Curious History

Curious History

History of Haircuts And Hairstyles

Old days and haircuts and hairstyles

The earliest known hair styles dates back to Paleolithic era when the statue of Venus of Willendorg, also known as the Woman of Willendorf, was unearthed in Austria. Later, the Venus of Brassempouy, about 25,000 years old was excavated in France, that had the checkerboard-like design with shallow incisions at right angles.

Moving to the Bronze age, men started using razors once in a while. And in ancient civilization, women colored hair, curled, made ponytail in various ways. They set waves and curls using wet clay, dried under the sun and then combed out; or made a jelly like substance using soaked quince seeds, or curling tongs and irons.

While in Roman times, women wore a bunch of curls on top, created waves, or braids. Gradually, the hairstyles got so complex that noblewomen had to get slaves and stylist to maintain their style. They used wood ash, quicklime, sodium bicarbonate to lighten their hair and oak apples, leeches marinated in wine and vinegar to darken their hair. The hair was made to look voluminous by using wigs, hairpieces, pins, comb and net. Until the Middle Ages, women grew their hair as long as it would grow.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, European men started keeping their hair till shoulder length, wearing bangs or fringes, and in the 17th century, they started growing beyond should length. Short hairstyles grew popular during the Neoclassical period with Bedford Corp style popularized by politician Francis Russel who protested against the tax on hair powder. Another popular style was the Titus wig (layered short hair) introduced by French actor Francois-Joseph Talma. During this time, Japanese men started opting for random cropping called jangiri or zangiri.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the hairstyle of European women became elaborate and included decorations such as flowers, pearls, ostrich feathers and small wooden objects. While, in England, red hair was in vogue and borax, sulfur, saffron was used to dye the hair. Pouf style (volume at the front of the head), using perfumed pomade and white powder became immensely popular.

During World War I, women started opting for shorter hairstyles, such as bob, shingle, crop cut covering it with cloche hats. In order to create waves, they started using hot scissor irons and  permanent waving became trendy. In 1930s, women again started growing their hair long.

Men wore short hair, parted in the middle or the side, combed straight back using creams and tonics. During the Second World War, men started aping the military cut. The 50s saw women going for curls in a variety of styles and lengths, bouffant, beehive; 60s was of shortcuts, as a pixie cut; 70s hair was longer and straighter. Afro-Americans started wearing their hair naturally, but were replaced by hairstyles such as cane rows, dreadlocks by the end of 1970. The 80s saw hair pulled back with scrunchies, ponytail being secured by claw-style barrettes, etc. Today, men and women can try from a wide range of hair salons.

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