Ages Christian morality symbolized hairs with sexuality, feminity and fertility therefore women were not allowed to open their hair rather as a sign of respect and modesty it was required, to wear braids decorated with ribbons, or having the hair enclosed in a silk net.
Hairstyles also changes with culture, from Asia to Europe until America. Every subcontinent has their own ways of taming and styling hair. For e.g. for many villages in China cutting hair is forbidden. They rather store the broken hairs and donate them for wigs. Another country renowned for hair care is India.
“When children are four or five years old, they are completely shaved and the family donates the baby hair to Good. This practice, according to Indian tradition, will allow children to have stronger healthy and thick hair.”
African as a continent has been the most extravagant in terms of hair. African women have adorned most elaborate hairstyles till date. From baldness which was considered a symbol of slavery to fluorescent scarves to multiple braids which is famously called Afro Pigtails.
The very famous pigtails
In America, straight hair has never gone out of fashion. In fact,American girls prefer elaborate and flashy hairstyles, very voluminous but at the same time ordered.
Hairstyles in Europe have also undergone their own evolution process.
European hairstyles have largely been influenced both by Africans, with their famous braids which start from the scalp, traveling the full length of their hair, and Americans style.
Evolution of European hairstyles
Hairstyles through the Decade
This decade marked the rise of working women culture and boyish looks. Concept of feminity was challenged through dresses and short and sharp hair styles “ “The Famous BOB”.
1920 1930 1940
The BOB Platinum Curls Long waves and side parting
1950 1960 1970
Shorter, pinned curls Short and straight Bouncy waves and flicks
1980 1990 2000
Choppy and feathered poker straight with fringe Long and Messy
Layered and Blonde
Author : Shrutika
Bachelor in Design – Nift, New Delhi
Currently working as Visual Merchandiser with VIP Industries