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Medieval Hairstyles

The era of Courtly was fantastic! It gave a lot of famous movie inspirations. From dragons and knights to castles, everything is fascinating about that era. Another thing that was amazing about that era was contemporary fashion. Medieval people used to pay much attention to looking the best, and hairstyles were the central focal point for women and men to define their looks.

Medieval Hairstyles were highly formal and well-set. Women followed the braids and buns with metallic wires, flowers, ribbons and other accessories. On the other hand, men used to have short hair that was combed towards the front of the forehead without parting. This article will take you back to the journey of medieval hairstyles and how they are still considered classic and sleek.

Medieval Times Hairstyles

The medieval age was 1000 years long, and fashion changed drastically. Before the 13th century, hairstyles depended on the tribe people belonged to. For example, Rulers and kings would never cut their hair or beard. They used to force men to cut their hair to symbolise submission. On the other hand, the servitude used to have short hair. Women always had long hair, and they kept on accessorising them. Buns and braids were very common during this period. With time, people became more attentive to their style and kept on updating their fashion. Most people, especially women, started wearing different hairstyles with different attires. The hairstyles, considered boring and simple, started looking beautiful and classy.

Types of Medieval Hairstyles

Medieval Women’s Hairstyles

Medieval Women’s Hairstyles
Medieval Women’s Hairstyles by Stilfehler licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Most women during the medieval age had long hair, which allowed them to style them differently. There were rarely seen women with short and medium hairstyle lengths. They used to style them with leaves, flowers, and silk bands. Long braids and updos were also very common. Even though there were various hairstyle options available, it was offensive and uncommon to display hair parted. Here is a list of some common medieval women’s hairstyles:

  • Braided Up-do: A bun with curled hair rolled upwards and secured with pins. The ornament barrette was attached to it.
  • Wraparound French: A French braid is created on one side and encircles around the head to create a bun.
  • Coiled: Clever medieval hairstyle bun where the simple half-ponytail or three-strand plaits were coiled up to form a bun.
  • Crown: Filled with an on-theme queenly aesthetic, the three-strand plait or fishtail halo plait was pinned up on the front side of the head to form a crown.
  • Dual Braided Bun: A bun formed by combining two braids with different widths.
  • Infinity: Long open hair with two regular braids formed in front and attached on the back to form a figure-eight pattern on the head.
  • Two-Pronged Tied: A fairly simple hairstyle used by commoners during middle age formed by creating two three-strand braids on each side of the head and tying them on the back with elastic.

Other common hairstyles during the medieval era were Cornettes and Ramshorns. Deft craftsmen used to create different hairstyle accessories with metals, stones, and fabrics to complement women’s medieval hairstyles.

Medieval Men’s Hairstyles

Medieval Men’s Hairstyles
Medieval Men’s Hairstyles by Prospero Alpino licensed under CC BY 4.0

During the medieval era, shaving the head was considered one of the highest forms of humiliation. That’s why monks shaved their heads while leaving a narrow strip around them. The most common styles were short hair, and nobility used to have long hair. Even though medieval men’s hairstyles didn’t include much variety, some strict rules were attached to them. Some common hairstyles for men during the medieval age were:

  • Nordic Viking: Hairstyle carried by a real warrior with undercut or pompadour style. This looked appropriate with a long beard or short facial hair.
  • Vintage Scandinavian: Considered the best way to represent masculinity and fierceness, this hairstyle included clean, shaved sides with short hair on the top and tied on the crown.
  • Long Mohawk: One of the fiercest hairstyles during the medieval age, this hairstyle included a typical Mohawk locked at the nape of the neck to look quite graceful.
  • Man Bun: A bun carried by men by combining the long hair on the back to form a bun.
  • Man Braid: A simple braid offered a unique and refined look where the long hair was kept together.

The most common hair accessories for men were hairnets and crowns.

Hair Wigs in the Medieval Era

Medieval Hairstyles
Medieval Hairstyles by Internet Archive Book Images licensed under CC0 1.0

People during the medieval age were also obsessed with wigs. It looked gorgeous and offered men and women desirable hairstyles, but they weren’t hygienic. Wearing them every day made wigs look dirty and habitat for louse. They were very heavy and uncomfortable due to this reason, and high-end care made professional hairdressing services quite common during the medieval era. There were no salons, and the services were given at the client’s homes. Most people found it quite expensive, leading to the big comeback of naturalness. Rare people started investing in massive wigs and wanted to go all natural. This made the era of wigs end.

Medieval Hairstyles Takeaway

A rich variety of medieval hairstyles were available for men and women. They helped them to look their best. They didn’t wear their hair in the same styles; instead, they kept experimenting with them. Although there must be thousands of styles, a few popular ones stayed with us because of historical writings, paintings, and portraits. We hope you get the right idea of hairstyles in the medieval era.

If you liked reading about Medieval Hairstyles, you should definitely check out our article on Medieval Foods !!

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